Update: Those interested in this role, can look at this job listing instead that is still accepting applications until July 14, 2021.
A tray return ambassador job listing in Singapore was offering a princely S$2,000 to S$2,500 monthly salary for the role, which is assumed to be a full-time job.
The job listing was put up one year ago in June 2020 before the recent changes in regulation that has made it mandatory for patrons to return their own trays.
Workplace: Hawker centre
The vocation is a contract position in customer service, and involves working weekends, public holidays and even after office hours in a hawker centre without air-conditioning.
The job ad has, naturally, led many to perceive it as a well-remunerated offer, and perhaps, even too much considering how little hawker centre cleaners make a month as low-wage workers i.e. usually not above S$1,300.
However, a closer look at the ad shows that a tray return ambassador is more than just pointing fingers and using eye power to instruct others to return their soiled crockery and trays.
And there is no overlap with a hawker centre cleaner.
Other similar roles currently listed
A similar role is currently offered, but with a much lower pay at S$1,400 to S$2,200 and is open to fresh and entry level candidates.
Yet another listing supposedly requested for two years' experience -- a detail which drew umbrage from those skimming the ad.
There was even another listing that allegedly offered higher salary for degree holders for the tray return ambassador role.
What job really entails
The full job scope when hashed out appears to involve a lot of planning and communication just to get patrons to return their trays.
The customer service function relates to having to "improve the adoption rate of tray return habit by patrons", as well as "ensure patrons/ stallholders observe safe-distancing measures".
This basically means to get people to return their trays while ensuring safe distancing of 1m.
Need to talk a lot
Under the main duties description, which spells out the actual work required, it appears the role is a highly communicative one that involves a lot of talking and instructing.
This is contrary to the first impressions that the role involves returning trays and making sure hawker centres are neat and tidy with little to no spillage or waste left over on tables and chairs.
Some of the duties involve having to "develop, plan and execute promotional activities to nudge patrons to return their trays and soiled crockery", as well as "engage and encourage patrons to participate in tray return activities".
This is on top of having to "plan, conduct and evaluate outreach sharing sessions".
A tray return ambassador is also tasked with enforcement, which is to make patrons comply with existing rules, which can lead to adversarial scenarios if done without tact.
As the role requires a lot of communication with people who might be hard of hearing or hard of learning, "fluency in dialect is an added advantage", the listing indicated.
This is to ensure all manner of communicating with others will be explored -- as well as to reach out to the elderly who might not speak English.
So, if you're keen, do continue to look out for more of such jobs here.
Top photo via National Environment Agency Facebook