My dad is a firm believer in the rule of law. He doesn’t go against the system, not even for “victimless crimes”.
My Mom and Dad
Let me give some context to this anecdote – this was almost 30 years ago, when we were living in Kuching. I knew the time and place coz the Royal London Circus had come to town and I was very keen to go and see it. We were living in Kuching at the time since my dad was posted there as a Nazir (translates loosely to Inspector).
He was on a School Inspector salary so we didn’t have much, but we made do. What my dad did back then was to go to schools and inspect the implementation of the syllabus and the state of educational institutions. If you’ve been to high school in Malaysia, you’ve probably seen someone like him – he was the guy that sat silently behind in classes to watch what the teachers teach and how the students interact.
My family and I on a holiday – from left – my grandma, sister, me, my mom and dad
That’s not how he got his strong ethics though, that has always been there. He always told us to put our seat belts on, at a time when no one did (early 80’s). Since the circus was in town, the roads were jammed due to everyone illegally double parking. It was a long walk to the circus and we were going to be late and I was badgering my dad to just park and go.
He wouldn’t have any of it. With my late mom’s urging, he nearly caved in but he didn’t. Instead, he drove to a Shell station, which was really far away and nicely asked the attendant if he could park there. The attendant didn’t have the authority to say yes or no, so calls were made (this was before cell phones) and we waited almost 30 minutes before someone called back to say we could.
It was only then that we left the car in the Shell station and walked 30 miles (it could have just been 1 kilometer, but still, it seemed far back then) to the circus. My dad had been working all day and was tired and I could appreciate how hard it is to keep up with a young kid like me (I understand this better since I have kids of my own right now). I am all the more appreciative now that he didn’t go the easy way and was patient enough to wait till the proper authorizations were done before taking two hyperactive kids to the circus. I was grateful that they allowed us to park at the station premises after the circumstances were explained.
That incident made a long lasting impression of the good people at Shell.
Fast-forward to today, I always make it a point to go to Shell for my petrol needs. Not only because of the good impression that I have of the company, but because of their superior service. The attendants are very attentive to all their customers, and I can always rely on them to fill up my tank dutifully while I grab some snacks from the Select Store. To up the game – my fuel tank was once filled by the station manager – and she didn’t mind it a bit, even though she could have just asked the service attendant to do the job. This is customer-orientated service. No matter what position they hold, they are dedicated to making sure that customers are well-taken care of.
In front of the Grand Old Lady site, Miri, Sarawak
Shell was the first company to extract oil and gas in Malaysia. The site of the first well producing oil is still here (although it’s no longer functional). It’s called the Grand Old Lady and it’s located in Miri, not too far from where I was born in Sibu.
Shell in Malaysia employs a significant number of people and contributes not just to the economy, but also towards road safety awareness, scholarships for Malaysians, and quality-of-life corporate social responsibility initiatives like the “We Care, We Share” community care programs.
Shell also has core values that my dad can relate to – honesty, integrity and respect for all people as their business principles. Tell me, what are your Shell #StationStories? #ShellKita