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'Saman Aunty' - the one that we all love to hate, for she is the reason we have to pay fines. But she's just doing her job, maybe we should cut her some slack?

28 Mar 2019

Ah, the 'saman aunty'... Clad in her iconic blue-and-white uniform and armed with an evil calculator-looking device, this legendary makcik is the stuff Singaporean nightmares are made of.

Having paid copious amounts in 'tuition fees' (read: fines) to train our eyes to spot her from afar, most drivers are familiar with the heart-stopping feeling of seeing parking attendants walk through the car park, leaving that dreaded white slip on our windscreen.

It's no wonder why we have no love for the saman aunty. How can you blame us? She issues parking fines! Drivers avoid her like the plague, running to their cars at the slightest hint of her presence.

However, have you ever paused to imagine how awful that must feel?

Slogging under the hot sun while getting confronted by frustrated drivers from day to day, the 'saman aunty' sure has a diffcult job
Parking enforcement is not an easy job.

… Especially given how many of us like to scrimp on coupons and park next to continuous white lines. (ahem)

The summons aunty job is comparable to manning the complaints call centre hotline - except its face-to-face. Every day, she gets scolded by frustrated drivers who sometimes, even get physical. Remember when a poor aunty got slapped over $1.50?

Even when it doesn't come down a fist fight, a verbal display of Hokkien vulgarities is just as much abuse. Moreover, let's say they don't get yelled at or punched - it must still be extremely demoralising to see the disdain in people's eyes, and have people run from you like a leper. All this just for literally doing your job! Such working conditions are enough to drive anyone crazy, and is bound to take an emotional toll on anyone.

Don't push the blame! You will not have been fined if you had duly paid your parking fees
So yes, to all the 'saman aunties' - here's some love from us!

Perhaps your friend spat out his bak chor mee, or tripped over himself while running to stop her - whatever it is, we all have fond memories of our 'near-death' experiences.

Fond memories that turn into stories we tell at dinner; stories that make us snort coffee out of our nose and throw our heads back in laughter.  

If you're still petty about that $70 parking fine… shame on you! What right do you have to be angry with her? You're the one doing illegal things and trying to siam parking fees. You don't expect to eat at a restaurant and leave without paying, so why should you expect to park for free? Moreover, you should cherish these moments because they might just be your last few.

Nowadays, EPS parking is a common syste, which means beloved 'saman aunties' might very well be phased out before long
Singapore is an increasingly 'faceless' smart nation.

As you know, Singapore is taking steps to become a Smart Nation. Everything is getting increasingly digitised - from Baymax 'nurses' to tray-collecting Wall-Es at the Kopitiam.

It's only a matter of time before the robots take over the roads too. We won't be surprised if our beloved 'saman aunties' are phased out within the next few years. After all, we already pay for parking online: It's either via the Electronic Pricing System (EPS) or the app if it's at a non-EPS car park. Do you even know anyone who still pops parking coupons?!

Automating parking enforcement is the next logical step in the flow, and then it'll be 'bye bye' to these iconic 'saman aunties'. So the next time you pass her by, make sure to give her hug or a high-five to make her day! For all you know, maybe someone's is watching and deciding whether to waive your fine?

Oh, and if you often find yourself getting angry over fines, here's an idea…

Don't be so giam siap and actually pay for your parking!

We understand that parking is a major expense for drivers, which is why we have the sgCarMart Carpark app to help you search for the cheapest car parks in your vicinity. Go on, try it - you'll be surprised at how much you can save!
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