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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reliable Contractor 3: Kim Huat Electric

The man who owns Kim Huat Electric is called Cliff. He looks thin and dried out, has teeth stained by years of smoking, and hands that shake when he holds a pen. I am told that this is the result of having been electrocuted innumerable times in his long career. He used to run a largish company and did very large jobs. One day however, a main contractor did not pay him his electrician's fees amounting to 6 figures. Things were bad for a few years (whilst he recovered from the big financial dent) and the experience made him selective of clients and business partners. To weather the possible lean times, he keeps his operations small - 2 employees only. Strangely, Cliff's hands don't shake when he is working with his wires.

Cliff is taciturn and unfailingly polite. I suppose he is the sort that believes that if there is nothing important to say, then don't say anything. He has a long time Thai employee who, had he grown up with all the opportunities Singaporeans generally have enjoyed in the last 2 decades, would probably be highly educated. I say so because this Thai fellow's children are DOCTORS, thanks to a father who found employment in Singapore. The children's intelligence and good work ethic must have come from him. When a very hardworking and intelligent man does a blue collar job, you can be sure that it'll be a job well done.

I saw Cliff and his team work through all of 10 months, and not once did I find anything amiss. He has both an eye and a head for detail. No other specialist contractor that I worked with could remember all the details I had briefed. Cliff remembered so well that he recalled things that I had forgotten. He would say something and when I checked my own minutes and drawings, I found that he was right.

Cliff's number is 96250250.


Anonymous said...

Well done Cliff!

Blur Ting said...

Wow. People like them are so rare these days.

petunialee said...

Yup! Cliff is a rare breed.