Even though seeing seats being “chope-d” at coffee shops, food courts and eateries around Singapore may seem like a common enough sight for most Singaporeans, it seems like that unique part of our culture isn’t that well-received by some people.
Just on Wednesday (10 August), a man announced in the Complaint Singapore Facebook group that he had filed a police report after getting into an argument with an elderly lady who “chope-d” a table at Toast Box with a pack of tissues.
According to the man, who goes by Manmeet Singh on Facebook, the incident occurred at the Tan Tock Seng Outlet of Toast Box on the morning of 8 August.
With his post titled “DOWN WITH TISSUE CHOP TABLE!!!”, he recounted how the woman allegedly made a series of mistakes, including eavesdropping on the conversation between Singh and his friends.
He then wrote that the woman “ignorantly” left her spot in the queue in order to “chope” a table with a tissue packet.
He also noted that there were many empty tables in Toast Box at that point in time, but that the queue was rather long.
Upon seeing this, Singh and his friends started to talk about how her actions were rude, which the woman overheard.
She then apparently told him that it was “none of [his] f***ing business”, and did not listen even when Singh tried to tell her that “chope-ing” a table was rude.
Singh then went on to add that the woman and her friend started to talk extremely loudly and stared at him directly as well after they got their food.
He also added that he felt “harassed”, and finally lost his temper after trying to get them to keep quiet multiple times.
Singh then swore at the woman in Hokkien, before adding that he felt that the incident could have completely been avoided in the first place.
In the caption of his post, he also wrote that after “all the bad attitude towards me and my [friend,] I don’t see why I shouldn’t react.”
According to Him, the Woman Called the Police First
In the post, Singh also clarified that he was not the one who called the police, and that it was the woman who did so.
Although he told the police officer that he did not wish to pursue the incident at first, the officer apparently “advised [him] to make a report for record [purposes]”.
He also attached photos of the police report, including the various details of the entire incident, in his post.
“Read and please be wise with your comments please [advise] to what/ who is right of way and what could have been done to have avoided this embarrassing issue, in the first place,” Singh added.
When contacted by AsiaOne, police officers confirmed that Singh had indeed filed a police report over this incident.
In the comments section, many Singaporeans were quick to point the blame on Singh despite the fact that he was the one who made the post.
Many noted that filing a police report over a commonly-seen part of our culture was nothing but a minor incident, and one Facebook user questioned why he was “wasting police resources” when the issue was a “private affair” between Singh and the lady.
“Highly doubt the police would want to get [involved] in this. IO would probably recommend you & the other party settle the dispute among yourselves amicably, by whatever means as long as it doesn’t involve violence,” another user added.
Some questioned if such a prominent part of our local culture should even be up for debate in the first place, while others advised Singh to just “close one eye” and let it slide, given that “chope-ing” is extremely common in Singapore.
Additionally, there were also users who pointed out that the woman might have a valid reason for wanting to “chope” a particular seat.
“Perhaps she had a preference for a seat which she wanted for herself, which some of us do. Nothing wrong totally. And in Singapore unless the person specifically walks out of the cafe it is assumed he/she will join back the queue,” one netizen commented.
In response to those comments, Singh wrote that even though “chope-ing” seats may be part of our culture in Singapore, one should not leave the queue to “chope” a table.
He even added, “[If you] have any manners, [you] will never accept this attitude”.
However, his comments led to some netizens criticising him for not being able to take the heat even though he had asked netizens to advise him on whether or not he was in the right.
On the other hand, there were also a handful of commenters who expressed their support for Singh and agreed that the elderly woman was being rude towards him.
Others expressed that they also dislike the “chope-ing” culture in Singapore and said that we should do away with it.
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Featured Image: Facebook (Manmeet Singh + Toast Box Singapore)
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