Friday, September 30, 2016

workplaces compared

Choon has been hard at work in Singapore for a month now. It’s very natural to want to compare his work experiences in Darwin where he spent over 10 years, and where he is now.

The context: Choon’s a dietitian. He used to work in a public health organization in Darwin, attending mainly to diabetes and renal outpatients (so they don’t actually stay in the hospital), and he was part of a team of eight dietitians.

Now, he is the solo dietitian at a private hospital and he has to take care of the diets of every single patient, including those who are warded and who may need tube-feeding.

ATTIRE. In Darwin, he went to work in shirt and shorts, and track shoes were fine. Here, the moment he got back he stocked up on Zara shirts and whatnot because he needs to be wear long-sleeved shirts and pants and proper shoes.

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* Quick change to slippers and readying the bike for some weekend cycling

WORKING HOURS. Both start at about 8-ish. In Darwin, 430pm marks the end of the work day and if he should want to stay back, he can’t as the lights are turned off. Here, work ends at 6pm, 530pm on Fridays, but he has to stay back late often and once had to work on Saturday.

FRIENDS. He eats with people in Darwin. Here in Singapore, he lunches alone. I hope its because people are slower to warm up.

STRESS LEVELS. He says he’s a little more stressed here, but that is likely due to the very steep learning curve.

PAY. He gets a lot less here. Maybe 70 percent of what he used to get in Darwin.

TRANSPORT TO WORK. He used to drive to work. As he can’t afford a car now, he takes the bus. Happily, Phoebe drives him from work some days.

Lifestyle has definitely changed. The good thing is that he doesn’t have to cook, Jai takes care of that. But when it comes to exercise, he simply has no time to work out the way he did in Darwin, every day after work. He’s become a weekend warrior, cramming cycling, rock-climbing, swimming, gym work, on Saturday and Sunday.

The kids are going to read this and they’re going to ask: Why would anyone want to work in Singapore? (Kids, for the answer to that, ask Papa)

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