WARNING: Long rant ahead …
(but based on a true story)
Hello, my name is John and I’m a taxi driver.
Contrary to common misperception, I am really nice and will go the extra mile to make your journey a pleasant one. For instance, I will always greet you when you board my cab and will help carry your luggage (if any). Hence there’s absolutely no chance that I will ever be attacked by a celebrity. As a professional, I also take safety very seriously. To demonstrate my commitment, I often make the extra effort to travel at 20 km/h below the expressway’s speed limit, regardless of the lane I’m on.
When I’m not being the nice and professional taxi driver on the road, I spend 100% of my free time at my
spanking sparkling HDB flat. I really like my flat and I think it’s the best. In fact, I love it so much I’ve done two major renovations on it within this year. Admittedly the resulting noise can sometimes be a little loud. But I’m sure my understanding neighbours (along with their crying babies) will find this minor sacrifice well worth it when they share my joy in seeing the finished product, coz my flat is the best.
One day, however, the world collapsed around me when a little wet patch was spotted on my perfect kitchen ceiling above my perfect kitchen cabinet to ruin my latest perfect renovation job. Though I don’t ever recall seeing that area being wet before my renovation began (and since time immemorial), my contractor was adamant the fault lies with my neighbour living above. I know that my honest contractor always tells the truth, and therefore must be trusted. Moreover, my flat is the best so the fault must definitely lie elsewhere.
After calling my neighbour (whom I later found out to be a mathematics tutor) daily once every 2 hours, I managed to arrange for my contractor to visit her home, where I have no doubt the problematic spot will be found. And she would then have to rectify it, so that my renovation job remains perfect, and my flat shall continue to be the best.
To my surprise, they couldn’t find any leak on her kitchen floor. I cannot accept this. Most likely they didn’t check properly due to too many things placed there. It is not supposed to end this way because my flat is the best.
Undeterred, I called the HDB daily once every 2 hours to arrange for an inspector to visit her home, where I have no doubt the problematic spot will be found. And she would then have to rectify it, so that my renovation job remains perfect, and my flat shall continue to be the best.
To my surprise, the HDB inspector couldn’t find any leak on her kitchen floor. I cannot accept this. Most likely he didn’t check properly due to too many things placed there. It is not supposed to end this way because my flat is the best.
Undeterred, I called the HDB daily once every 2 hours to ensure they remind my neighbour daily once every 2 hours to arrange for another visit to perform a series of tests on her kitchen floor. I was told these tests will result in her being unable to use her kitchen taps for 3 days. But I’m sure she won’t mind this minor inconvenience one bit, especially when she sees the completed renovation on my flat, which will be the best.
This time though, the tests (whatever they were) concluded that there might be a leak in a hidden pipe beneath her kitchen floor (though the exact location remains a mystery). I am overjoyed. Justice has prevailed! She MUST now rectify it ASAP, or risk not being invited to my
show off housewarming party after the renovation is completed on my flat, which is the best.
Unfortunately my neighbour is seldom home so it is difficult to fix a time to resolve this. I cannot understand this. How busy can a mathematics tutor be? How can helping students excel in their mathematics exams be more important than fixing the little wet patch on my kitchen ceiling?
To make things worse she suddenly went missing for a week. I heard from another neighbour that she went on a shopping trip to Japan. I cannot accept this. Staring forlornly at the wet patch for hours end with concurrent thoughts of her happily shopping away in Japan was an experience I would never wish upon anyone. This has affected my work and in turn exposed me to the risk of being attacked by a celebrity.
To cut this long blog post short, I finally managed to fix a time with her upon her return. But not before giving her a lecture on how to be a good neighbour, with an emphasis on her obligation to inform me the next time prior to going overseas. At the same time, I wanted to counsel her to be more prudent with her money, not to waste it on useless things like shoes and clothes (though I’ll secretly admit she looks really sexy in them) when they could have been spent on better things like renovation.
However, I decided to tell this to her on another day as it was obvious she wasn’t on a good mood that day (nothing to do with me though) …
Given that my
uncooperative neighbour is only home for a limited time during working hours, the assigned contractor has arranged to fix the leak in 3 days with 3 workers working 2 hours per day.
At the end of the second day, unfortunately, one of the workers fell sick and there was no replacement. On average, how many more hours must each of the remaining men work for the remaining day in order to complete the job?
I immediately called my neighbour and asked her to solve the above problem for me but she said she was busy with her class before abruptly hanging up on me. Subsequent calls once every 2 hours were not picked up. I cannot accept this. How busy can a mathematics tutor be to the extent of not helping me solve a simple mathematical problem on demand? As such, I think she’s a really lousy mathematics tutor and I pity her students.
So if you’re reading this, can you help me solve the above problem so that I can inform that lousy mathematics tutor how much longer she is obliged to be at home for the work to be completed on the last day?
If you can do that, I may even invite you to my housewarming party when everything is done, where you can then have the rare privilege of admiring my flat, which will be the best of the best.