A for Apple, B for Ball....

Met up with a uni student to be interviewed on what I was doing at the request of my boss.

The poor guy was waiting for me at the sofa at level 1. From his looks, I could see that he was really expecting the worse, some gross government servant with a cruel demeanour and a ghastly look. So, just then, I decided that I was going to change his impression of government servants. No I did not put on a bunny suit or danced "ni shi wo de hua duo". I merely flashed my teeth and told him, "Hey, lets not make this so formal....lets go grab a cup of coffee somewhere while we discuss this".

We went on to URA for coffee, and I switched on my laptop and made some small talk. "So, why did you join civil?" and his response "That was the only thing that caught my interest". "Well, it has to be either salary or career development" and his eyes lit up while he said "Err...what about job satisfaction?"... for a second there, I was tempted to say "That's a myth, it doesn't exist" but I blurted out "Well, have to somehow balance the three" to not disillusion the poor guy.

We went on to discuss about the processes in what I was doing, what laws were passed and some historical background. I guess halfway through the process, he was getting to be quite comfortable, knowing that I was not being adversarial. I then remembered what my boss told me... "ask him.. ask him to do the competency framework... do the framework....ask him to do the training framework...ask him...now...askkkkhiimm". It was like a haunting voice, trailing part of my brain...the part that was really lazy to come up. After all, I was trying to play host and then finish it off asap, so that I can return to the comfort of my cubicle. Sigh. Against my conscience, had to tell him, "Well, if you want to churn out a better fyp, it is better if you concentrate on ahem...ahem.." "On what?" "on ahem fra... ahem wor...ahem" "What was that?" "ahem....competency and training framework...ahem ahem". He really didn't know what the heck I was talking about...so I spent the next 15 mins or so explaining how our company could facilitate his study and research... for the benefit of the 'ahem' industry. Finished off the final bit of Q&As and walked back to the office.

On the way back, he explained that he already knew his grades due to some cap system used in NUS. And I wondered why such a demoralising system was used in uni nowadays. He clarified that it was supposed to "make student work harder when they know where they stand" and that "NTU is also adopting the same system". No wonder kids nowadays need so much tuition.

I guess all in all, it felt as though he was still in school life. Well ya, he is, but it just feels like he is still not infected by working experience. No crappy decisions, no last minute arrows, no bad management. Perhaps, one day, he would be the one being interviewed... and he would be telling the student "Job satisfaction? That's a myth...it doesn't exist"...

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