Whenever I get into a “Let’s brave the warmth and humidity of Singapore and actually explore it” mood, I always get rained on, literally, and it’s annoying (see: Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and Punggol expeditions), but thankfully, I have had my fill of Putu Piring and Teh Tarik. But before I confound you any further, let’s fill in the blanks. In other words, let’s start from the very beginning.
Hot off the excruciatingly painful Singapore Airlines cabin crew interview on Saturday, I was completely bombed. Just the night before, I, as usual, voted to stay at home while the rest of the genealogy headed out for some chow time, seemingly in good spirits. Ever since a previous apocalypse last year shortly after I came back from Beijing which saw my father degenerating into pure, ruthless rage – hunting me down to fatally injure me, there has been a truce of “absolutely no communication” which was set up by my mother in a desperate attempt to prevent me from moving out to my Auntie Sarah’s, who’d wanna know why, and to my mother, all of this should be kept to ourselves. Anyways, barely ten minutes since they closed the door, my brothers stormed back in – blaming each other for triggering their father’s reckless driving, along with my screaming mother, who was just distressed and angry. Two minutes later, a faintly loud bang. After many threats of committing suicide either by jumping or crashing the car, he finally acted upon one of them, albeit in a cowardice way (near the estate’s guard-house). To the rest of us, by now, we’re acutely aware that our lives now isn’t a bed of roses, so there was definitely disappointment in what was essentially a deliberate act to make it even more difficult than it already is. Not only was he not the breadwinner of the family, he was barely contributing to it at all – he’d used to work as a cab driver fervently – not a glamorous job, but hey, it was respectable, honest work. These days, that has taken a backseat, preferring to sleep through the day, and night, and shirking his only responsibility left – settling the meals. So, this intentional act of irresponsibility was definitely going to add to the financial burden my mother was already mostly shouldering.
On the surface, I was emotionally indifferent to the situation. I couldn’t care less, and left the estate to nurse a growling stomach while he lay stuck, bleeding all over in the now wrinkled automobile. My mother turned on KBS World loud enough to mainly drown her crying while my youngest brother resumed his regular play of DoTA – life in camp hasn’t been easy so he couldn’t really care as well. Only my younger brother, seemingly the most partial, did anything at all…until three hours later when it was clear that things had gotten serious that my mother had to step in – the car was not drivable, and had to be towed.
By sunrise, it was clear that everybody cept’ the one in hospital, who was back by now, hadn’t slept – traumatized and disturbed. I knew in my heart, there was absolutely no way I was gonna nail the interview. The fatigue alone, was debilitating. Physically, I looked horrible, with very apparent dark circles and hell-firing bloodshot eye sockets. Despite a whole week of standing in the mirror and practicing my smiles, I couldn’t feel joy at all in my heart to even smile, much less display a genuine grin. Still, I went, helplessly hoping that I’d somehow make it. When I saw Tiffany, a former intern (Yes, the dancer) there, I was almost overwhelmed. I wanted more than anything to be the cabin crew of Singapore Airlines, but at that very moment, I just wanted to leave. Emotional stress had built up from last night, and without a channel to release, it mixed in with my nervousness and anxiety, and I became a silent but toxic presence during the interview. I took it very hard.
At no time did I turn and blame others – I hate it when people do that, and I’ve always believed that despite your upbringing, a leopard can change its spots, if it wants to. I did, however, blame myself, you know, for everything, really, and slowly, I drifted into a very dark place. Even when you’re heartbroken, you know that with time, and with the right person, you will heal. Even if you go to prison, there’s always this hope, and knowledge that you’re gonna get out one day. The greatest pain isn’t emotional or physical, it’s psychological. You can still feel your heart – it’s still there, physically and emotionally, but you feel a constriction, then a burning feeling, as if your chest is being engulfed by a flame, just burning all your soul and humanity away…You’ve endured so much physical and emotional pain, and you wonder how long you can take until there’s absolutely no difference whether you’re dead or alive.
Oh how I wished Andy was around, not that I actually wanted around me physically, but it’d have been nice. I think he continues to linger my mind, not individually, but because he has manifested into an idea – this idea that at the right time and right moment, sometimes when you least expect it, you’ll meet the right person whose presence just makes you feel like everything’s gonna be okay for the rest of your life… I started to think, maybe this incident has demonstrated that I’m not destined to be a flight attendant – maybe, I was made to be more than that… I half-accepted my fate, and thought about what I needed to do to get my head back in the game, and began looking at websites by KAPLAN and MDIS, as well as InternSG, the most foolproof way of securing a job interview.
My first was a finance firm that had recently started a publishing arm, with a new business title to its helm, which to me, seemed fine, particularly since I’ve always had some interest in the world of business so I headed down to Changi Road for the interview. Initially, I was excited but while waiting for my interview, I flipped through the issue, and wanted to walk out – I was appalled by the design and editing of the magazine. You might think I’m being critical, and I am. As a local startup, you cannot think your product is perfect considering the odds… because there’s no such thing as “considering the whatever”. Your product, from the first day you make it public, needs to be able to appeal to all your bases. So, you need to build up your team by hiring the right person for the right job, which doesn’t automatically mean hire the degree holders only. Of course, anybody who’s sympathetic to a political cause within the workplace should be terminated with extreme prejudice, but to command respect in the first place, proper hiring processes and human resource management needs to be top-notch.