How does a six-year-old boy prove that he holds no other occupation but “full-time student” in pedantic Singapore?
The reason I’m asking is because students get awesome perks. They get discounts on public transport, pay less when buying Apple computers, get to tour Europe at lower prices, and qualify for concession ticket prices when going for concerts. Your student concession pass is as good as a discount card.
But what if you’re too young to get a student concession pass, because you’re only six, and in K2?
I had to deal with this question yesterday when I was at a SISTIC authorised agent at VivoCity to buy tickets to the SSO Chamber Series: Stradivari Quartet – The Great Beethoven I concert happening on Feb 10. My lad Asher, who is in Kindergarten 2 this year, has just started learning to play the violin, so he got real excited when he saw a poster of the event at Victoria Concert Hall where we caught a Kidsfest 2017 performance. He made me promise to bring him to watch the Stradivari Quartet perform.
I, for one, have never asked my parents to bring me to any symphony orchestra concert at any age. Listening to a free performance at the Botanic Gardens was a treat enough, but when a child asks for a chance to be a part of a cultured concert audience at a proper hall, I can’t bring myself to say no.
So there I was at the SISTIC counter, explaining that I wanted one standard ticket for myself and one concession ticket for my six-year-old son. But because my son doesn’t have a student concession card, I was warned by the sales agent at the counter that I would run the risk of being rejected at the door for using a concession ticket.
And she had spent at least 10 minutes on the phone to SISTIC, clarifying that indeed this would be the case. She didn’t just cook it up: It’s not SISTIC being difficult; they’re just trying to pre-empt problems which could arise from the absence of a student pass. SISTIC just sells the tickets and the event organiser has the right to turn away people at the door.
I was stymied. I am not trying to pass off a full-grown person as a student. I am bringing a preschooler who is only 112 cm in height and has never known a day of work in his life other than a short stint at Kidzania. What kind of proof do I need to show that the door that this patron is a “student”? What other occupation can my son be holding?
She looked apologetically at me and explained that the usher at the concert door may not share my (subjective) view. He or she would require (objective) proof that my son was a legitimate student.
I decided to save myself the grief of a potential future argument which could mar the evening of Feb 10 and just bought two standard tickets instead. It’s just a $5 difference between the standard and concession price but it just didn’t feel right.
Surely, there must be some way to allow young children who have yet to reach primary school age, and yet old enough to appreciate such cultural performances, to be viewed as concession holders?
I’ve written in to SISTIC; let’s see what they say.