Saturday, June 24, 2006

"if you don't like pushing paperwork, what do you like?"

That was the key phrase that stumped me as my supervisor enquired of me why I was quitting after a week on the job.

She got me on that one. There were so many answers I just didn't know where to begin.

Then it struck me. She was coming from an entirely different planet altogether. I was never meant for this job. So I politely came up with some self-depreciating comment about my incompetence with numbers and such (which isn't without basis by the way).

"Then how come you managed to last one month the last time you worked here?"

Well. The truth was it was a different supervisor who didn't just throw tonnes of greek at me and tell me hey - deadline in 2 days.

"Because the work last year was easy. I just keyed in things."

Also probably because last time I didn't get emails between 2am-4am in the morning about things to be done.

"I think I can't fit into the pace of work here, the work culture."

Indeed. I don't. Somehow I pity my friends who have careers or are about to have careers in lawyering, accounting, and all those kinds of specialist paperwork processors, always working around rules, legislations, legal frameworks, audit trails, tax complicance, going around and around in the bureaucracy.

But hey, maybe they find it a great challenge? Fair enough. Or hey - its just work. Yea so is driving the squeaky little van running around making deliveries.

Somehow maybe I'm very low-level material, but to me that's more fulfilling than figuring out how to justify putting 70% of this entity's support time into the German company's expense sheet. Nevermind whether or not 70% of the time was actually spent supporting the German company. Your job is to explain it away.

But of course, money ought to override all the most boring, redundant, ridiculous, unreasonable working conditions and supervisors and also dull away all the possibly unethical implications of your work right?

No wonder they paid me $9 an hour.

Too bad. I quit still. This work is not for me.

More things in life than corporate glamour, big money, expensive cars and suits and big lunches. I'm not going to numb myself half-dead just for all that.

Also, the last 2 full-time people who were here before me didn't last more than 3 months each either. So at least I know its not just me.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

the rat race

finished the internship. What a teary send-off.

I immediately got a position at some MNC I had worked in before. It's at SGX Tower 1. The corporate rat race. Every morning walking with the throngs of executives and what-nots in the underpass to shenton way.

The pay's good, but the pace of work terrifying.

Taxation is something totally new to me, but I'm just being slammed in headlong in the work and muddling about figuring things out as I go.

I fell ill yesterday and it got worse, so I left work early. I told my sup: I might be on MC tomorrow as I'm going to see the doc. Been having a fever runny nose for past few days. She was like "why don't you get a jab so you'll recover faster then you can come back tomorrow afternoon".

Also, "could you wait till next Monday to get sick because I'll be on leave then"

Who knows. I might not last more than the first week there. I'm learning too slowly and the only reason I can think I'm still there is that they have no other alternative.

I get emails from her at 3am in the morning. Terrifying. They really bleed for their nice suits and extravagant spending.

Anyway, I have 2 days of MC and I intend to actually take at least one day...

But guess what. I'm actually feeling bad about taking MC and thinking about that pile of stuff sitting there to be cleared...

This is a different kind of work experience compared to what I've had in my previous jobs...

Monday, June 05, 2006

Of the Devil and the Holy Spirit

Its been over a week since the car's gone. Well. Still getting used to it.

Right now I'm blogging during office hours in my office. That is so "evil".

Talk about evil. Tomorrow is 06-06-06. 666 if you like. Mark of the devil. Launch of the newest incarnation of that old movie "The Omen". Although as far as I remember from the previous movie I don't think that "devil's child" was actually born on the 6th of June 1966 or something. Nah that would have four 6s (6666) and that would be one 6 too many of what we're supposed to look out for as the mark of the devil.

Anyway as far as I remember from Revelations "666" is the mark of the devil on people who belong to Satan close to the last days of earth. I wonder how it was actually translated over from the original. But it definately isn't a date we're looking out for so launching The Omen on 06-06-06 is just mere hype and marketing gimmick.

A long rambling rant my typical blog entry tends to be, and I make no apologies. As you may have noticed I did try in my previous entries to mark out the different sections or topics by drawing "-----------------------------" lines but I have decided I shall no longer bother. After all, this is definately not newswriting or PR writing where I write to please somebody or catch someone's attention. Imagine the lengths writers compromise themselves just to achieve all that. So keep up if you can or skim through if you think you can catch the essence of what I'm trying to say with just a once-over. But you'd probably never have as much fun as I have writing all this nonsense :P

Internship is ending (salvation is at hand!) but then I have to start planning constructively what I want to do with the remainder of my holidays.

But, what have I learnt so far? Well, personally and spiritually, many things. Things about church and church activities and people, workplace, other Christians, non-Christians, people of varying denominations, other religions, and the struggle to live out Christ's command to "love God" and "love thy neighbour as thyself" at all areas wherever we can

My dream FYP would be to do a content analysis of all the recent movies based on Christian themes (Da Vinci Code, The Omen, Passion of the Christ) and some older ones like The Last Temptation of Christ) and the effects of these movies on audiences, Christians, non-Christians, people of other religions, etc

Another thing - I think I understand why I've been very weary to things like "the prompting of the Holy Spirit" in certain things like making decisions and so on - there is no Biblical basis for that. After praying make the decision to the best of your ability with humility and concern for others and in clear conscience before God and in God's name. God won't give you a sign or some feeling of what decision you should make.

Look at Acts 1. When they needed a replacement apostle, they chose amongst many to the best of their ability by testimony 2 of them just as well suited to the task and couldn't decide among them, so they prayed and cast lots. Notice even the apostles didn't pray and then the Holy Spirit whispered to them or gave them some 'feeling' that they should choose Matthias.

But that is the way many Christians are justifying their decisions! By assuming some feeling they have to be the Holy Spirit leading or prompting them to do something. There is no biblical basis for this.

Even if you quote me the account of Philip's witness to the Ethopian eunuch you must notice in the KJV Bible there were many terms used "angel of the Lord", "Spirit", "Spirit of the Lord" and not only that, that Spirit whisked Philip away after it was all over. And earlier in that passage they talk clearly and in distinct terms about the "Holy Ghost". So, a translation true to the original Greek uses different terms.

I know, in NIV all these different terms were simply changed to "Spirit" or "Holy Spirit" so ppl will simply think they all refer to the same thing. That's the problem with translations that are not literal. They read easily but also have interpretations embedded into them.

Are we sure we can just simply call them all the same thing just so we can justify our "Holy Spirit feeling" prompting us what to do? How do you know this actually is the Holy Spirit? The never says the Holy Spirit is some feeling...beware... what could it be then?

To sum up:
The Holy Spirit is NOT some subjective feeling you get after praying or something like that. He is the Comforter. He will teach all things (no not by speaking some stuff into your head - but to convict you of the truth of the scriptures as you read and learn about them and as you go about your daily life in light of them)

We have feelings and emotions because we are of God. But we MUSN'T claim these feelings to be the Holy Spirit because even in the Bible there is no basis.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? - Jeremiah 17:9

I'm open to counters so please feel free to post here.