Sat, Apr 27, 2013 - Page 5 News List

FEATURE: Senior MRT volunteer is just happy helping others

By Wu Liang-yi and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Chang said he went over and taught the person how to exit the station using the token, but the traveler could not swallow their pride and merely said: “Why is the thing so difficult to use?” before leaving.

Chang said that after several years he has grown used to such behavior and usually does not mind it, adding that he focuses instead on the thanks he receives from people he has helped.

Furthermore, Chang’s proficiency in Japanese — a result of his childhood Japanese education — helps him interact with Japanese tourists.

Chang said there was once a Japanese tourist who had seemingly lost his wallet and had asked for help at the desk, but despite calling the police, no progress could be made because no one present understood Japanese.

Chang was called over and on questioning the man, he ascertained the tourist was unsure of whether he had brought his wallet with him when he left his hotel. On calling the hotel he found out that the man had indeed left it in his room.

The tourist was very surprised, and said he was very impressed with MRT personnel, Chang said.

In his decade-and-a-half as a volunteer, Chang said he has realized that as a volunteer it is necessary to have empathy and patience.

“You have to be able to step into someone’s shoes and think like them. Think what you would do if you were in their position,” Chang said.

Chang said he intends to continue as an MRT volunteer until he can no longer stand, adding that he is happy to be able to contribute to society in any way he can.

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