January 12, 2004

Came across this post in my colleague, Jiehan's blog and I think he's probably said everything that I've wanted to say about the army. The only thing I don't see eye to eye with him on is probably his comment that "your attitude in army life determines your attitude in working life". I beg to differ. Some of us see no point in slogging away for the country and hence, we may seem slack. But I'm sure when it comes to the crunch, most of us would put in our very best especially if it involves the ricebowl. Anyway, without further ado, here is the article taken off his website "The trouble with the SAF".

the trouble with the army

longjin called me yesterday night to complain about the shit in the army. as in he was feeling very disgusted as to why he had to be the one to get all the shit while others can slack away. he's an NSF, they are NSF, all of us are NSF, so why the difference. why must NSFs make life difficult for another NSF? he was super distressed.

actually i think this is something that all men will go through. the feeling of helplessness at the situation. it's like almost hopeless. you have like 1.5 years left of your service term, things are bleak and you get shit everyday. your life is being run by idiots who can't tell their ass from their head and you are expected to follow their orders. some things that you do don't make any sense at all. there is favoritism, and a whole lot of bullying by those who are higher in rank, or more lao-jiao in that sense. the newbies will get all the unpleasant stuff like clearing the rubbish everyday, getting the worst dates and slots for duty, do the most menial work like carry this, do that... it's a sucky thing. at times, it's not your problem, but you get penalized for it anyway. people mess up, but you end up having to clear their shit. a insincere sorry and you have to slave for them.

i've experienced them all. being just a corporal, my dealings are all with people higher in rank, staff sergeants, officers, warrant officers. most of them are gangsters and are freaking pushy. i still can remember the cases of bravo company. they are freaking gangster. they were in the wrong 1st by submitting their indents late, yet they still wanted it URGENT URGENT. and they kept on hounding me saying it's URGENT. but if warehouse is out of stock, there is nothing i can do right? fly to germany and get the item for you? no matter, that i can still take. next, the item comes after i went to hound warehouse in turn, guess what. when it was delivered, i immediately called those dogs that your URGENT item has arrived. and that item happily laid in my store for 1 week before they came and collect it. so that is your idea of URGENT. never mind, that i still can take. and afterwards, those dogs came back and said OH SO SORRY, we indented for the wrong item. please return it to warehouse for us. we don't need it anymore. OH FUCK YOU ALL MAN.

point is, those dogs are morons in the army. in a professional working relationship with these animals, one doesn't have to be kind or helpful. you don't have to go out of your way to help them. do what is required of you, and volunteer for nothing more. always watch your own backside, and not get backstabbed by anyone. and if there is a chance, you can stab them back if you wish. make them understand, get it through their dense brains, not to fool around with you. you are not nice to eat. and you will be safe.

for an NSF, it doesn't matter if you do work or not. your ultimate reward of ORD and getting out of there doesn't come with diligence or hard work. it comes with the passage of time. a day spent sleeping in store, or a day spent hard at work, is still a day. there is no added bonus for hard work. hence, i have come to realize that it is super hard to motivate these bunch of animals. there is no incentive, only the whip. hence, everyone is good at pushing things around, especially unpleasant tasks. if you are too nice, you will be the one being taken advantage of.

personally, i think that your attitude in the army, will determine your attitude in the working world. it's a situation of hopelessness and distress. you are thrown into a pit of snakes and rats, and you have to stay sane. so how you handle your situation is good training. if you decide to be cowardly and pussy, like some people i've come across, most prob you are just destined to be a pussy all your life. if you decide to shirk from responsibility, most prob you will be a wuss all your life. in that shithole, you have to do what is required of you. like what LKY said, if you can't even handle a small event well (he was regarding to NDP), what hope have you got for greater things like leading a country? if you don't even dare to meet this sort of challenge straight on, you are destined to be a tiny worm all your life.

my stint in logistics, i think, has been a fortuitous twist of fate. getting injured was a blessing in disguise. cos it gave me a chance to really learn and play the game of office politics, rather than mindlessly charging up hills. i've made mistakes of course, but the penalties are not as severe that in the outside world with my career at stake. i've learnt to sit behind a desk, to plot and to scheme, i've learnt to smile and sharpen knives, i've learnt how to defend myself in a position and counterattack. the only thing perhaps which i sort of haven't done successfully is that i've not felt comfortable in a leading position.

and my poor young junior is just beginning to understand this game. and it's rules. show no mercy, cos you shall receive none.

Traveller fell apart at 12:02 AM

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