Friday, January 24, 2014

1314. The rare stray cat in Toa Payoh Industrial park, Lorong 8

Tuesday Jan 21, 2014 was an eventful day.
At 3.05 am I decided to drive to Toa Payoh Vets to take my laptop battery to charge my Samsung ultrabook at home. I woke up at 3 am to work on my veterinary educational You Tube videos and had forgotten to pack my battery.
The surgery is located at the corner of Blk 1002, Toa Payoh Industrial Park. As I drove along Lorong 8, Toa Payoh, at this time, the road was deserted. As I drove into the side road where underakers have coffin shops, a truck with yellow lights was behind my car. Coffins in the undertakers' shops could be seen to my right and a truck behind me would give you the shivers. I drove off fast round the bend. Why would there be a truck at this time? Probably a funeral truck?

At 3.35 am, I reached my Surgery. Outside, there was this yellow cat (image above) inspecting the closed sliding aluminium shutters. A ghostly cat? This Surgery is located in a corner of the block and this location is very quiet and deserted at this time. I opened the shutters and grabbed the battery fast. I dashed into my car. No human beings around. A cool breeze. Suddenly it appeared there were spirits as an eddy or wind vortex appeared in front of my car churning the waste papers around. This could be natural but in this area of coffin industry, there could be spirits of the dead not happy with me. I drove away fast and reached home safely.

1. Meeting with a new vet looking for a job. I invited her to Ya Kun coffeeshop in Toa Payoh Hub so that we could have a good interview. New vets still can find jobs in private clinics but the bigger practices have less vacancies. "I am looking for a prospective partner involved in the writing of veterinary educational stories in kindle direct publishing," I was surprised she studied literature. "Young vets nowadays just work as employees to gain experience and open their own practices as they have strong financial backing."  She had her own preferences and would think about my publishing offer. It is probably better to find a non-veterinary graduate for this venture as new vets want to practice, not practice and write articles. I doubt there are any.

2. Meeting with a Myanmar travel agent who was given an "unfair" dismissal by her boss. "She is a wicked boss," she told me. "Suddenly my employment pass is cancelled."  I know her boss. Much money is spent on this travel agency business. But it is a tough business although tourism is booming in Myanmar. Singaporeans want "cheap and good" tours and Myanmar does not appear to be favourite for the locals as evident in the paucity of travel advertisement for Myanmar in the Straits Times. Full pages of other countries but practically none on Myanmar. She bought a Myannmar couple (an engineer and wife) with no knowledge of the travel industry but was interested in opening a travel agency as they have connections in Myanmar. Nothing was finalized. "You better accept the administrative job of a new employer," I advised this lady in her late 40s. It is extremely difficult to find a job in Singapore nowadays."  On Jan 24, 2014, I passed by the old boss' office and noted that the office space had been halved. This indicated that rentals are high and business is poor. So, high-paying or non-performing staff are sacked. Is she a wicked boss then?

Politics had made the government harsh on foreign workers by increasing levies and disapproving hires such that many companies have to close down branches or relocate to other countries. In this way, it is hoped that the locals will have higher salaries and jobs. Yet jobs with good pay, no weekend work or long hours are not wanted by the locals.

3. Mentoring my 3 lady interns. Unusual for me to have 3 interns. One is 16 years old, another is 18 years old and the 3rd is around 20 years old. All have excellent academic grades. They have to write case studies and produce the videos within a short period of time. However, the young will chat when I am not around and so the output is not what I expected. I would brief them on the script and they would produce a video not what I wanted. So, there was the drafts and revisions. They learn from revisions and I hope they understand more of veterinary medicine and surgery than being just an observer. All 3 can produce videos as expected. lt is just that the Singapore schools don't teach them how to produce film scripts but only writing expositions and dcoumentaries. So, I have to teach them that producing videos is not the same as writing essays..    


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