I am still unemployed. I don’t have a job. You might be a little confused about that if you read the post just before this one but don’t worry so am I. I went into what was my first day of work today. As you may know, I wasn’t very happy with the pay offered. So I decided to ask for a little more given I heard they were quite desperate for people. Here is what happened this morning.
I was told work started at 9.30 and the HRB (human resource bitch) told me the day earlier she was going to come in early, so I can meet her at 9.30. If you tell me you are going to be early for work which officially starts at 9.30am, I am going to assume you would be there at least at 9.15. I like a kiasu Singaporean worker was there at 9.10am. No one was at the office. The HRB came in at 10.30, gave me a form and that’s it. No apology, no discussion, no contract, no official letter of offer. I didn’t even know how many days annual leave I got. So when the department head came in I said I wanted a run down of the benefits so she called in the HRB again. HRB came in and it all went pear shaped from there. By the way, why do they say pear-shaped? Why is it a bad thing? I like pears. I think I was very patient and professional with her until we hit a little snag about the pay. I finally caved and said I am happy to work for that amount but only if we can re-look at my package upon confirmation. That’s when she told me, that they don’t do discussions or negotiations with employees. They will only “consider” requests. That’s when I had it. I think I lost my patience a little. That and her repeatedly calling me a “fresher”. I think that term means entry level personnel in Indian or some other country slang. It’s not commonly used in Singapore. I wanted to stop and ask what they hell fresher meant and remind her that she is in Singapore. When I told her I am not entry level staff, I have a fair bit of experience in corporate support services just not in this industry (trading), she got all up herself and asked me if I even knew what the company did and deals with. I did because being prepared, I read up about the company on their website, plus my closest friend in during my Masters was from trading and one of my other close friend’s family own’s a export business in another country. I have discussed trading to a fair level with both of them. Then she, I think she was caught off guard at my preparedness, got really annoying and asked me a very specific question that only people in the industry or those who studied it in depth would. Basically she could have asked me when her birthday was, if she was going to do that. That was her argument that I was an entry level candidate. She told me after that to go consider the offer again over coffee because she thought I was too focused on the money and benefits. I think she changed her mind. To be fair, at that point I had changed my mind too. From being excited and grateful for having a job, I became a bit doubtful if i wanted to work in that company. Actually what I wanted was the HRB’s job. Because from the brief interactions with her one thing was extremely clear to me, I could probably do her job better than her. I mean usually when I meet HR/recruitment people, they do a good job of making you want to work for their company. This lady had the totally opposite effect.
These are some snippets of what she said with a commentary of what was going on in my head:
HRB: You know our new staff here are very willing to do overtime without pay because they are here to learn.
My head: Bitch please, no one is going to work for free. I am willing to learn yes but this is a job, not school. It’s bad enough overtime is an expectation not seen as an favour the employee does for the firm, you are trying to use that to convince me that this is the best opportunity in the world?
HRB: Look at me, I have 2 small children yet I went home very late last night. I only got home at 9 last night.
Me: I am not a stranger to late nights, I used to work in a hotel, I was on call 24/7.
My head: You came to work at 10.30!!! Even though you had an appointment at 9.30. And you were at home at 9. Most of the working population in Singapore are at work by 8 or 9 in the morning and reach home in the evening after 8. That’s just the norm. You are lucky. And really you want to publicise the fact that you put your work over your kids? Seriously?
Anyway, I walked out of that place and straight into a recruitment agency. I had just had it with job hunting. Not sure anything will come of it but the agent there was re-assuring. She took a look at my resume and expected salary (I listed $500 more per month than what the company had offered me) and looked at me again. She said, you know you can easily ask for $1000 to almost $2000 more than that right. I think the look I gave her after that must have been of a crazed maniac because she let a tentative nervous laugh. I managed to not lose it, and sighed and told her that I wasn’t having luck with what I had listed but if she could find me for something more I would be more than happy. I must have looked and sounded quite pathetic after that because she ushered me into an empty conference room and proceeded to get more details from me while also trying to get me in a better mood.
Okay, I think I’m done venting now.