Yesterday, as I mentioned above, I had to work on a speech and a set of minutes when I got home. But the speech was easier than I anticipated, and writing minutes isn't that painful after you've done one set for the same bigwig and sorta know what to expect. I even got to watch Buffy at ten pm (though I had to stay up an hour after Buffy to finish the minutes). In my corner of the civil service, they expect NOMs (notes of meetings) to be submitted to the meeting's chairperson within 48 hours for vetting. It's a painful standard to follow, though I can also see why it's important to write the thing when it's fresh in one's mind. On the other hand, why can't meetings just be tape-recorded and transcribed, dammit? I did not go to university in order to become a sophisticated stenographer.

I think I've ranted about every yucky thing that's transpired this week. Other nice things:

-- I had lunch with my ex-colleague Mel on Monday. I was feeling so suffocated at work that I messaged her frantically and she, dear girl, responded, true to form. So she saved me from work for an hour and we got caught up. I mean, I ranted some about work, but I tried not to make lunch all about me. The last time I spoke to her was on the phone last week, but she was driving home so she was mildly distracted. Mel and I can talk for hours.

-- My colleague Lilian also rescued me. If not for her graciousness, I would have to write up three sets of minutes (or NOMs) this week. See, I wasn't supposed to write up minutes for Tuesday, but the aforementioned colleague got sick and the task fell to me. I was supposed to write the ones for today's meeting, but the meeting was supposed to happen last Friday and got postponed. All this, on top of tomorrow's meeting which I was originally scheduled to take minutes for. So Lilian will rescue me from tomorrow and I won't go mad this time tomorrow night trying to remember who said what at which meeting (it doesn't help that almost the same people attended today's and will be attending tomorrow's meetings). Gosh, I'm such a civil service cubicle rat.

-- Terz was nice and comforting on Monday night. It's not a side he shows often, but it's there. I'll spare you the sentimental details, mostly because it'd make me sick to write them down.

-- I just vegged out to three hours (count them) of TV. I got to monopolize the TV because Terz is taking an afternoon nap that is going to go on all night, I suspect. Either that, or he's planning to wake up for a middle-of-the-night live telecast of a football game. Anyway, I watched enough TV to totally chill out without alcohol tonight. I supose that's why TV sets are so popular in Singapore, where alcohol taxes are ridiculously high. Not all three hours were silly --- I watched the Channel News Asia documentary on Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew aka the founding father of Singapore. I think I'm going to ready his autobiography soon. There's nothing like witnessing myth-making first-hand to appreciate its power. Watching old footage of Lee in the '50s and '60s was really amazing stuff. I wish I had the time, energy and resources to sit down and watch, unedited, some of the newsreels from then, including the famous 1965 news broadcast, announcing the separation of Singapore from Malaysia. I've never seen that whole episode all the way through. I suppose it would be blatantly opportunistic to exploit the moment (it's the famous bit where Lee can't help himself and cries while he's on the air), but on the other hand, there are precious few moments of genuine national feeling in Singapore's short history, and I'm of the opinion that using it carefully, without resorting to overkill the way they have for certain images of the Japanese occupation and the 1964 racial riots, would do more for nation-building than any number of efforts to reenact the latter two examples.

Okay, that paragraph went on for too long. Let me get hold of Lee's autobiography from my dad and then I'll tell you all about it.

I'm almost done drinking my lime juice and I think I want to hit the sack soon. When I have time and energy one of these days, I'll write you an entry devoted entirely to what I do on a day to day basis and what is so wrong with the civil service (at least the way if functions here in Singapore).

Oh, last note: those exam results I'm afraid of will be released next week, so that buys me a little more breathing room. Check back with me next week (I'm not allowed to say which day, alas) to find out.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]