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taxico
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Postby taxico » Wed, 20 Feb 2013 1:07 pm

disenchanted wrote:...but in the camp I'm at, pretty much everyone but regulars feels they're wasting time doing silly jobs. Even during my BMT last year, we spend ridiculously little time doing actual training. I'm not frustrated at 'tough' things being thrown at me, but rather by pointless things when I expected and hoped to gain real skills and contribute in a real sense. And from my own observations, majority of NSFs has pretty similar mundane and 'unglamorous' vocations...


make use of the SAF WITS, SAVE, suggestion schemes, etc.

http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/mindef ... wards.html

or write into your CO's office with constructive advice. they are mostly scholars who would love to improve the system.

if you know which officers are overseas scholars, write to them with your suggestion. or propose that they be included in your suggestion to the CO.

you'd be surprised at the number of senior officers who enjoy exchanging ideas with an intelligent young NSF.

don't bring up problems you have no plausible solutions for. those are just problems nobody wants.

NSFs have unglam vocations for a reason. because they are NSFs. this does not mean that they are not allowed to change vocation or go on course. yet you will find very few willing to do so.

i attended both the company tactics course and the advanced officers' course at SAFTI (unheard of during my time) because i suggested and proved to my superiors that it was plausible to do that and my job at the same time. they then made it possible for me to do so.

i'm not an SAF scholar. i didn't extend my service time. but i made a ton and a half of suggestions and feeback. so much that some regulars affected disliked me immensely.

make good use of your time in the SAF and make a difference.

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Postby disenchanted » Wed, 20 Feb 2013 1:19 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:You will find, once you get out of the military and into the real world, your jobs will be much the same. Good bits followed by longer bit a tedium. Just like the military. But unlike the military, you can always quit and find another job, which will be just more of the same. Good bits interspersed with longer bits of tedium. That's life. Everybody who ever went into the military thinks the same way. But most always take something away from it that will stay with them. The deal with the 2 years of wasted time is a washout that doesn't work in my opinion. The average person changes their careers at least once or twice during their working life, so it really doesn't make a damn bit of difference as your first career will probably be short lived anyway. Most don't really find their stride until later. I doubt you will be any different. Hell, I'm on my third career now and still not looking to slow down, having done 180's each time I changed my direction in life. And, while I haven't flown since I was discharged, there are bits of my military life that are still with me even today (not counting the occasional dreams). Would I do it again? Yes. Do I miss it? No. Was it necessary? Yes but the conflict wasn't - but I am patriotic and I do believe in 'giri' and think that's what's missing in today's youth. I don't mean to ruffle your feathers, but I firmly believe that we all need to prep ourselves for any eventuality. Sorry for coming down hard.


I hope you're doing well in your current career then. You mentioned you 'haven't flown' since being discharged, were you in the Air Force? If so, you must have had a tough time but it must've been pretty damn interesting too!

I hope there's no hostility between us despite the disagreements, since I really dislike being at conflicts with people. I know life will have a lot of disappointments to come and civilian work might look a lot like military, especially in major corporations, but hope they will at least feel constructive. In fact I hope to run my own company in future and yes, that means enormous hurdles, but I just hope its going to be fulfilling in the long term.

As to overall experience in Singapore, I'm not going to change my mind. Even if, for some unlikely reason, I stay here longer and eventually succeed in what I do, it seems it could've been not as painful in some other cities/countries.

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Postby disenchanted » Wed, 20 Feb 2013 1:24 pm

taxico wrote:
disenchanted wrote:...but in the camp I'm at, pretty much everyone but regulars feels they're wasting time doing silly jobs. Even during my BMT last year, we spend ridiculously little time doing actual training. I'm not frustrated at 'tough' things being thrown at me, but rather by pointless things when I expected and hoped to gain real skills and contribute in a real sense. And from my own observations, majority of NSFs has pretty similar mundane and 'unglamorous' vocations...


make use of the SAF WITS, SAVE, suggestion schemes, etc.

http://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/mindef ... wards.html

or write into your CO's office with constructive advice. they are mostly scholars who would love to improve the system.

if you know which officers are overseas scholars, write to them with your suggestion. or propose that they be included in your suggestion to the CO.

you'd be surprised at the number of senior officers who enjoy exchanging ideas with an intelligent young NSF.

don't bring up problems you have no plausible solutions for. those are just problems nobody wants.

NSFs have unglam vocations for a reason. because they are NSFs. this does not mean that they are not allowed to change vocation or go on course. yet you will find very few willing to do so.

i attended both the company tactics course and the advanced officers' course at SAFTI (unheard of during my time) because i suggested and proved to my superiors that it was plausible to do that and my job at the same time. they then made it possible for me to do so.

i'm not an SAF scholar. i didn't extend my service time. but i made a ton and a half of suggestions and feeback. so much that some regulars affected disliked me immensely.

make good use of your time in the SAF and make a difference.


Well, during every feedback session I do speak up and my commanders seem to value that. And yeah, I'm planning to apply for some extra courses since my current vocation is deadly boring..

Thanks for the tips. I appreciate it.

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Postby alittlerisky » Wed, 20 Feb 2013 1:28 pm

Singapore is a bit like switzerland in many way. There is NS in Switzerland too, and when I lived there I was stunned to see basically kids walking around with sub-machine guns. But then I lived in England from 18-33 and there policeman and given... well... a stick, I suppose, for defence.

But the mentality is the same in Switzerland as in Singapore, very small fiercely indepenent state that is essentially defenceless. Think about it, if China decided to invade Singapore, there not alot Singapore could do, they would be reliant on international help.

Or Swizterland. If germany decided to invade...wait a minute, this already happened in 1939 with Austria...
Who? What? How? Why? Where? When? Merde...

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 20 Feb 2013 1:43 pm

disenchanted wrote:You mentioned you 'haven't flown' since being discharged, were you in the Air Force? If so, you must have had a tough time but it must've been pretty damn interesting too!


A wee bit closer to the ground. I was a chopper pilot flying H-13 Sioux and OH-6 Cayuse Loach in the US Army.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 20 Feb 2013 5:32 pm

disenchanted wrote:Speaking of your second question, the barriers to entry one, the LTA centrally plans bus routes and MediaCorp holds virtual monopoly on the media industry. Yes there are loopholes but its still but no means 'free market' in a full sense. Even more damaging is the mindset (ok fair enough its not strictly speaking a barrier to entry but an important element anyways) of 'you can't do it here, its Singapore' that I come across all the time. No matter how optimistic and energetic you are with your ideas, at one point it will bend you.

I don't know how is it among the actual expats, but I so far been through the not very nice side of Singapore and the attitude I found there is pretty toxic.

SO, linking back to the subject, I'm not sure the TS really wants to do his stuff here when he could go HK or Taiwan. And at least get some nice landscapes together with it.

I think I did not make myself clear because you put much effort in explaining the problems with educational system and I was wandering about lethality of caring on the business locally. Still interesting to read it is also that clear for the social sciences. Well, it was expected.

It is very easy to open a business in Singapore. It is very easy on the interface between the business and the authorities. This is very important and you should see how it looks in other countries to get the proper perspective. What is not easy is for some expat to find its way within the market. The main reason is a different ethics and different quality standards. But, ... the locals should not have this kind of problems so from my perspective the overall image should be as claimed: Singapore is a very business friendly place and not only for the investors. Perhaps it is not that nice for the media but I don't really see too much barrier elsewhere.

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Postby disenchanted » Wed, 20 Feb 2013 6:13 pm

SMS, I wouldn't want to fight on an actual war in my life, but I do envy you flying those great choppers, especially H-13s.

x9200 wrote:
disenchanted wrote:Speaking of your second question, the barriers to entry one, the LTA centrally plans bus routes and MediaCorp holds virtual monopoly on the media industry. Yes there are loopholes but its still but no means 'free market' in a full sense. Even more damaging is the mindset (ok fair enough its not strictly speaking a barrier to entry but an important element anyways) of 'you can't do it here, its Singapore' that I come across all the time. No matter how optimistic and energetic you are with your ideas, at one point it will bend you.

I don't know how is it among the actual expats, but I so far been through the not very nice side of Singapore and the attitude I found there is pretty toxic.

SO, linking back to the subject, I'm not sure the TS really wants to do his stuff here when he could go HK or Taiwan. And at least get some nice landscapes together with it.

I think I did not make myself clear because you put much effort in explaining the problems with educational system and I was wandering about lethality of caring on the business locally. Still interesting to read it is also that clear for the social sciences. Well, it was expected.

It is very easy to open a business in Singapore. It is very easy on the interface between the business and the authorities. This is very important and you should see how it looks in other countries to get the proper perspective. What is not easy is for some expat to find its way within the market. The main reason is a different ethics and different quality standards. But, ... the locals should not have this kind of problems so from my perspective the overall image should be as claimed: Singapore is a very business friendly place and not only for the investors. Perhaps it is not that nice for the media but I don't really see too much barrier elsewhere.


Well its very easy to open a business and the paperwork isn't slaughtering the startups and I agree that is important, but running a business in a 'niche' industry here is a different story. I'm not sure if certain areas are underdeveloped because of the 'cannot do' mindset or the other way around. But sadly Singaporean consumers are distrustful of their own domestic produce, especially in the media and arts.

So, if you want to start a logistics company or a convenience store then yes, its one of the best places in the world. Unfortunately the same can't be said about working with homegrown music, film and literature which is usually considered more of an oddity rather than a legitimate industry and something exportable. Last time I was inspired to change it and develop it. But I think I've had enough of fighting the windmills.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 20 Feb 2013 7:18 pm

So you are talking about a niche industry. It could be either blessing or a curse regardless the country but I don't think it is fair to generalize based on anything that is 'niche'.

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 21 Feb 2013 1:33 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:A wee bit closer to the ground. I was a chopper pilot flying H-13 Sioux and OH-6 Cayuse Loach in the US Army.


Were you a 'forward-spotter' or something out there?

p.s. NNTR, not prying. Just I've met a lot of VN Vets both through work and traveling there. And it's always interesting squaring up their experience with who they served with and where.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 21 Feb 2013 6:54 am

Yeah. Something like that. I had to set 4 birds down over an 18 month hitch (6 month extension to get a one year early out from active) but was always able to set 'em down in friendly territory. Fortunately all down due to small arms fire and not RPGs.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 21 Feb 2013 10:08 am

disenchanted, your entire line of reasoning is crap. You are dealing with companies as though they are frozen in time... that you join in 201X or you join in 201Y and get screwed by those that joined two years earlier.

But that's not how it works at all. Every company of every size has an average attrition rate that, from year to year, is pretty constant. They don't hire from a narrow age range, much broader. In other words, the horse race starts about 4 times a year in most companies.

For you to say that you have been held back because of NS is ludicrous... you start at the same gate as the people that start with you. You seem to think that the people who joined two years earlier are now two years up the promotion stream... and I can tell you... this is so Asian in thinking... that just by occupying space for two years you are entitled to more money, more title.

If you are halfway worth a shit in any MNC, you'll blow by those that joined earlier. Your griping only shows that you are less interested in promoting yourself and more interested in whining about how others are taking things from you.

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Postby disenchanted » Thu, 21 Feb 2013 11:12 am

Strong Eagle wrote:disenchanted, your entire line of reasoning is crap. You are dealing with companies as though they are frozen in time... that you join in 201X or you join in 201Y and get screwed by those that joined two years earlier.

But that's not how it works at all. Every company of every size has an average attrition rate that, from year to year, is pretty constant. They don't hire from a narrow age range, much broader. In other words, the horse race starts about 4 times a year in most companies.

For you to say that you have been held back because of NS is ludicrous... you start at the same gate as the people that start with you. You seem to think that the people who joined two years earlier are now two years up the promotion stream... and I can tell you... this is so Asian in thinking... that just by occupying space for two years you are entitled to more money, more title.

If you are halfway worth a shit in any MNC, you'll blow by those that joined earlier. Your griping only shows that you are less interested in promoting yourself and more interested in whining about how others are taking things from you.


Firstly, I don't give a rat's ass about promotion chains and hiring with the MNCs because I don't want to work for any MNCs at all. If you do intend to work for one then yes NS might be a good way to start your conditioning into a top-down environment. But I have a different set of wants and ideally that shouldn't be an issue.

Secondly, nope, I don't really care who and at what age takes what position in life and their career. I know ultimately your own capabilities (and some luck) will define how fast are you're progressing in whatever you do. I'm not fixated at those who don't have to serve in the army as my competitors. I rather envy them their freedoms.

Lastly, if someone is taking away something from me, its not any prospective jobs, uni places, etc because I have no worries about competing. It's the time and energy that I know I could use much more constructively outside. And yes, I am pissed off at that and I won't deny that. And plenty of my Singaporean peers agree.

I don't want to GET anything from ANYBODY. I only want to live my own life and work for my own bread my own way and for people like me (like them or hate them), there are countries more conducive than Singapore. And that's the entire point I was trying to make the past several posts.

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Postby disenchanted » Thu, 21 Feb 2013 12:14 pm

x9200 wrote:So you are talking about a niche industry. It could be either blessing or a curse regardless the country but I don't think it is fair to generalize based on anything that is 'niche'.


Fair enough, but in majority of countries a 'niche' doesn't have to equal a black hole. As I said, the supply of the quality product is one side but Singaporeans are extremely unsupportive of their home-grown arts and media, even in the respective market niches. Its this foreign = good, homegrown = suckish approach that I haven't seen so widespread anywhere else in the World.

I feel the longer this conversation goes the more it looks like a circle..

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 21 Feb 2013 12:29 pm

disenchanted wrote:
x9200 wrote:So you are talking about a niche industry. It could be either blessing or a curse regardless the country but I don't think it is fair to generalize based on anything that is 'niche'.


Fair enough, but in majority of countries a 'niche' doesn't have to equal a black hole. As I said, the supply of the quality product is one side but Singaporeans are extremely unsupportive of their home-grown arts and media, even in the respective market niches. Its this foreign = good, homegrown = suckish approach that I haven't seen so widespread anywhere else in the World.

I feel the longer this conversation goes the more it looks like a circle..


Well, we exchanged just 2 sets of responses if I am not mistaken so it looks like another unfair statement or you are simply lost already within this limited interactions? Singapore is small, a niche is small by definition, what do you expect, plenty of opportunities within a tiny market loaded with cultural restrictions? :roll:

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Postby disenchanted » Thu, 21 Feb 2013 1:02 pm

x9200 wrote:
disenchanted wrote:
x9200 wrote:So you are talking about a niche industry. It could be either blessing or a curse regardless the country but I don't think it is fair to generalize based on anything that is 'niche'.


Fair enough, but in majority of countries a 'niche' doesn't have to equal a black hole. As I said, the supply of the quality product is one side but Singaporeans are extremely unsupportive of their home-grown arts and media, even in the respective market niches. Its this foreign = good, homegrown = suckish approach that I haven't seen so widespread anywhere else in the World.

I feel the longer this conversation goes the more it looks like a circle..


Well, we exchanged just 2 sets of responses if I am not mistaken so it looks like another unfair statement or you are simply lost already within this limited interactions? Singapore is small, a niche is small by definition, what do you expect, plenty of opportunities within a tiny market loaded with cultural restrictions? :roll:


No, I'm not lost. But continuing on this subject is futile as it produces neither consensus nor understanding. I hardly even see any willingness to understand why would some people simply not want to stay here any longer. We can keep recycling the same argument over and over but I think we all have more interesting things to do.

But yes, you did just hit the head of the nail there. That's why Singapore may be an El Dorado for some and quite the contrary for others. Which is what I said way before. Its not for everyone. Which would perfectly understandable if it wasn't for that 'renaissance city' image the govt is trying to sell worldwide.

So I said that ten times and I will say that again. For anybody like the TS who might be reading this, before you commit yourself to this place, make sure its the right place for you. Price to pay isn't as small as it seems so learn from my own mistakes. You don't want to wake up in camp one day realizing there isn't much for you do to in here anyways. Don't limit yourselves, its a big world out there.


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