Hardware In Step With Software?

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THERE seems to be no escaping the sparkle of Jewel Changi Airport in social media and on other media platforms.

An architectural attraction, the mixed use facility is another feather in Singapore’s cap when it comes to building aviation infrastructures. Something to trumpet to the world, though it essentially tags on more retail and dining concepts, to branded features, including a garden, hotel and the world’s larest indoor waterfall to an aviation facility.

While we celebrate the hardware, what’s the state of the software?

hearing

Out Of Joint

This morning I flew into Terminal 2 and had to sort out an issue with one of my bags.

It was around 2am and there were two not unfriendly ladies attending to lots of bags waiting to be processed and with no owners in sight.

No issues with getting the paperwork sorted out, and everything was proceeding smoothly when along came a frazzled Chinese woman.

She ran into the room and started speaking in Mandarin. Both the ladies were neither Chinese nor could they speak Mandarin.

“Speak English?” one asked.

The passenger looked distraught and said something else in Mandarin.

Fortunately for her, my wife managed to resurrect her Mandarin from its near comatose state and helped communicate her query about a lost bag. The two ladies then sent her off to another room where orphaned bags are corralled.


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For an international airport that prides itself on its efficiency, this was an example of how some things can fall through the cracks. It could have been a scheduling issue or maybe there isn’t that much to do at that time of the morning, but regardless, a 24/7 facility should be ready to cope with anything that is part of its work process.

Perhaps it might be worthwhile setting up a department that could offer simple translation services on the phone. It could help with queries such as the Chinese woman had.

And instead of setting up an office to have the translators work from, they could do it from their home or via mobile phone, rostered and available round the clock. And this could be a service provided across a number of organisations that have to deal with different nationalities, or people speaking a variety of languages.

It would help to speed up the process of resolving issues and also cut down on waiting time, especially in urgent situations.

Images: Shutterstock

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