My male religious teacher (Ustaz) once told me that everyone in the world has his fate and future cut out for him.
This was after we had a class discussion on why can’t everyone in the world be smart and rich. According to him, everything has to have a balance, even in society. That means to say that while some people may be filthy rich with Trillions of Dollars stashed in their Swiss Bank accounts, others have to live with the fact that they need to sweep heaps of rubbish everyday to make ends meet.
This is what is called – “Balance”
So, ever since then, I succumbed to the fact that I am a terrible mathematician. Okay, that’s not a right term to use since I have trouble even doing additions. I’m terrible at mathematics. For those of you who have toiled with me through the 0 levels would know that I did my ‘Ten-Year Series’ religiously everyday after Prelims and managed to finish it more than 10 times. All just to ensure that I could move up from my F9/ E8 grade to a get a mere B4 AND that was satisfying! However, in the balance cycle, something else had to go right?
So, my Geography, Design & Technology as well as Accounts took a tumble for the B4. Must be stupid of me to forgo 3 subjects for one blardy subject. Okay, nevermind about the grades.
This entry is not about grades, it’s not about education. This entry is about Balance. This entry is about jobs, about careers.
Do you remember what you first told your parents when they asked you what you wanted to be when you grow up?
I sure didn’t! How could I possibly, with this terrible memory of mine. I can’t even remember what I ate 2 days back.
But according to my mom, I told her I wanted to be a Doctor.
(I hear you say WOW!)
Yeah… I hear myself saying WOW!
I’m not even close to that but I’ve tried my hands on several jobs that perhaps even some people may find it disgusting or not of your standard. I’ll tell you my reasons why I took those jobs on after the list after my 0 Levels.
Aircraft Interior Cleaner (3 months)
SembCorp Clerk (3 months)
SantaFe Mover (1 month)
Grand Hyatt Hotel Banquet waiter (1 year)
Marina Mandarin Banquet Stewarding (1 month)
Starbucks Barista (1.5 years)
Singapore Zoological Gardens International and Incentive Marketing Excutive (6 months)
Police Officer (2 years National Service)
Wedding Planner Entrepreneur (4 months)
Co-Curricular Programme Executive (Currently coming to 2 years)
So yes.. That’s about the whole list of legal jobs that I’ve done since 16 years old.
These jobs were part of my own personal development programme that I created for myself. I know that the current education system talks about personal development through community work BUT how much development could a student possibly do?
The student does it because it’s a requirement for them to get through the anal education system to get into a University because doing community service makes them look good. But trust me, I’ve met many of these type of kids and quite honestly, I don’t think they’ve even developed anything humble from those experiences. It’s just a passing phase for them and they don’t give a hoot about those around them in fact. It probably just stamps the fact for them WHY THEY SHOULD keep their distance away.
It’s not easy to genuinely find someone who’s really doing community service because they are sincere about it. Most of the time, they just stick around to complete their due and leave with nothing value-added or for their own personal gain which totally isn’t in line with the service they are doing.
It’s probably the amount of pressure that the social environment has placed on society that education is only a piece of paper that is able to offer you better wages and helping others is a burden rather than a worthy cause.
But let’s not stray away from what I was talking about – Jobs/ Careers.
How much have you achieved in your career/ job?
I’ve had plenty of working experience in plenty of fields but I don’t think I’m heading anywhere I want to.
My dad has probably achieved much more than I have when he was my age. He was a construction worker turned diver turned captain of a sea vessel and now he’s just being a lowly paid shipyard worker who has tons of piping hot assets in Indonesia.
I’ve always told myself that if my dad conquered the seas, I’d conquer the skies. So I did try. I applied for my Private Pilots License in Poly year 2 because I was a member of the Youth Flying Club. I remember when I applied, it was a week before 9/11 and the person told me that reply will only come about 3 – 6 months later. But guess they had a change of policy because I received my rejection letter a week after 9/11 without any reasons cited.
So feeling sad, I applied to be an RSAF Fighter Pilot during my National Service and I went through 3 rounds of tests before I received a rejection letter which didn’t state why I failed my 3rd test. Amazingly, I was the only Malay dude by the 2nd test. The next time I can try would be when I turn 26 because I’m allowed to try once every 5 years (what kind of shit is that huh?) Someone who was a Leftenan in the Army told me that I was rejected because I wasn’t Chinese or that I didn’t have a Chinese name. I refused to believe but had to because NO MALAYS were placed in sensitive postings. The only Malay who was a Pilot was a guy who according to what I was told, was Chinese but had a Muslim name. I have other sensitive news but don’t think I should share because it’s privy.
So, I thought that since my life wasn’t cut out to be a Pilot, I should be an Air-Steward instead. So I tried with 2 airlines, Emirates and Singapore Airlines (SIA). Emirates seriously should be more specific in its advertisements because it’s very obvious that when you attend their interviews, they only want females. I had better luck with SIA on my first try because I made it all the way to the 3rd round before getting kicked out. Unfortunately, my subsequent tries only got me as far as the 2nd round.
With that, I decided to try my luck with SIA as a Pilot. I went for the interview and damn, AGAIN, I was the ONLY MALAY there. What luck man. Are Malays not allowed to be Pilots? Or are Malays just not ambitious enough to be Pilots? Nevertheless, I was number 8 on the interview and while waiting, I realized that the interviews were damn long. Those guys going for the interview with me were also mostly from the army and bragging about stories of them jumping out of airplanes on parachutes. Geez..
Sell koyok to interviewer sure get lar I guess. An average interview there lasted for at least 30 – 45 minutes. A bit too long for me I guess. I’ve never sat through an interview that long. But good thing is, if you never made it past the first round, you’ll always have a shot of trying again!
So, when it was my turn for the interview, I walked in with my normal confidence it began. Sadly, I guess the interviewers preferred someone who could tell them stories about jumping off airplanes on parachutes because I heard the interview next door talking about it. All I could talk about would probably be about how I made several arrests during my National Service earning me several Commander Awards and a Ministry of Home Affairs Award as well as re-enacting the arrest on Crime Watch. I didn’t have much content about jumping off airplanes as much as these fellas did. I had more story to talk about how I was one of the only two NSmen selected to represent my Division in the prestigious Inter-Division StreetCraft Competition (It’s a competition where you compete to show your unarmed combat skills, knowledge of SOPs as well as how proficient you are in handling armed suspects). I felt extremely and poorly equipped to manage that interview and thus, my interview ended in just 15 minutes.
So, now that my contract is ending. I’m rethinking if I should repursue this ambition of becoming a Pilot or should I redivert my ambition to fully concentrate on my business pursuits with my partners or both, which is quite an uphill task.
I’m feeling lost.
The only thing that’s good for me right now – I have freedom of thought and space.