Second Day of Work

[Thursday, 24 May, 2007]

I was struggling with my websites until around 3.30am and finally got to sleep.

I waked up before 8am to continue with my work and managed to reach my new office before 9am. Work resumed when the office was still almost empty.

Lunch was together with the guys in other department whereas the girls over my side had prepared their own food to dine inside the office. It would be good if I could do that as well since I was lazy to go out to buy food. In another point of view, going out to have dinner was taking a break from the office. I was together with Han Seng and the intern guy most of the time. Sadly, I still could not differentiate the Indians.

It was a boring afternoon. I was finally tasked to handle client’s request for the S-league website but it was not a fun thing when my mailbox was flooded badly by the system. Maybe it was really a good experience so that I could become a good forum administer in future.

I spent of my time on transferring texts from existing website to the new development site, which seemed to take forever. It was a dead boring job but perhaps, suited me so well since I was a hardcore work-hard-but-not-smart person. At least I got to learn the trend of the design of other web designers since I was always too busy to explore by myself at home.

I went home at around 6.30pm. Working longer than the required hours did not irritate me like before when I was in the army. I hoped it was not because I was new that I did not mind it. I did a lot of recalls and started to compare the army days and my current work – there were obvious reasons why I was willing to sacrifice more.

When I was first posted back to Signal Institute after my Signaller course during my army days, I did not mind staying back often until I realised everyone was actually finding excuses to push the jobs around. I felt disgusted to sacrifice for people who did not worth it and soon I started to retaliate, though my effort was concealed by my honesty and kindness, and also, their cunningness. Perhaps, it was a bad trend which could never be reverted.

As far as for I know, my current colleagues are nice people who care for each other and so far my upper managements treat me with respect. This is the biggest cause to motivate me. Obviously, the pay is much higher than the pathetic army’s pay (allowance) and I suppose my work would be recognised and rewarded in future, unlike during army days as a NSF. The last fact is that it takes around ten minutes to travel between my current office and my home, which allows me to cut down on time lost.

I started working upon reaching home. I wanted to go for a jog but somehow timing for the television and my dinner were not suitable.

Back to Stagmont Camp Finally

[Thursday, 17 May, 2007]

I was rushing my work and only got to sleep at around 3am. I waked up at 9.30am, lazed around and finally left my house after 11am. I thought I had to queue long at the Cheezy Junior pastries shop but in fact it was not opened yet. Since I saw people inside, I approached them but they told me I had to wait for another ten minutes. Ten minutes later, they were not ready to open the shop yet but one of the guys decided to serve me first while not every flavour was available yet.

I left for the MRT station happily with the two big boxes of pastries. It was a long journey to Choa Chu Kang and there was only an ice candy boarding the train at Bukit Batok. I had to transit to bus and afterwards, walk the slope up to exchange the camp pass at the Stagmont camp guard house. I was disturbed by two aunties who were working in the camp and the guards did not stop me for any checking.

Quek and Ivan were already at the Spec Mess. Then, I gave a call to Kengster to ask him and Rehan down. Ben was already clearing leave while Louis seemed to be absent as usual. We had a chat there with Antonia and others. Later on, Mike and Mr Kelvin came over. As everyone left for work, I went up to visit Shep. She was happy to see me and she even announced her gladness for my Christmas wishing to her. As usual, she claimed that she thought I would hate her like others but I did not. Apart from the doubts she had in me when we first started working together and the pressure she had always been giving, she had done nothing intentionally to hurt me. Miss Lee had long forgotten about me but at least Rajoo seemed to remember me.

I was so glad that it was a Thursday and thus the E-Mart was opened. I went to the E-Mart to visit Auntie Nancy. She looked young like before and was still so polite and helpful. I saw Captain Edward but he could not remember my name. I passed him my namecard shamefully, and told him to just keep my number since I might not be doing property anymore. At the same time, it began to rain.

I rushed over to the medical centre under my small umbrella. My pant was soaked through and the x-ray folder was wet. There was confusion for my docket could not be found but at least they knew that my appointment was scheduled correctly. I got to see the medical officer. He was a nice and quiet guy. I appreciated him a lot for he tried to solve my problem for me, unlike the previous MOs, who were all assholes and had no integrity in their work. He told me if I wanted to persist, he would schedule an appointment with the medical board and sit by my side but my chance of winning the case was low. His plan for me was to downgrade me temporary again but I had to go back to the camp every half or one year to repeat the progress, which was meanwhile the best solution. It was indeed a dark world inside the army. They would only wait for me to break my back before they would downgrade me permanently.

I waited very long at the medical centre to receive my status slip. Their computer was such a hassle. After waiting for half to an hour, I went to find Mike. I stayed inside his office to hear him crap with his colleagues before we set off together, taking a bus to the MRT and then taking the train to Outram. He treated me dinner at a chicken rice shop near CK. After that, we went to Chinatown Point and he treated me coffee at the Coffee Bean. We continued to talk about websites and the future, and I received lots of guidance from him. He was able to motivate me again but it would never last unless he could start his company soon. I started to feel giddy at the end of the talk and my throat had already begun to feel itchy.

I walked him to the Outram Park MRT before walking home by myself. Back at home, it was all about work.

When the Prince Enters the Army

Some questions have being filling my mind for the past few months which seed around the topic when the king’s son is of a legal age to enter the army. To prove to his citizens that everyone receives the same treatment, his son has to abide to the law and go through the same process like every young man of the country.

But if you are a high ranked person in the army, will you treat this prince just like any other person?

Will you make sure the prince’s path is smooth throughout the entire two years and that his post in the army is well respectable? Then, will you send him to an ideal office where less strenuous work is required?

If you are in charge of the camp where he is posted to, will you upgrade all the facilities and welfare of the soldiers just to accommodate him? Will you upgrade the quality of the cookhouse’s food, the guardhouse’s living condition and even reduce the hours of the guard duty required? To the most exaggerating doubt, will you place some internet connected computers in the bunk when the prince is still a trainee?

All the special treatments are absolutely disgusting and they mark an era of unfairness.

However, in the aspect of just a normal young man serving the nation, putting aside these flattering to the prince, if you are someone who happens to be in the same place as him, will you be glad that you are able to enjoy the privileges of better life inclusive of food? After all, most of us stand to gain somehow, at least able to serve the country for less period of time.

I understand all the great men do not have many choices but to accept this society’s cruelty. The prince will eventually rise to power in years to come somehow to place everyone beneath his feet; the tragic of offending his boss is something which nobody would expect.

With the careful teaching of the well reputed family, this prince may not be the most able leader in future but at least of a certain standard. Hopefully all these well pampering would not do the country bad in future.

Unfair But It Is Better This Way

For the past few months I have been hearing about my ex colleague who are still in the army get their “birthday off”. For those who are new to it, “off” is just like “leave”, except that it is a privilege that can be cancelled by any superior and you have to go back to work anytime.

I am as usual the unluckiest of all my ex colleagues I suppose. Before my time, everyone got their birthday off to relax themselves for a day for free but when I got there, the system had changed because the new superiors were cold blooded. After my time, some fuckers have already left and Quek has been doing his best to give welfare to everyone while Shep seems to become softer; life is definitely much better.

This issue is nevertheless just one of the unfairness in the army. Maybe I should just blame it on my luck but on the brighter side, it is so much better; at least the disgusting and terrible mental torment days are gone. It gives me a peace of my mind as the future generations are well taken care of, though might not be forever; the welfare of them is always my main concern.

ORD Day – Revived My Freedom

[Friday, 29 September, 2006]

Pink is the man!

My projected ORD (Operation Ready Date) date is 30th September, 2006, which was brought forward since it was a Saturday.

I was limping still but I took this great courage to travel alone all the way to Choa Chu Kang by public transport – train. Then, Hong Kiat was supposed to pick me up from there. Waking up at around 0700h, I was supposed to meet him at 0900h but I reached at 0820h instead.

I was not so crazy for my pink I/C (identification card) because I simply had no special feeling over it; perhaps, problems like my leg and money were more important issues somehow, which had neglected my freedom’s mood. Anyway, I had been idling at home since after this year’s National Day (9th August, 2006).

Most people would definitely take a cab down directly but for me, I wanted to save money and test my limit. My main purpose to fetch my I/C so quickly instead of waiting for a better recovery was none other than to show Protein my condition; at least this would give her an impression of how I had been suffering for more than a year. Next reason was of course to have companion of Hong Kiat.

We went to the Terrestrial store immediately to get back our clearance forms. I was surprised but glad that almost all the empty slots had been signed; the CSOs were nice guys. Then, Hong Kiat drove me over to the HG SIG building to get his last two important signatures signed, which he failed to find the last person. Then, we went to return our camp pass first.

He drove back to the parade square and I went up to the AVA room to visit my buddies. They rearranged the furniture again. It was a disappointment that Yuqing was on leave. I got to chat with some of them before going up to room #3-1 to see the new “office”, which was kind of a heaven since not many people knew that room was in operation already. I stayed there to surf the net for a while before Hong Kiat called and we proceeded on with our last two stations.

I walked all the way down and across the road to the main building. I proceeded directly to the TRMS office and got Protein to sign my clearance. The only good thing I liked about her was her attitude when talking face to face. She did try to get information about what I was doing back then before clearing leave and she sounded it like putting a signaller at AVA was waste of manpower. I told her the requirement and could have said more if my leg was not hurting me tremendously.

As I got my plaque and certificate, and was leaving the office, I finally got to see Shep. She was impressed with my looks now though I was always the same. It hurt me somehow when she repeated her assumption that I hated her. She had always being motherly to me and I had only hated her for a few days when we first worked together as she doubted my words that the seniors were abusing their powers; I could not really blame as well since I did not want to mention the individual evil-doing as to not hurt anyone.

As Hong Kiat and I got to the administration office, our final station, Gary told me I had to get a copy of the Dental FFI status slip, which the medical centre had given me the wrong piece (they gave me Hong Kiat’s medical FFI status slip instead). Hong Kiat helped me to go over to the medical centre after I gave them a call. Everything was done after that and my long lost I/C was retrieved; surprisingly I had no special feeling still.

My legs were almost wrecked by then; my left leg was numb whereas my right ankle seemed to be smashed as I had been depending on it too much. I met Kengster and Yuwei just as Hong Kiat drove his car up so that I needed not travel for long distance. He dropped me at Choa Chu Kang MRT.

That was this great disappointment that I did not get to see my “sister”, who stopped replying me suddenly as usual. I wanted to take a picture with her or even had lunch together but she only replied me when I was halfway home.

Singaporeans had once again given me a bad impression again for I had to stand all the way with my crutches; none of the passengers was kind. A couple who boarded at Dover flirted right in front of me, which was unbearable as I had to look out of the windows all the while.

After alighting at TG Pagar MRT station, I almost collapsed. It always took less than five minutes for me to reach the void deck of my house but this time it was near half an hour. Even my arms were too tired to move the crutches and each step was so small. My left leg was near total numbness and I was helpless totally.

I could not help but to imagine myself as Zhang Qian in the Han Dynasty, who travelled long distance in the desert in the show of Han Wu Da Di (http://sillydumb.blogspot.com/2006/09/han-wu-da-di.html). The shabbiness and pains turned me pale. However, the soon arriving Vivi lighted me up a bit.

I survived. It was an impressive effort and determination, which I would never try again.

I missed the ROC trip

[Tuesday, 26 September, 2006]

It was another ROC (Taiwan) trip for the SOCC cadets from Signal Institute again. I missed the time I had there previously.

Siu Hang was lucky to be selected to go with them this time but he had repeatedly dropped me questions once in every few days. The worst time was when I was hospitalised and feeling so helpless, I had to reply him. Nevertheless it was my wish and pleasure to help my good friend.

Anyway, I told him to get me a carton of Pork bowl noodle but it seemed like they were not allowed to order anymore to put into the container to be transported back to Singapore. It was a disappointment since I wanted to share those “powerful” bowl noodles (with meats inside) with my friends who had never been to Taiwan.

Just hours before the plane was taking off as I was feeling crappy, I sent a message to my friend, Captain Phua, who I got to know through my previous trip. I tried to tease him that I hoped he would not be alone during the R&R (Relax and Recreation) trip.

He replied me, “Why would i? I’m not even going. Haha… I’ll be on course, so not going.”

FFI day

[Wednesday, 30 August, 2006]

A long day began with meeting Hong Kiat at Yew Tee MRT station. He drove me over to Kranji camp for our dental FFI. Our appointment was at 1030h but we reached at 1000h instead. We took our breakfast at the canteen. The dentist only started to receive patients at 1100h. Hong Kiat and I were the second and third in queue but a Major went in before us.

It was a quick check-up, which lasted less than a minute inside. However, we had to wait for everyone to finish their check-ups at 1200h to collect the status slips. Then, I realised my PES status was C2L2 and my camp’s medical centre did not even update me.

Hong Kiat drove Derrick, Ivan Koh, Alex and I out of the Kranji camp and dropped them near Choa Chu Kang MRT. Both of us went back camp to try to sign some entries of the clearance form before going for medical FFI. The weather was not very welcoming. We went to the medical centre but the MO was not around.

I managed to get some of the entries signed with the helps of Rehan. He also managed to help me sign the entry for “Branch IC”. Hong Kiat and I went back to the Medical centre after two in the rain. Filling up the form was a tedious job for me as I had many injuries to report. Suddenly, the medics asked whether did we go for overseas exercise before and I got the shock of my life. Around one and half year after my ROC trip, they wanted me to have blood test.

The previous time I had my blood tested was during polytechnic days and I got so dizzy after that. I had this phobia with needle that injection could easily cause trembling and drawing of blood was definitely worse. So, I proceeded on, being a genie pig for the new medic. He did not pull the needle out until his senior alerted him and I leaned my head on the table. They accompanied me to the sick bay after that.

I went back to join Hong Kiat in a short while even though the bed was quite comfortable and I was lacking of sleep. He went in to see the MO and came out in less than a minute. It was my turn then and I had lots more to talk about, which kept me inside for quite long. Luckily, the hamster-look-alike inhuman MO was gone somehow and this very muscular replacement was friendly and concerning.

I went back to the AVA office after that and was quite disappointed that I had missed the chance to spend time with Vivi for the whole afternoon. I managed to help Gan and Terry sign their clearance for AVA and CAI.

It was after four o’clock, Hong Kiat drove the CSOs and I to Choa Chu Kang MRT station and that ended my day.

Pen the dishonourable history

Although I have “half” stepped out of the ghastly place and need not worry about it, the news of my buddies continued being torn is a blow to my carefree life. It is more than a pinch at my heart, physically tearing down my respiratory system somehow.

I must not be too emotional anymore; this good friend of mine has been degrading my health since I started to learn to care, sympathize and grieve. Nobody knows how bad my health has been.

Can I just pour in my emotion, judgement and knowledge to enlighten everyone about how much some assholes have been terrorising the pride, responsibilities and kindness of so many dedicated and promising young pillars of the country?

My brain has been in a terrible mess. When everyone is thinking that I am enjoying myself so much, the fact is a total twist from the appearance plus assumption.

I blame myself for all these stress I have brought to myself. I am either greedy or imaginative that I always think I can do so many things; I want this and I want that. I cannot even prioritise things properly and each project takes forever when I cannot be focused on anything and always cross working.

I have yet to improve my site to a satisfying standard, nor I have appraised my fellow buddies; I am still a beginner to PHP programming, I have not been exercising regularly. I have not found a job or even started looking for one, not even to do a resume. I have not even paid a visit to my auntie grounded with a very sick uncle. I have been indulging myself in the sweetness of love.

So right now, there is another task I have to accomplish, to gather my memory to list down the evil and selfish doings of the assholes. When can I start to pen them down?

Second placing – team KLEGG

[Thursday, 17 August, 2006]

I finally stepped into the camp after a week of disappearance. My initial plan was to go early but I could not wake up after the past few days’ lack of sleep.

Gilbert hurried me to go and train the CS game together but he was pulled to do work before we could start off. I thought he was coming back but he did not. Later on I realised he was strucked inside the theatrette and went up to join him. Then, we set off for lunch together and I was disappointed that they did not serve western food on Thursdays anymore.

After lunch, I went back to the office but only Louis and Edgar could spend some time to play with me; the effort was however useless since we were playing more with bots instead of training as a team, which was much more required.

Before the start of the game, I met Shep, Fredrick and Ivan at the stairs. She suggested holding an ORD farewell party for those who were going to ORD and then she wanted us to give our own speeches to let Protein know how we felt. Suddenly I felt so pressured. It was fine for me but I needed lots of time to prepare my million dollars worth of speech.

As the tournament began, there were not enough clusters of computers for every group to sit down. My team KLEGG had to stand at one side to witness the rest play the first match first. They agreed on no playing with strategy since it was just a simple tournament.

When it was our turn, I was nervous at my first competition and could not do well – I was super off-form – partly because I was very sleepy by then. My standard did not improve but managed to give a little aid to the team. We thrashed the teams in the first two rounds and finally got to play with Jimmy’s team in the final. Their team had long ago come out with tactics and even brought their own mouse and headset along. They played so aggressively and shouted all over.

As we played individually, we lost out to them badly until Louis decided to make some noises. Edgar impressed everyone by winning them in one round when he was outnumbered. We finally started to play with some tactic but it was too late. Perhaps, they were lucky to start as Counter-terriorists first since each round lasted only one minute forty-five seconds, which terriorists would consider lost the game when time was exceeded.

We ended up in the first runner-up position. I knew well I could get back to my usual standard or persuade them to play serious in the first place, results would be different. Nevertheless it was a good chance to play with my good friends in camp.

The $20 NTUC vouncher and the envelop holding them

After the game had ended, we went to the Spectrum to receive the trophy and envelop of $20 NTUC voucher. I would like to accompany the rest to enjoy the buffet meal but Vivi was waiting for me to meet up. Just when I was on the shuttle bus, she called me and told me we could not meet up anymore since it was too late already.

I went to the arcade with Sem and Ah Boon to watch them play the tennis game while waiting for Ivan to take the second bus to the MRT station. He thought I was very sad but I was just tired; in fact I was glad enough that she had been spending time with me.