Saturday, June 25, 2011

Project Dignity

Three people down with flu. This is important when you are dealing with food and critical when it involves people with disabilities. They have to rest.

KH and QA training is not as easy. There are three primary role in a hawker stall - cooking, serving and cashier. The most difficult for the two of them is cashier's role. They are good with the POS machine and to them it is like a gaming console. Their weakness is their sense of money. They cannot differentiate and do simple arithmetic. In terms of differentiation they can differentiate the dollars notes but not the coins. Addition and subtraction is difficult when you cannot differentiate the coins and as a hawker you need to do it and do it fast. We innovate in terms of teaching aids to help them. For the money issues we went back to basic and use hands and fingers to teach. For the arithmetic we use forks and spoons, one spoon or fork is 5 cents and two is 10 cents. Later we progress to division and multiplication using trays and fork/spoon. We even got the other hawkers to help out. Both KH and QA have to use cash to buy their food, not allow to use cards purchased from the Centre management. The ladies at the drink stalls even took time off to teach boys when they buy the drinks.

Last day for V and R. They are our first dropouts. Two reasons. One is hawker work is not for everyone and two is that they did not tell us about his epileptic fits. It will be difficult to be in a hawker environment when you have fits. My learning from this episode in terms of training is that better managing of people with disabilities especially those who suffered their disabilities when they were abled at one time. If you are born blind from young you do not experience the sighted world and hence you cope with the disability. When you however are disabled in your 20's or 30's, there is a phase of acceptance and training have to be very different, more time consuming. It remind of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's Five Stages of Dying - Denial / Anger / Bargaining / Depression / Acceptance

Looking at the accounts. There a state of equilibrium when the outlay/spending balance off with the income generated. If you draw a graph of money(vertical axis) vs time (horizontal axis), the curve of your investment will keep falling until a stage where the curve will stablise around a certain figure- this is the state of equilibrium. From this stage you have to make the curve goes upward. This mean that your business entity is generating a reasonable income. You are still bleeding but at least it is slower. Not hemorrhaging :-)

Chinese New Year coming, it is time to thanks many people who has help us from the beginning. Bought several boxes of oranges and barbecue pork and personally deliver to those people who has help us.

Conducted the interview for elderly for this next batch of students. In the selection of these students (unlike the intellectually challenged), the main criteria is attitude. Not experience or age. Interview of 11 elderly ranging from 60 yr old to 82 yr old. How do you tell attitude? It is the way they ask question - the mindset of wanting to learn more and the willingness to work on it. I am not worried if the question centers around money as I believe I pay better than McDonald. They do not want to work shift, want to work with friends, the travel distance cannot be too far...... selected 2 out of the 11 for the next batch

Team building is not a one off event of climbing trees and felling off into the trusted arms of your colleague. Cheapest is dinner celebration like christmas lunch and reunion dinner. Treat your employee like family.

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