Monday, May 12, 2008

Generation Y

I read with interest and some incredulity the ST writeup on this new Generation Y business which is now under the spotlight.

Is it just me or are they basically writing we have an entire generation of people with some serious ADD? I mean, to mention, even recommend, that their erstwhile employers are having to constantly entertain them, deal with smartass comments, keep their minds stimulated, then give them all the electronic toys that their little hearts desire ... this is all completely familiar to me given that I go home everyday to face the very same thing except that by "the very same thing" I mean my 3-year old son.

What is with the free bus fares, free meals, and on-site pinball machine that some gaming company was providing to its Gen Y employees? Seriously if I had some kid in a jumper push a scooter pass my office in the rush to eat the free food and play pinball over a 3-hour lunch, I'll put a cap in his head faster than you can say "whee!"

Surely this cannot be true. I'm almost completely certain that Gen Y has been misclassified. They're not a bunch of yahoos who think they're God. That would make them completely unemployable and any fool who thinks otherwise better have spare cash for a S$50,000 per month food and entertainment budget. And what happens when Gen Y gets horny? Do you have to pay for their hookers too? Or create a sex chat room for them? I hope it's the latter. It's cheaper.

On a related note, we have had 2 18-year olds roosting in our office for the past month. They are going to law school and they want to find out more about what work is like in a law office. One of them is apparantly a top scholar. I worked with her for 48 hours, after which they had to take her off my hands or else I would've killed her.

The Straits Times should have mentioned that Gen Y does not handle printing or filing. I would regard this information as absolutely crucial. For the 48 hours that we worked together, she was given the deceptively simple task of printing my emails and then filing them. After 3 hours, I was forced to streamline the task further - just print the emails I pick out for you, and then file them.

End of the first day. She's at her seat, sending text messages on her phone. Her computer screen is nothing but a sea of coloured instant messages. There is a pile of paper next to her which is broadly one-third of the height it should've reached. The files are nowhere to be seen.

Are you done? I asked.

Oh yes, I am. She said, still busy text messaging (Gen Y can multi-task!!)

Ok. Mind if I take a quick look? I need to refer to some of the documents attached with the emails.

Oh actually I just printed the emails. I didn't print the attachments. They're very long. She said, power-thumbs still going strong with the text messages.

Why did you do that? Didn't you notice that some of the emails just said "Please see attached"? If this is the case, then clearly the attachment is more important than the email, right?

Well the attachments are very long. They run into ... well.... lots of pages. I can show you. I don't think you want me to print them.


She looked at me like the chair just got up and bit her or something. Then she started printing some documents. I went back to my desk to calm down, as my Gen X heart cannot take all of this stress. A while later, I looked up and she had gone home. The freshly printed documents were still sitting in the printer, unstapled, unsorted. Perhaps waiting for the office ghost to pick them up, staple them and file them. Poor office ghost.

I realised then that I had made my unreasonable request at 5 minutes to closing time. Therefore, whilst the "very long" document was still printing, the clock struck 6 and Gen Y went out the front door (remember - they cannot sacrifice their personal life for work). Obviously she was smart enough to realise that if I had needed the document so badly, then I would hunt it down to the right printer and pick it up myself. I would not need a middleman to staple it or pass it to me. Gen Y is very intelligent!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

How To Recover Lost Wealth From Expired Vouchers

I was startled several times since my last post re the number of people who live in the erroneous belief that an expired voucher is an expired voucher. Allow me to utilise this next post to disavow you of this sadly mistaken impression.

An expired voucher is only an expired voucher if you believe it to be expired. It's not Zen. This is fact.

If you permit yourself to cohabit (for the period of time it takes to get through to the credit card company on the 1800 line) in a different existential plane where no vouchers are ever expired, you can in fact persuade the individual credit card officer who has the ill luck to pick up your call that these vouchers are mistaken in relation to their life span and therefore should be exchanged for new vouchers who are not so mistaken.

Sometimes the ill-starred credit card officer will raise the possibility that these new non-mistaken vouchers will be yours in exchange for a small amount of cash. In which case you would need to raise yourself to a new plateau of existence where no cash is ever payable to exchange expired vouchers for non-expired vouchers.

On this new plateau of existence, the credit card officer will agree that, indeed, no one would ever need to pay cash for an exchange of vouchers, and wish you good day madam before finally being permitted to disconnect the call.

There is one more plateau of existence that I had intended to raise myself to, at this point, and it is the plateau where the credit card officer sends someone to my office to personally pick up the offending vouchers, with no charge to madam. However, I have a sore throat today, so I guess you could say it is a bad day for my throat and a good day for my credit card company and its employees.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Day Trip To Melbourne - Not Highly Recommended

Melbourne is a gorgeous city. Gorgeous. But flying there and back from Singapore on a day trip comes highly, highly unrecommended. In fact, if I ever write a book called "1000 Things To Avoid Doing Before You Die" this would take up most of the first chapter.

My carbon trail looked like this:

1. 9pm Singapore time - get on the plane
2. 9.15pm Singapore time - switch off the blackberry, having received some rather compelling requests from everyone in the vicinity of my seat.
3. 6am Melbourne time - get off plane
4. 10am Melbourne time - first meeting
5. noon Melbourne time - second meeting
6. 3.30pm Melbourne time - third meeting
7. 11.50pm Melbourne time - get back on the plane
8. 6am Singapore time - get off the plane
9. 6.10am Singapore time - peel my face off the floor. What day is it?

In other news, my deal closed. In keeping with Murphy's Law, it had to close on the one solitary day I couldn't help but be out of Singapore. Damn you, Murphy's Law! *shakes fist at the sky*

In other, other news, have just realised that almost 30% of my personal wealth is tied up in expired credit card reward vouchers. I really have to do something about this.