The Unsung Heroes of KR
Hall community is always bustling with activities and is vibrant in culture. Some form of training, practice or meeting is sure to take place every day in hall. Together, we function like a well-oiled machine and everyone contributes in one way or another. However, an integral part of this mechanism often goes unnoticed even though it takes place right under our noses. Today, we are going to meet some of the unsung heroes of KR.
Dining Hall Caterers
What you see is them serving you food for 3 hours in the morning and in the evening. What you don’t see is them having to start work at 5am almost every day and knocking off only after 9pm (and I thought 9-5 was bad). Ingredients for the day come in before sunrise and our dedicated caterers begin preparing the most important meal of the day. Ok maybe not for us la. After breakfast, they take a break, go for lunch and work starts again at 1pm. Bet you didn’t know they prep so early. Contrary to popular belief, our meals are actually cooked from scratch! And I mean everything. Nothing is pre-made at some central kitchen and warmed up here, not even the sweet and sour pork. These masterchefs really know what they are doing.
After dinner, they have to finish cleaning up the entire kitchen before they can head back home for the night… until their work starts again the next morning. So next time, let’s try help them knock off on time by having our dinners before 8.15pm :)
Fun Fact: All of them actually stay in rented apartments along west coast and cycle to work every day.
Speaking to some of the cleaners in KR, I learnt quite a few things. For one, quite a few of them actually stay in JB, and they have to travel in and out of Singapore every morning. Their day starts at 7.30am when they report for work to do their daily tasks. All of them are in charge of different areas within the hall (not just your block’s toilets!). Be it the Lobby, F Block Toilets, MPSH or anywhere in KR you can think of, our cleaners ensure that an excellent standard of cleanliness is met, and that trash are properly disposed of daily. One uncle is even responsible for the outdoor walkways (towards backgate), and that means he has to stand under the hot sun for a significant part of the day. Their job certainly isn’t easy considering that many of them are elderly in their 50s and 60s. Heck, it wouldn’t even be easy for us.
Fun fact: When asked about where they go for lunch, the uncle (on the right) laughed, pointed towards the Biz Canteen and said “we go there like you guys lor” in mandarin.
Meet our newest security guard! Her duties include patrolling the hall with her trusty GoPro and making sure that silent hours are adhered to. She does 12-hour shifts which start from 9pm and she gets a night off for every 6 nights of work. Noise pollution is a huge concern for her as she can only do so much to control noise without being a huge cb (cry baby) to all of us. So other than keeping our noise down for the public, let's also do it for her :-) When asked about how doing night shifts are like, she says she is trying to get used to the routine because her body clock refuses to let her sleep in the day, so she pretty much only gets 2 hours of rest during her break time in her shift.
Fun Fact: She is 50!! Cannot tell right.
While food is always ready during meal times and the hall is always spick and span, it is easy for us to forget that there are teams of dedicated individuals working tirelessly to ensure that these things happen. They keep Kent Ridgeans well-fed and the hall well-maintained for us to be able to carry on with the myriad of activities that we enjoy (and let’s not forget about hall admin too!). So next time when you see them around, remember to be nice and say hi to them, or even spare them a thought when giving out welfare because without them, we certainly wouldn’t be as great of a hall as we are today.