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.
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?
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.
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!