I was waiting for my best friend Xuwen, a programmer, at one of the public libraries the other day. I discovered that on one of the floors there was a makerspace. “Cool,” I thought. “I’ll check it out.”
There was a woman manning the desk at the entrance.
“Can I come work in here?” I asked.
“Are you registered?”
I shook my head. “Can I register myself?”
“What are you working on?”
“I’m working on a science fiction novel.”
“Sorry, this space is for people using technology only.”
I look around. There are two people in a space that could accommodate forty.
“Come on, there’s almost nobody here. It’s SCIENCE fiction.”
She grows stiff. “I’d love to, but I’m sorry, you need to use the common spaces.”
“I could end up collaborating with people who are using technology. I’m writing ABOUT technology.”
“Sorry, you have to leave.”
Congratulations, Singapore, you have just achieved escape velocity in maximum irony. You just turned away a science fiction WRITER in an empty makerspace in a public library.
“Whatever,” I say and back out of the room.
This is why I just choose not to engage, really. What’s the point? I do so much better and it’s so much better for my sanity if I just “stick to the common areas”. Sigh.
Also, when in doubt, it’s better to laugh than to cry.
PS I hesitated to write this cos I don’t want to get anyone fired, but well. Sigh.