Autumn Cleaning

The last time we had such a cleaning was a year ago when I first joined the company. I had spent one full year with my current company without realising it, time could simply fly couldn't it? We were the only company among 5-6 others with such a large deposit of junk at our backyard. As the guy responsible for all the operation in our factory, I must say it constantly got on my nerves whenever I saw our ever-increasing crap pile. I grabbed my opportunity during this quiet month to pester the boss to allow me to order a skip bin to get rid of these once and for all.

The skip finally came after a month of constant alternative nagging towards the office manager and the boss. I swore that I would never allow such a situation at this point of the next year if I am still working for the company. I would be monitoring the irresponsible dumping by my workers strictly. For the past seven days, with one of my factory mates, we dug into the pile and moved every single piece of thrash with our hands. I couldn't help but think of the multiple emails I had received from Singaporeans over the past year regarding getting the red carpet rolled out neatly for them before coming over to Australia. Perhaps you guys can read this and think about it. How willing are you to do anything for a living? It is a fact that the more you are willing to do, the wider your options will be spread and vice versa - the more precise your job expectations, the more narrow.

There are a lot of opportunities in Australia, especially for men, if you are willing to do something you feel 'beneath you'. If you have this kind of mentality, wake the fuck up. The world is changing. Information technology has changed the world and will continue to change the world faster than anyone can imagine. The jobs of yesterday are no longer available today. Technology has greatly reduced, if not totally eliminated, relevance of humans and jobs. Look at the number of draughtsmen required by an architectural firm these days as compared to the last. Take a walk at the supermarkets and see how many self check-out counters have replaced humans. Look at any industry, manufacturing, FnB, retail, mining, oil & gas, construction etc. There will only be less 'traditional' jobs in the future. That's the real cause of the 'bad times' we are talking about, not the economic crisis elsewhere in the world. One day in the future, the idea of securing a living by having an education, a resume and a job interview will be obsolete.

So the next time before you ask someone, "I'm a gymnastic coach, do you have such jobs in Perth?", ask yourself if there are every other job here except the one you are looking for, are you still going to come? If not, drop your plans. There isn't a point making yourself miserable looking for something that either doesn't exist or in high competition. If I had this mentality before I came, I would stay at home and saved myself the trouble. We HAVE JOBS here but do you want them? 
Day 1
Day 3
Day 7
There was a difference being told (arrowed) to do something and doing something that I wanted to do. No one told me to clear this pile of rubbish and I wanted to do so. It felt good doing so, getting rid of a fire hazard and an eyesore at the same time. At the bottom of the pile, we encountered colonies of maggots, cockroaches and creatures we could not name. Aliens would have comfortably settled down here within the year given the level of neglect we had over the year. The job was slightly dangerous, having to watch hundreds of rusty nails at every movement. The smell wasn't pleasant at all, you could expect that from rotting wood, card board and general waste.

Earlier in the week, I saw a colleague's PC placed in the middle of the office. When I asked what was going on, they told me it was full of dust which cause booting up impossible. The boss had been notified and he would take the PC to a vendor to get that fixed. According to them, the same thing happened last year and it was resolved by getting rid of the dust. I sighed and grabbed the PC outside, removed the covers and created a huge dust cloud with the air gun in my factory while holding my breath. In less than 5 minutes later, I plugged the power right back and got the desktop booting up in front my the office chaps and gave them a thumbs up sign before leaving. They probably didn't know I started my career as a Desktop Engineer. The title sounds ok but what difference does it make? Just another shit job. Singaporeans are suckers for glamourous titles.

How much would the vendor charge us for the 5 minute job? A$80 perhaps. I wondered if the guys in the office knew I was once sitting in the office like them, as a Policy Manager in a stat board. I wouldn't had lifted a finger to do anything out of my job scope back then and would prefer to allow my common sense to be fully eroded by office politics. A lot of people emailed me and asked me why I would go to another country to get my hands dirty while I had jobs as a policy and project manager in Singapore. I would only say after my experience from the past 1-2 years here, it gave me the confidence to survive better to the demands of the future job market of the world. I know I can take on anything to survive. I'll operate a cafe, drive a forklift, a truck or even dig burial grounds if that require of me. A job is just a job. I will take on anything while I continue to work on my project creating my multiple steams of income elsewhere. One day, I will be free, or dead, hopefully the former comes first.

The confidence to survive makes me a happier person. I don't have to beg anymore. I do not have to live in constant fear of losing my job or bow at my superiors when they are wrong. Going around doing the 'dirty jobs' (in most Singaporeans' mind) freed me from my own shackles. I do not have to think about if my job justifies about my years of education and training, my status or background and most importantly, what my peers think about me anymore. To hell with what the others think of me. Fuck you and take some maggots down your throat from my backyard.

Breakfast is going to taste twice as good for me today.


  1. Yes Sir.

    You have finally found a way. I know you are moving on absolutely. These are the little things that make you happy and free from illnesses.

    Wish you a speedy recovery then ...


  2. Well done Nix for going the extra mile and upkeeping the reputation of Singareans here.
    When still in Sg, and especially in recent years, I found that Singaporeans shun doing the hands on stuff whether at home or at work.
    Maybe the upbringing by maids mean they do not know how to.
    Maybe the education make them think these hands on stuff are beneath them. I certainly feel that some of them think that such things are for the workers level and not for management wannabes.
    I believe this is one of the reasons why some Singaporeans do not want to move to Australia.

    Have your company considered having a skip or bin in the compound for waste like these that can be disposed of when the skip is full?
    In this way, the factory can be neater and safer(all that HSE promotion in mining must have got to me).