Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Annual Necessary Evil for Singaporean Men

photo-15There is a certain even that is an annual necessary evil for Singaporean men. At least almost year, and for many Singaporean men. It’s reservist service, or In-Camp Training. Some like it, don’t like it, but almost everyone has lots to complain about it. In fact, it is so strange that even those who are not serving are part of the complaining lot.

The biggest dread of my reservist is that it is too long and it is too regular. It’s always been 3 weeks (this year there was a small little concession of 2 days). The reaction we get from our bosses and colleagues are:

  • I thought you just went recently only?
  • How come it is so long again?
  • How come you always have to go reservist?
  • How come your reservist is longer than everyone else?
  • Why other people don’t have so much reservist to serve?

Yeah and the list goes on and on. The trouble with having it regular and so long is that you always seem to be perpetually in reservist. You see, it is not just those who are serving that complain. The colleagues complain too. (As do the families.)

Think about it. There are only 52 weeks a year. Take away 28 days leave (that’s for me), 6 days of child MC, 6 days of child care leave, making a total of 40 days. That is 8 weeks off. If the conditions are right for public holidays, you could be off for another 2 weeks. If you take a couple of days MC, say 5 days, that’s another week off. Effectively, there are only 38 weeks left to do work.

Three weeks of reservist is plenty of weeks.

This blog post came about because, well you guessed it, I’m in reservist again.

This time, there are many things different. Some changes in people, some changes in working arrangements. Changes also in family and transport arrangements.

The weather has been one significant change too. There was a time when 34 degrees celsius was “abnormal”. In fact, anything above 32 degrees celsius was rather unusual. These days, 34 degrees celsius is becoming quite commonplace. The weather is really so super hot. The air-con in my bedroom (at home) doesn’t even feel cold enough at night… or maybe it needs refilling of its refrigerant.

One good thing, though, is that the activities planned for this ICT are not any worse than before. That’s really a good thing.

The SAF has “e”-fied and “My”-fied so many things: eSelf-Update, e-PREP, My Deferment, My NS Booklet, etc. How about “eReservist”?

Let’s serve our ICT online by logging in to ns.sg! That will be our 4th generation SAF.

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