Judy Will Work

Over the weekend, we received more guests than we did for the last 12 months. There are certainly attractions worth their trip. First, to see my half baked, self taught effort to clad up Savvy Steve's house. If there were some who thought I did a bad job, they kept their thoughts to themselves. The task of beautifying the place might be far from completion and the place was small by "Aussie standard", but the north-western view of the house is fast developing into a fantastic, priceless panoramic picture. It gives me immense pleasure.

They probably want to drop by to see Judy too. I am not sure but some of these friends may still be reading the site (since I got to know them through this) If so, they would have known we are hosting a housemate for a year. She signed up for a 1 year bakery course and came with a huge truckload of hope to make something out of this. She did well enough to build a rapport with a prospective employer than I noted from a Facebook share and was called up to report for training.

Before we go further, Singaporean mum of a new born who just learnt how to smile, M, texted me after a meet up some days ago that said, "Judy much younger than I thought."

"Huh, did I say she is very old?"

"From your blog somewhere, I get the impression she is old," M said.

Hmm. If that is the case, I must offer my apologies to Judy, who is actually just 4 years older than me. The reason why I call her Auntie Judy is because that is how I address her to Albany. In fact, she is as old as one of my own sisters. Too old for Australia when it comes to skilled migration but still an adolescent in Singaporean terms, with decades of cardboard collecting exercises to fulfill.

I tried to prepare Judy mentally on her new work. After all, she has been doing office bound accounting work for the past 2 decades so working in a kitchen will spring some surprises. Contrary to what many Singaporeans think, work is not "slack" here. In fact, with the high cost of labour, businesses are careful with their headcounts and expect workers to be very productive. The key difference is workers are being treated way fairer than those in Singapore. Nonetheless, I told Judy that would be a good experience for her. If she finds the going too tough, it will serve to shatter her rose tinted glasses so that when she returns to Singapore and give up on moving to Australia, she will be at peace with her decision. If she finds her working experience pleasant, it will affirm her purpose and give her the extra motivation to forge on. Either way, she will not lose out.

"Will I get paid for training?" Judy asked.

"Hmm, I dunno, why didn't you ask her over the phone?" I said.

She was too shy to do so. "I'll get to find out this weekend anyway," she reasoned. I am wonder how much they are paying her for the work too. I have to know details, so that I will be able to alert her if she is being exploited in any way. Her work requires her to start work at deathly hours, like some 4am or something. She was a little apprehensive and skeptical of her will power to wake up that early. I'm sure she can. A new environment propels you to live a completely different lifestyle.

I know because I've walked that path.

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