I am an SMRT staff and here is what is wrong

Found this post in Reddit Singapore by a person called  mrtguy

At first, I sceptical, nabei, another PAP IB who want to deflect problem.

So I did a little bit more digging to find out.

The account has been a Redditor for 5 months. Not only are all the post just about SMRT, but the description all very intimate one, the culture, the people and the issues faced at the respective stations.

You try read the latest post here:

Hi redditors. As promised, I’m gonna write about my experience with SMRT work culture. I’m currently working at SMRT as a Station Manager (SM) and for privacy/security/work reasons, I would not go into technical details of work and try as much as possible to anonymise the things. I am not going to send proof because this is the only livelihood I have and I don’t want to lose job just because I talk bad about the organization on reddit. I swear, my direct supervisor maybe on reddit and he not really on good terms with me. Also, apologise in advance for bad English, I’m not good with English since young (poly graduate).

Anyway, I see that the SMRT problem has been getting worse ever since the time when we had the “cable tie” problem. It seems to be getting worse, but like what they always say: “We are working on it”. No, seriously, we are working on it, if only the people here aren’t that all lazy and complacent. People always say to me: Why SMRT don’t have SOP? Why they don’t tell the SM what to do at station if train breakdown? Actually, we have SOP. The SOP is quite long and covers almost all situation, even those that you have never experience before. You know why people don’t follow or cut corners on SOP? Because it’s boring and repetitive. Our station staff get lazy. Why must check XYZ every hour? Check if this thing locked? No need lah, won’t happen one. Limpeh work for 25 years NEVER happen, don’t worry! At least according to one of my colleagues. Some of them have worked for 30 years in the company and yet, they are still slacking off. Yes, 30 years. Old old birds, from the time where we got wear epaulets on grey shirt.

You might be thinking: Okay lah, people get bored with repetitive stuff. Men would know from NS, it gets boring after the 200th time you go patrol the camp. But this is getting out of hand. Some of my colleagues, who working in station, go sleep for like a few hours every shift. Sleep, play games or even just lepak. Some are still hardworking, even though they sleep, but some really cmi. One station the aircon went out, the SM did not deploy fans, because want to sleep. Also, other stations had things where the station staff go handle “suspicious articles” like as if not suspicious. What if that thing explode? I don’t want to imagine.

Sometimes it even gets criminal. You know why LTA suddenly got idea to go cashless by 2020? It’s not smart nation, that is just excuse for covering up something worse. Because station staff always “borrow” money from the PSC cash drawer to buy lunch/dinner/groceries and then they either: lie on the cash report or they blame other staff for the shortage. That is what I suspect is true reason and there was this incident in the news where the Tanah Merah SM stole $20k from the PSC. Another thing is I heard got staff who always like to scold passengers if they blur or if they scold at them. I know we are not customer service kind of training, but that is bad customer service.

The staff not scared of being fired? They are not scared. Because every time got problem, CEO and top management, those university educated people, get the blame. They all attend the conferences and kena sai from public. We all are the ones who did it, but we never kena, only cut bonus or kena “strongly worded” email. Yes, maybe the pump incident they got, because that is almost criminal. But most of the time, our uncle Desmond and Khaw take the blame. We all don’t. Sometimes like ironic because the passengers give gifts to staff who I know are lazy. They all also cannot fire because: we all collude with our supervisors, who is usually someone we know who got promoted or they have no proof one. If got proof also, one of the colleagues say he gonna post on social media and shame SMRT and their million dollar management for firing someone who is working very hard to feed his family, even though I know he always cut corners and slack off. You know what? Singaporeans will accept the story, because blue collar worker kena fired by men in white. Oppo figures also repost, because can use for politics and shame government. Win win right? But commuters never win, the lazy staff will get the job back through pressure by public.

What can outside people do? Actually, I also don’t know. I want to say should follow Donald Trump (I don’t support him) slogan: “Drain the swamp”. The SMRT is just basically a swamp filled with leeches. Top to bottom, all of them like your NSmen: lazy, chao keng, siam and arrow people. People tell me they should replace Desmond with HK/JP/don’t know what CEO. But for what? Some colleagues even got the cheek to say: “better lah, cos japan ceo always take blame and they cut salary. Shiok, still can enjoy bonus.” and that cos Japan companies like to shame workers by removing responsibilities: “shiok ah. Don’t need to do work still get paid”. How to fix liddat? You need to remove this people, they already got the mindset of not doing work.

I heard SMRT is hiring FT from nearby countries because they not enough local talent who want to join MRT especially with the news. I actually support that idea, because they all are at least hard working and if they don’t do work, they have to leave Singapore. My colleagues all jealous when the FT gets award by SMRT, but my personal experience is, at least they do their work and they don’t go against everyone. I not saying that I want FT to work, but it’s actually better for the train system.

I finish ranting already, fed up but I like trains and the work. Feel free to ask questions, I am here to answer them. Don’t ask sensitive question, I don’t want people know.

His older posts can be found below:





Has this person been discretely telling all of us what is wrong with the mrt on reddit all along?

Was this a signal for help?

The posts were just too intimate to be an IB.

It’s heartfelt, you could almost feel the pain reading it.

mrtguy. We hear you. Help is coming.