Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Un-Ambitions

Do you remember back in school, those essays which makes you write about your “cita-cita” or those important looking school documents which forces you to jot down your top 3 favourite ambitions of all time as if at the tender age of 7 we KNEW exactly what those jobs entailed?

Polis. Askar. Doktor. Peguam. Guru. Bomba. Jururawat. Juruterbang. Arkitek.

Every year until you’re done with school we fill in the blanks with anything that sounds professional and "normal" so that your teachers won’t look at your parents weird at PTAs and your parents wouldn’t in turn, have to counsel you about the importance of having a professional 9-5 job and a steady stream of income.

Like many sensible, filial Asian children with no real direction of their (my) own I resorted to studying the safest subjects. And after more than 7 years of running in circles and not winning anything in the rat race – I still don’t have an inkling of what I REALLY want to do. But I DID learn that there are SOME things which I DON’T want to do and I wished that I was more informed about them when I going through the phase of having to actually DECIDE what I wanted to do with my life.

But lo and behold! After 7 years of real-life research, I can now finally unveil to you my Un-ambitions: Jobs I would never want to do again.

1. Financial Accountant
Yes I am an accountant my profession but I’m not ashamed to admit that I hate it. Month in month out I’m staring at pages and pages of Microsoft Excel worksheets and hundreds of linkages - churning out Income statements, Balance Sheets, Cash Flow statements, Statements of changes in Equity, Notes to financial statement, Company taxes, yearly budgets, audits and annual reports. I have a different level of hate kept especially for annual reports. Let’s face it, the only thing investors ever want to know about the company is how much damn money are they going to get back in return. But instead we churn out this freaking 300 paged full of self-indulgent testaments and technical garbage nobody gives a shit about. Financial instruments disclosure. Intangible assets. Off-Balance Sheet items. Deferred taxes. Subordinated notes. Gain on sale of securities held for trading and derivative financial instruments. Redeemable convertible unsecured loans. Non-Cumulative guaranteed preference shares. Nobody gives a shit about those things except fellow anal retentive regulators, accountants and auditors.

Financial accounting is tedious. Monotonous. Robotic. Repetitious. Boring. And most of all, after doing it for so many years, it starts feeling pointless and empty. Very unfulfilling. You are a number crunching lifeless drone with no mind of your own. If people asks me whether accounting is the way to go for them I will always say this, unless you have the character of a piece of chalk – NO. If they like numbers so much they are better off doing something in the finance industry. All that said, taking up at least a couple of basic accounting units is very important because ALL companies DEPEND on numbers to function. So, yes take some accounts in school but NO, don’t do it for a living. Wasting five young years on this was my biggest regret in life. As you can see I am still very bitter about it. Whether it MADE me the bitter bitch I am now or I have always BEEN a bitter bitch remains to be proven, though.

2. PR
I met this really eye-catching decked-out girl at a club who was a friend’s friend. Very lady-like and poised. Seems pleasant enough when I’m talking to her… but her phone would ring every hour and when she is on the phone I could see that she transforms into this whole different person. She suddenly develops a weird unrecognisable foreign accent, laughs a little too loudly and shrilly, sounded a few tones higher than normal. I learned from her that she does PR for a very prominent group and the first thing she told me after I wowed was “there is nothing glamorous about this job”. Yeah right, I thought. I could do this. How hard is it to be nice to clients all the time and look fabulous? I really wanted to give this job a try which is why my current job entails some elements of PR. I thought hey, I’m an extroverted kind of person. I think I understand people more than numbers. I love eating and drinking for free. I can multitask. It’s not too hard, right?

Wrong.

To enter into the world of PR one WILL need to have a certain flair and chameleon-like ability to be anything or anyone when the situation calls for it. Which means you have to constantly put on different masks all time and I don’t mean like China’s secret face-changing technique. To potential clients and people who are useful to you, you are their best friend ever, you constantly kiss ass, you promise the moon and stars, you whisper sweet nothings into their ear and recite the most beautiful poetry ever on demand. To please the selected few special people, nothing is impossible. Yet in the same breathe you turn into this nasty pushy unreasonable dragon bitch, demanding your underlings to get the shit done by yesterday or else. It's like being a two-faced fake. Fortunately not everybody is like this. Unfortunately a lot of people are. It’s just the way the industry works.

I’m aware that there are many ways a person can PR… but unfortunately the ones I have to deal with are mostly the types who are enveloped in their "I'm better than you" air of pretentiousness which I rather not associate myself with or model myself after. Plus having to go all out to kiss everybody’s ass and revolve my life around work (because in PR, you are working 24-7) is just not for me. I have a fear that if I am in the industry long enough, the pressure, lifestyle and pace would suck me in so deep it mutates me into this superficial monster. My hats off to you guys who do this for a living, I'm just not made for this.

3. Educator
I’ve never formally taught. But I can tell from my limited experience that I cannot do this. I’m VERY impatient. When somebody comes and asks me to explain to them something that seems damn simple to me (like the double entry rule), I would try to explain it to them as best as I can, but I do it at warp speed. Words jump up from my mouth like a bullet train at rush hour in Japan and I just expect the person asking to be able to follow. In my (irrational) mind I’ll be like, this is too easy! Then the person would ask questions to clarify. Questions, questions and more questions. I get fidgety and frustrated. And while I am trying as hard as I can to slowly explain something I am mentally screaming “WTF. WHY IS IT SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND. ARE YOU A STUPID RETARD DID YOUR MOTHER DROP YOU WHEN YOU WERE A BABY WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME THIS OVER AND OVER AGAIN HOW MANY FUCKING TIMES DO YOU NEED ME TO EXPLAIN THIS STUPID THING TO YOU I WANT TO KILL YOU AND SHIP YOUR REMAINS TO INDIA AND FEED YOU TO THE GODDAMN RATS OMG LEAVE ME ALONE MOTHERFUCKER!”.

I can’t even begin to imagine teaching children. Do you have any idea how spoilt and warped kids are these days? And the parents? Even worse. Before the day is through, the only thing I’ll probably manage to get into their thick skulls is my hand. Crushing it.

I don’t quite enjoy the prospects of losing friends or living in a contained 8x8 space metal bars for a door for a prolonged period of time. So teaching is out for me.

Thus conclude my Un-Ambitions. I've shown you mine. Now show me yours!

41 comments:

  1. 1. air stewardess
    2. dentist
    3. architect

    hehehe.

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  2. so you are a financial accountant in your previous life huh? for what company? i am an engineer by trade but will be switching careers when i am done with my masters in a couple months

    thus.. i will be interviewing with meryl lynch, goldman, jp morgan and morgan stanley in the next couple months for an investment banking associate position.

    i think my new ambition list would be...
    1. investment banker
    2. portfolio manager
    3. m&a consultant

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  3. 1) Salesperson
    2) Telemarketer

    I used to want to be a LEGO designer. But I like PLAYING with LEGO more. :D

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  4. I blogged that issue on November 2006. Haven't found the answers yet. My folks aren't helping with their lists of safe jobs everytime I complain about my job.

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  5. 1. Employee
    2. Employer
    3. Runner

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  6. er...everybody listing their least fav jobs or most fav jobs?...

    hmm..to me....its an open secret that my dream job is to be a housewife. still working on it. But im halfway there.:)

    FA: Definitely not a secret already after this hehehe. actually that used to be my dreamjob too.. marry rich guy be a tai tai etc. Secret fantasy for a lot of girls I'll bet. But now my thinking is - never depend or rely on anybody for money except yourself. If the fella happens to be rich then it's a bonus. if I became housewife I'll probably die of boredom anyway hehe. Take care and Good luck! :)

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  7. When I was young I thought of to be a bank owner but later when I grow up I found out that it's almost impossible to achieve.

    After SPM, most of my friend went on to study engineering and I follow suit. Later I found out that I am just not made up for engineering because I suck in Calculus.

    After buying the book "HTML for Dummies", in those days it is just HTML 1.0 nothing fancy like what we have now. I created my own personal web page in Geocities, no one call it blog then. I found that my interest is in programming or IT. So, I applied to study in APIIT on Computing course.

    After graduating in Computing, I came out and join the Insurance industry as a Financial Planner. Here I learn about some financial products like insurance, unit trust and estate planning. Also, I learn how to sell.

    After a here without any salary, I made up my mind that I am just not discipline enough to make the sales call. So, I took a job in a local software company as a sales executive. At first I do the sales, but moving on the years, programmers quit their job and I have to take care of the job too, and then the system admin quit too and I have to take care of his job in managing the servers.

    Basically this shift me back from sales to technical. I don't regret for staying on for 3 years in this company even though it pays me peanuts because I learn a lot of things. As change is a constant, I quit my job last August and join my current company as a DBA. It pays ok, and I kinda like the job. I like to manage database server. Besides, this job gave me more time to blog.

    My Un-ambitions:

    1. Banker.
    2. Warren Buffet wannabe.
    3. Kenny Sia wannabe wtf.

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  8. hey hey, glad u blogged about your unambitions.

    My unambitions currently are:
    1. Gigolo
    2. Policeman
    3. Ice-cream seller
    4. Engineer
    5. F&B manager
    These are really tough jobs.

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  9. Haha, I enjoyed reading this post. You sound so cute when you're indignant.

    Lousy jobs? I can't do sales (unless if it's computers). I worked two different sales jobs before my current one. The other job I had but sucked at was programming. I love computers but I absolutely suck at programming and I get a migraine staring at lines and lines and lines of code.

    Happily enough I actually like my current job where I get to work with computers and other IT stuff and NOT have to write any applications for them. Being IT helpdesk isn't glamorous but at least it isn't so dull, for me anyway.

    Unfortunately, I have to work shifts which means working at night and on weekends and there's no such thing as public holidays...

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  10. I wanted to be a policeman and wear uniforms and catch bad guys when I am too young to understand. After going thru road blocks and some unfortunate expereince with the cops, I decided not to, I think the reason is obvious.

    Am too dumb to be a doctor, and I dun like studying.

    I wanted to be top martial artist but my grandma won't let me join classes for fear I will turn bad. Fuck me.

    I wanted to be a pilot but I am again too dumb a fuck to be one as I failed all of my science subject, I wonder why I enter science stream too, perhaps for the glamour, too thick.

    Yuors Truly,
    TRULY UNAMBITIOUSed

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  11. i once dream bout being angkasawan, but lucky i nvr pursue further becoz angkasawan is such a public tax payer enemy in msia now.

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  12. @ CraSH: (1) and (3) from your list are the 21st-century version of insurance salesmen in the 80s. A portfolio manager is an actuarist in disguise. LOL

    Best job in the world? Boss. With an army of accountants, PR associates and various "team leaders" and other underlings to do one's bidding.

    LOL

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  13. I completely understand the feeling. I posted something similar 2 weeks back.

    Recommended: The Passion Test by Chris & Janet Attwood

    PDF copies can be found online. Else mail me.

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  14. I used to write juruterbang, and I still get dreams very often of flying, or even going for flying classes.

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  15. My un-ambitions are
    in Primary skool it was:
    1) Scientist
    2) Doctor
    3) Banker

    In Secondary Skool:
    1) Scientist
    2) 3D animator
    3) Comic Artist

    When i started working:
    1) Creative Director in advertising.
    2) My Own Boss

    Now that I am my own boss, all i want is to get paid :P mows..

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  16. My unambition ambition is to be FA's gofer.

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  17. When I was in uni:
    1) Astronomer
    2) Astrophysicist
    3) Aeronautical Engineer

    Now that I'm in the workforce:
    1) Billionaire Venture Capitalist
    2) Billionaire Philantropist
    3) Well-connected contractor

    Notice how ideals turn material in a bare space of 10 years?

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  18. why do people not answer your actual question har. =_="

    my unambition ada satu saja.

    unemployment.

    oh wait two two.

    government crony. :D

    ReplyDelete
  19. i'm due to start work next week and in the same line as you (#1). i'm excited but at the same time fear for what you've written bout #1. ah we'll see...

    i think given a chance to fill in the cita-cita column again, i would write:

    #1 Prime Minister (he has the easiest job eh in msia at least- sleep, fly around in private jet, cruising with F1 boss, every 2 weeks go overseas for visits to improve 'bilateral ties' konon, come back got problems just say 'i dunno', have his big ass face plastered everywhere)

    #2 Ministers! (every 2 days or so give out some statements to hentam the oppositions, drive big fat nice cars, build big fat nice mansions, squander millions here and there from every project under his/her ministerial jurisdiction, get invited to be VIP and go around shake hands)

    #3 PM's DIL/SIL :D enough said!

    my cikgu-cikgu would be so proud of me for being ambitious and having such far fetched visions!

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  20. My unambition is:

    1) Marry Takeshi Kaneshiro!
    2) Marry Takeshi Kaneshiro!
    3) Marry Takeshi Kaneshiro!

    LOL! ;)

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  21. i tot unambition is supposed to mean something that you DON'T WANT to be...

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  22. relax accountant, ur gonna pop a vein la. the answer to ur question on what u want to do is simple.

    "there is no spoon"

    to me a job is suppose to make you money so that you can spend the money doing sth u like. it doesn't define you as a person, u r who u r whether ur an accountant or a hitman. so choose a job that's gonna make u the most money (without getting emo about it be it killing someone or doing a bank recon) and enjoy spending the money u make.

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  23. omg my ambition is to be government crony

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  24. eh you ppl ah. damn off tangent wei. tak tau baca arahan ke.

    Asking you guys to share with us your UN-ambitions lah, NOT ambitions.

    Tell me what jobs you DON'T want to do lah.

    -_-"

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  25. hahahaha yea man how come so off one ah.
    hahahahahahahhaa jar doh

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  26. 1. an accountant

    did loads of typing for my dad (he's an accountant). hated checking and rechecking the figures for the P&L's, balance sheets and what-not. damn dull.

    2. teacher

    can't be this cause i don't think i'll be able to stay sane teaching the same materials over and over and over... AARRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!

    3. blogger

    actually its not that i dont wanna be, its just that im afraid of the legal ramifications if and when i talk about shit that can get me in the ISA, haha.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wow. I planned to be an accountant someday after I receive my ACCA.

    I love accounts.
    But I guess the part where the job itself bitches is true.

    >_>
    But i can write or book or reserve a place at the "wall street journal"

    ahahaha. one can dream.

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  28. Oops, sorry.

    Un-ambitions:

    1. Accountant. (I hate counting)
    2. Chef. (I only eat)
    3. Programmer. (Been there, done that)

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  29. tiger - haha.. i think the investment banking and portfolio management job you are talking is those who go out and try to sell a product or idea.. but there are more other functions within then such as risk management, transaction analysts and etc...

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  30. Haha...I remember the time when I wrote in that form, in innocent script, 'penoreh getah.' Ah, that's a noble profession.

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  31. lol... i don't remember what i wrote when i got that form in primary but when i got to secondary and the hormones kicked in i wrote down 'porn star' ... spent the rest of the year seeing the counseling teacher... so yeah... puting down 'safe' professions is the best thing to do if you don't wanna deal with having to explain that you're not an abuse victim

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  32. Actually you don't seem to realise how important a financial accountant is. Essentially you provide information, and thanks to auditors the information that you provide is accurate in displaying the performance of a corporation. Because of this, companies world wide are being forced to show precise and accurate accounting data to regulators, investors and so forth. Without financial accountants, the world would be in such a chaotic stake! No capital markets, no knowledge of a company let along an economy's performance!!!

    and contrary to what you state, as a hedge fund manager, I look @ all the "Financial instruments disclosure. Intangible assets. Off-Balance Sheet items. Deferred taxes. Subordinated notes. Gain on sale of securities held for trading and derivative financial instruments. Redeemable convertible unsecured loans. Non-Cumulative guaranteed preference shares." plus more....and i'm sure a lot more investors/analysts would start to do the same since this recent sub-prime rubbish.

    So stop complaining already!

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  33. 1. Vet
    2. full-time blogger hahaha
    3. tai-tai

    ReplyDelete
  34. jobs i don't want to do ar...

    1. shoe seller (i can't stand taking shoes for others)

    2. jobs that require me to stand long hours like 8 freaking hours without a minute of sitting except lunchtime. i worked as a part-timr promoter in this particular shop before. walao, every corner of da shop got cctv. not that da shop is big, just a tiny one and it has 4bloody cctv. wanna sneak out also cannot. doh

    3. an educator. every child that i had tutored sure cry one. that says it all.

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  35. You know what. My unambitious really happens when I wake up from my sleep.

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  36. Hahaha, like so many of us. Safe education, safe jobs; but unlike our parents, we somehow earn our dues but crave something more. I'm a masters grad in a field that I've already abandoned, and taking a massive pay cut to try out another.

    All the best in finding your calling dear girl. To all of us perhaps, for some soul searching. Cheers :)

    "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney

    "The future favours the bold" - Olympic Motto

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  37. ah, all the terms in your first un-ambitions feels oh-so-familiar. i have no idea if i can handle being an accountant... hopefully i can.

    my un-ambitions would most probably be anything related to chemistry or biology... hate those things... i can NEVER get chemistry. its just weird!

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  38. In most jurisdictions, a lender may foreclose the mortgaged home if certain conditions - principally, non-payment with the mortgage loan - obtain. Subject to local legal requirements, the property may then be sold. Any amounts received from the sale (net associated with costs) are applied to the original debt. In some jurisdictions, mortgage loans are non-recourse loans: if the funds recouped from sale of the mortgaged property are usually insufficient to cover the actual outstanding debt, the lender may not have recourse for the borrower after foreclosures. In other jurisdictions, the borrower stays responsible for any staying debt.

    ReplyDelete

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