Friday, October 16, 2009


(Updated 15 Oct. Original post dated 23 Jul.)

I've always been impressed by a friend called Jonathan. Jonathan was a choir-mate in secondary school, then he became class-rep for my days in Millenia Institute. Now he's earned a University degree via overseas studies in America. Those days were fleetingly swell. If I were ever to get a respectable English name, it would be Jonathan - for it represents someone who is morally upright, reliable, takes action, and remains loyal to his friends.

* * * HISTORY '09 THUS FAR (POST-NS) * * *

Taiwan trip with CDS Batch 14 platoon-mates (Jun 19 - 25).

Job-hunt anxiety and a few interviews ensued. Life crisis emerges - to pursue which degree - Sports Science or Biomedical Science?

Jonathan was conned by TRUST TUITION AGENCY (TRUST TUITION CENTER) into becoming a Tuition Coordinator (ie. someone that prints his own flyers, gives out to parents waiting outside primary school. Lesson Learnt: (1) Ignore Work-from-Home ads in Classifieds Part-time/ Temporary section. (2) Doing business requires a clear head, and properly done calculations. (3) I do not hold Joshua Koh Fu Beng and Ms Koh in high regard. - ~$220 for 3 months of a poorly maintained Tutor database. They have done me a great disservice.

Chronic pain, tightness in right ankle (post-sprains) made me have 2nd thoughts about sports science.

Jonathan thoroughly enjoyed his 2-day stint as a distributor for the Events Artery, giving out promotional tissues opp. Capitol Mall, Raffles place, to promote the WATSONS CARD. Fond memories, esp of the supervisor, Joselyn who tailed me with the camera... + $60

Jonathan was in CPF Board. From August 17 - Sept 11. Did data entry work with Ching Hau, Ivan, Joyce, Remy, most of the time. Got to know Glenn, m1, m2, m3,.. and Perm-staff Adeline, Yoke Lan, Yoke Chai, Hafiz, Noor Aza, Alan, Patricia... and understood some of the mechanics of office-life. Always joked that I would climb the 37+ storeys of the CPF building to train for Vertical marathon, but didn't have the guts to try. I loved the CPF Building Food on the 34th floor.

One day, I planned a run home after work. I changed to a running singlet and shorts in the toilet, did my stretching on the 30th floor, took the lift down, my attire surprised several office ladies. Stopped after I met an old man who entered the lift, he made some small talk about my running. I replied politely, and remarked I have hardly time to exercise. He exited the lift at a lower level. To my amusement, an office-lady in the lift told me he is a CEO of CPF Board. I said oh, i didn't know... After all, I am just a temp staff there and I couldn't look for a raise or promotion, hahaha.

Received calls from Chinese ppl trying to con me of my money.. Entertained them at first, and was tempted to believe. Fortunately, I got a job offer and decided to ignore them.

* * * 18 Sep 2009 : SGH : Patients at the heart of all we do * * *

Resume: Blood collection, ECG, (more to come?)...

Blood collection IS a richly rewarding challenge. I will never be able to look at a Human arm the same way again.

Serving elderly patients remind me that each day, life is a journey to be cherished. Old men I serve remain humble towards this young inexperienced lad, despite their heyday accomplishments. Today I serve them, and who knows, a young lad (yet unborn still) will serve me and my generation in the future, perhaps using more sophisticated medical equipment then the one i'm using. Maybe I will talk to the young lad, about how I used to do ECG for post-war (The Great War) baby boomers in my 20s. When that day comes, my skin may be shrivelled, rough, and stretchy, with blotchy patches. We all get old.

Reminds me of a moral that a man (anyone born human) was never meant to survive his/her whole life alone, but he/she needs help from his brothers and sisters from time to time. Thus he should be there to help others for the sake of passing on this sacred ritual to ensure our species survival. He feels good inside, that he has done good for a fellow. And who knows, the positive experience noted by the fellow will be related to to his primary contacts, and what goes around, may come around.

I am humbled by the strength in character of some of my colleagues. Namely, their honesty, selflessness, and team-spirit. I am grateful to them for sharing some of their experiences.

my dream job.


Alicia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I live in.. said...

Dear Alicia,

I assume you are a local who has lived in Singapore for more than 5 years.

You will forever be kept under their thumb. You have to pay them a monthly "maintenance" fee of $70++ for just a "tutor database" - list of tutors and their contacts. Not much work is done by them for their monthly maintenance fee. Some of the tutors only sign up temporarily, and their validity is only verified by sending in photocopies of their O level Certs, etc.. The list of tutors is not that extensive, most of them junior tutors, part-time, looking for a quick buck.

The clause of fulfilling 3 methods and getting no students, getting your money back... is a bit of a scam, as once there are students looking for tutors, TTA will transfer one over to your account, ensuring that you will have fulfilled your part of the contract, and that TTA will get your money, no refund.

Moreover, when you want to terminate your contract, you still have to pay them a one-time set up fee of $55... What work are they really doing? It works on a MLM recruitment model. And the tuition market here is already oversaturated. The end users (students) will only get 'random tutors' as the pros in the database have schedules too busy to accomodate, and prices too hefty to consider. My dear alicia, pls think twice b4 you fall into their trap like i did.


Alicia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I live in.. said...

From my point of view, they are really only after your money. At the end of the day, you're still working for them, the two partners. Don't be sweet-talked by their free 'session', like other MLM modus operandis... They try to sell you their promises, phone deal, advertising deal. MOE registered, etc.

Btw, You try to call them on their line, they seldom respond, even during their supposed working hours. From the database, I tried to call some 'tutors' but they were students who went back to mainland china after their studies were over.. Database got empty entries in some categories - don't be fooled.

I am bitterly disappointed that such low-life conniving business partners thrive in a society like Singapore. But then again, competition here is so thick, that desperate ppl would likely try whatever means possible to earn their keep. It's a tough job as a coordinator itself. I'd rather you sell insurance.

Christine said...

Hi! Thanks for sharing Johnathan. I almost got cheated by them too :) love ur blog.