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  • I'm a Singaporean millennial and I have a...
    #11941advice· 2d ago

    I'm a Singaporean millennial and I have a message for all fellow Singaporeans who wants to read this. I was awarded a government scholarship for PhD studies, and I chose NUS. But I never achieved the Singaporean dream. I'm almost 40 and still a virgin. I have no wife, no house, no children, no car, no nothing. I cannot find a job in Singapore, despite being a government scholar, and had to leave Singapore to earn an income, just like many foreign workers in low income jobs in SG. Being overseas for years, I realize Singaporeans really have "everything", but are not always happy or grateful. Not every Singaporean. There are many who are left out like me. But most NUS and NTU graduates I know are living comfortably, if only they can look past their petty little problems in life, and not get dragged down by them. Singaporeans talk about "upgrading" a lot, not only in housing but career advancement. In other countries, there is no guarantee the financial value of a home will increase shortly after it is sold, new or not. Sometimes, residential apartments can drop in value within a year. Also overseas, people do not generally look forward to career advancements. Many people simply accept the possibility that they will be stuck for life, without being managers or executives. Many Singaporeans can afford annual or biannual overseas vacation trips, to expensive countries like Japan. I have met many people who have never travelled outside their own country. And many of them have a PhD. I understand Singaporeans are overworked, but that is a price to pay for the high salaries. And despite all that, people can still find happiness on a day to day basis. People find happiness just by talking to colleagues, talking to family, talking to friends. Or making a joke about their problems in life. In Singapore, personal problems are usually sad situations in the telling. It's like "oh my colleagues suck, and it is making my life miserable." "Oh me and my girlfriend cannot come to an agreement. If only she would do things my way." You cannot expect people to do things you way. You cannot change people But you can take responsibility for your own happiness, instead of putting the responsibility on others to make you happy, which is silly if you think about it. Put down the petty problems, or let go of them. That colleague who offended you at work? Just forgive and move on. Failed to become manager in your company? Let go and enjoy your salary. Got rejected by someone you are romantically attracted to? Let go and find someone else or wait for someone else. Government makes a decision you do not agree with? It's not the end of the world. Its not the end of your Singaporean dream. Your spouse and children are still there. Your house, still there. Just enjoy life. You have "everything". You don't see it, but I know it. If having "everything" bothers you, then let go. Not achieving the Singaporean dream is not a sad thing. It's only sad because Singaporeans create this narration that life can only be happy one way. You can create your own reality. That is true. You cannot change your situation, but you can change the narrative of your life. The Singaporean dream is just that....... a dream, or a nightmare, depending on how you want to see it.

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  • My girlfriend is vegetarian and i did not...
    #11940advice· 2d ago

    My girlfriend is vegetarian and i did not know it was this much of a hassle to plan meals together. Apart from eating at hawkers or in school, it is hard to find restaurants especially Japanese or korean or western cuisine to eat at because their vegetarian options are really sad like salad and all that. I cannot stand to see my partner eat like that. There was this time we went to jb and after a ktv session, the nearby restaurants had few vegetarian options for eg. Plain udon/ramen. She did not want to eat. I was really annoyed as it was late and i was hungry already and to check for places with vegetarian options, i had to go to google map and see where got vegetarian options, scan thru every menu. Thank god that cafes in jb open until very late and serve vegetarian meals. Vegetarian indian is my saving grace, if not for that I’m very done. In the long run if we get married, it might be 2/3 times an day thing where we have to cater for my partner. Tldr, i feel that this hassle of not being able to just eat anywhere is quite obstructive to my daily routines and all. I am considering giving up. I want advice from anyone with vegetarian partners if this is worth it in the long run. Overall she is an amazing human being but this issue is an everyday thing and I’m finding it tough to handle

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  • To the OP of #108746 and #108520 ...
    #11939advice· 2d ago

    To the OP of #108746 and #108520 I read through your posts and felt really, really relatable. I mean, technically those who actually bashed you in the comments for it prolly had never gone through such feelings before, and that's okay, too. People have different types of sensitivity, some of us are just more prone to be more emotional. I am kinda in the same situation as you, just gender switch. I've never met him irl as well, maybe know him only about half a year? The topics we talk about are never just "what are you doing today" kind of exchange. I tend to ask deep questions and he indulge them, sharing pieces of our inner thoughts and emotions. It is to the extent that I feel like he is on a soulmate/twin flame(?) kind of level (I'm sure he don't feel this way though) I feel like I know him more than I even know my RL friends. I'm generally not a very open person, but with him I felt like I can be honest and open (And I have been betrayed twice in such similar style of friendships as well, he still manage to give me a safe feeling, which is odd) I think the feeling you get from her is like she provide you a safe place to be yourself without being judged, right? Generally that's the comfortable kind of feeling I get from my situation as well. So I kinda get what you're going through. It's a kind of comfort and peace feeling, how he respond is lowkey what I needed to hear. I take another perspective, I rage less, I was sad less, and I became more emotionally stable. I was in a safe place (in my opinion) and hence I kinda "woke up" in some aspects, and changed some of my bad habits for myself as well. Exactly same as your case when you said people around you said you changed for the better. I'm not sure how sociable are you in real life (I'm not, so such friendships tend to resonate highly with me and despite not meeting irl it felt real to me) Maybe it's the same case as you. I feel like you harbored some expectations for this girl who left hence you felt some sort of resentment or a sort of obsession-ish feeling; For my case I try not to have any expectations for him. If we eventually meet, it'll be awesome, I see him as a close friend. If we don't, that's okay too. I accept that he may not want to extend such friendships to offline. Some people just enjoy chatting online, irl they get emotionally-stressed because we know them a little too much and it's uncomfortable for them. It's generally easier to chat online than to talk about deep things irl, because through typing we can think before we type and phrase it better. Sometimes the feeling we get from online chatting may not be same as when we really meet them irl. That's my advice to you, it's hard to swallow but we have to rationalize this way if not we'll just get disappointed. When you talk to more people, being exposed to more friends and people in all walks of life will let you encounter different personalities. Who knows, you might even chat to another who can understand you like this girl, and be equally-invested with each other, and not one sided attachment. Sometimes, people are just placed in our lives to teach us how to love ourselves better. We change ourselves directly or indirectly under their influence, but they were never meant to be permanent. The way she left was a hint that she likely did not see it as deep a friendship as you see it. Don't bash yourself, but don't bash her either. People have different ways of coping. Maybe at that time her emotional capacity is unable to deal with it. You can keep her presence alive in your heart to guide yourself to change for the better, but try not to fantasize how "it could have been with her". Easier said than done, yes, but that's life, isn't it?

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  • When someone dares you to do something, don’t...
    #11938advice· 2d ago

    When someone dares you to do something, don’t ever do it just because of your ego. I was talking to my group of friends about hiking and we decided to go on a hike to Clementi forest. When we were there, one of my friends gave a dare for anyone to go through the hike barefooted. When I heard that, as a 23 year old male that just got out of the army not long ago, I decided to give myself a challenge and took off my shoes and socks immediately. One of my other friends saw this and he took off his shoes , and kept his socks on as he was afraid of stepping on any sharp objects. We decided to leave it in the car so that we won’t be tempted to wear them and give up the challenge. That was the start of our nightmare. It was fun and exciting at first as it felt good to walk around publicly barefoot without any fear of judgement from people and we thought it was a good idea since the path was so muddy that my other friends who kept their shoes on regretted their decision. Eventually, my other friend who was in this challenge with me ditched his socks too as it was super muddy and he wanted to really be part of the challenge too. After the super muddy portion of the forest, our feet were both so dirty and muddy but we carried on hiking in the forest. However we took a wrong turn and went into the part where there were heavy vegetations instead of the straight forward path that most people would take. As we walked, my friend suddenly shouted in pain and he stepped on a tree branch with spikes and his foot was scratched. He wanted to put his shoes back on but realised it was not with him and it was in the car. So no choice, we had to keep walking as we were at the halfway point. I was scared to step on any of these branches as I had no footwear too and my bare feet were exposed, but despite being so careful, me and my friend still accidentally stepped on the branches and rocks multiple times. We were in so much pain that every step we took felt like pins on our feet. When we were approaching the exit, there was a river that we had to cross and the moment we stepped into the river, our feet hurt so bad with all the cuts. We washed our feet briefly to get rid of all the mud and we saw how badly the scratches were that it was probably not a good idea to wash there as the river was very muddy and dirty as well. After we reached the end, we wiped down our feet with disinfectant wipes and waited for our friend to drive the car over as we couldn’t walk that far to get to the carpark. We had to limp to the road and quickly took our footwear from the car and put it back on. My friend who threw his socks away halfway through had to wear them without socks and the rough surface from the shoes made him feel even worse. We are still hoping we didn’t contract any infections from this hike and so moral of the story is, don’t do dares just because you want to prove a point, its simply not worth it to injured yourself to do that.

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  • This is a caution to CS / infosec...
    #11937advice· 2d ago

    This is a caution to CS / infosec grads that want to do cybersecurity to avoid DBS cybersecurity. I will explain by dividing this into 3 sections – work, management, colleagues, although sometimes they overlap with each other. Work: The work you do is barely relevant to cybersecurity. You would mostly be doing infrastructure work, IT support, project management, and vendor / stakeholder management. Expect to create lots of chaser emails, excel, slide decks, change requests, and reports, and join many calls and meetings, and give presentations. Most people here have never seen a pcap in their lives, let alone malware analysis, incident response, etc. Even SOC work is mostly escalation and sending more emails manually. For potential SEEDers, the hackathon you participate in will 100% not be what you are doing if you get in, and you won’t even see your real direct managers during the entire interview process so you can’t even tell what kind of person you would be working closely with. If you are entering via TFIP programme, there is barely any learning or training in OJT, you will be arrowed to do random things nobody wants to do. Forget cybersecurity tools like Wireshark, Burpuite, Nmap, etc, and get ready to be an expert in the entire Microsoft Office suite. A lot of things are very manual and tedious, and there is a lot of red tape that prevents you from getting work done. With the recent MAS freeze as seen on the news, things are even stricter. You will spend most of the time getting through red tape. Expect to spend some hours or days trying to get approvals to carry out tasks, even for tasks that take 10 minutes. If you fail to fulfil all the requirements to get approvals, your task has to be delayed for at least 2 weeks. If something goes wrong and you need to fix something urgently, you need to learn even more tedious processes to get permission to fix the issue, all while the issue worsens. By the way, management comes up with even more red tape as the weeks go by that only make infrastructure work more miserable. Due to the nature of infrastructure work, there are many frequent night OTs with little compensation. The OT is the kind that starts at midnight and ends at 6am, sometimes even continuing the next day and the next next day. No day, no night, no weekend, no boundaries. If you happen to have a meeting that happens the next day, there will be an unspoken expectation to still come to office the next morning. Sometimes for the night tasks you may need to physically go down to office / datacentre, same timing as above. A lot of the things you “learn” here are not transferrable to other cybersecurity roles elsewhere. Management also heavily discourages internal rotation, so you are stuck in that role for years, and other companies probably would not hire you seeing how unrelated your work is to cybersecurity. It is actually very bad for your career, learning, and growth. It is also not safe to fail here. Mistakes are treated extremely harshly so there is a level of anxiety that is always there when you work. Sometimes it’s also very arbitrary and you aren’t even sure if what you are doing is correct or not. As documentation is poor, and colleagues are not free and/or not willing to teach, you are really on your own to learn, but you cannot make mistakes also. It is very stressful and very unfair for new colleagues who just joined, with no psychological safety to fail or even ask questions. The end result is that people work in silos and never ask for help even when they need to, and mistakes happen. Or worse, mistakes are covered up, and the next guy who inherits the app suffers once he sees how bad the app was managed. Workforce here is extremely lean, management has to rely on non-headcount to distribute the workload (interns, SEED, TFIP, contractors). Many people wear many hats (can range from 1 project to 5++ projects), with frequent OTs. Day in day out it’s just work, even on weekends, evenings, and early mornings. For some reason management is really unable or unwilling to hire new people to take on the increasing workload, but they will use the same money to fund expensive initiatives or social events to wayang again. Management: Extremely top-down hierarchical management. Also top heavy. If a mistake is made, management will come down hard on you, and they will not help you. Sometimes mistakes are publicly shamed during meetings, calls, and in the office. After the shaming they won’t even tell you what you did wrong, or how you can correct the mistake. You are just there to let them have a power trip. There is also a level of distrust and secrecy that exists between management and employee. Many important decisions regarding your future are done without consulting you at all. It is only after the decision has been made do they announce it to you on very short notice, with almost no room for negotiation, unless you threaten to quit. But not everyone can get away unharmed after threatening to quit especially if you have no connections or you are not anyone’s favourite. Employees become resentful and then start to protect themselves by exerting their boundaries at work or by confronting management, making management wary, and the distrust and secrecy worsens. Management is also not transparent with very little communication. They will only find you when you have done something wrong, other than that management virtually does not exist. No guidance no communication. First month of work your manager may not even talk to you at all, but they will use someone to talk to you, under the guise of “buddy system”. Some people don’t even have buddies, so is really show up and be lost at work. A lot of times, you are forced to find out important things about YOUR OWN WORK via gossiping instead of management just directly telling you, which is really counterproductive and irrational. It also works the other way - management will find out things about you via gossip instead of consulting you directly, which is extremely harmful because sometimes the gossip is totally wrong. For some really strange reason, management just does not like to communicate with you directly. They will only find you to tell you that you did something wrong, or to give you more work. Management paints the department as forward-thinking and progressive workplace, allowing hybrid arrangement, flexibility to rotate between roles for learning, etc. But the moment you voice out and say you wish to work from home or rotate around for learning, management will mark you and start to mistreat you. Gossip about you wanting to claim what was rightfully presented to you will spread like wildfire depending on how petty your current manager is. You are penalized for taking up something that management has openly offered you, which is really idiotic. Please do not lie to us if there is no such opportunity to work from home or rotate internally. If you tell us we can do something, then don’t be surprised when people actually do it. Management is not professional, as private and personal matters that you tell them can spread like wildfire. You will know that it was spread by management, because you only told them and nobody else. Suddenly you will come to office and people will make fun of you for something very personal, and you just feel disgusted and betrayed. Special mention to the management in a certain team (rhymes with “stools team”), one of the worst places I have ever seen in my life. Team lead demands everyone to WFO everyday despite hybrid being mandated by HR because there is apparently one person who is unproductive. Until this day even our most elite gossipmongers are not able to deduce the identity of this one person, who probably does not exist anyway. And then when you are in office, he also micromanages where you sit, despite our office having hotdesking arrangement. There are not enough seats in office anyway, but he still makes us come back, despite people from other teams complaining why we are taking up their seats. Meetings with him are very stressful as he will single out people to scold over very minor matters or details that ultimately do not matter. The scolding is also unproductive and non-constructive, very useless comments like “why not done”, “you spoke to him means what”, “waiting for what”. No help or resources given at all. Every month there is a meeting where he will power trip to scold everyone and hold people back till 7+++ pm, which is an extreme waste of everyone’s time, everyone is already overloaded and tired. And yet he still gets promoted while many good people never promote for years. Under his direction, people who used to have good character become toxic as he favours a toxic top-down style of management, and only people who can carry that out get promoted into management. He also blocks information from going upwards, so upper management cannot see how miserable people are. One of the most arrogant and narcissistic people I have ever met, I hope I never see your face again unless it’s on newspaper. Nepotism is rife. Management will bring in people they personally know outside, and a lot of the nepo babies come in to do minimal to no work, and/or they are incompetent, and/or they get promoted very early compared to others. To be honest, it’s actually ok to refer people in, but the people who come in must do work. But quite a number of them don’t and that’s where the problem arises. They also get away with not doing work because of connections. Some of them are not even good people and they actively antagonize colleagues, say who never do work when they themselves actually never do work one. There is also a very infamous case of a nepo baby taking advantage of his connections to bypass many rules that management laid out for the rest of the team, working from home, leaving work early, etc. This same nepo baby who is NOT in a management position will delegate his work to contractors (same job scope in the same team), and the contractors will work till 5am on most days while he does the less tedious work of talking to vendors. He will then claim credit for all the work done, and management promoted him. This behaviour is totally backed by management, so nobody is able to do anything about it. Last I heard, all the contractors serving this nepo baby just quit, so if you are being hired to do “tools” and asked if you are okay to do overtime, do not accept the offer. If you have accepted, prepare to look for a job asap. Related to nepotism, bias is also common. No connections or blood relations to anyone in power? No problem, you can also try to be good friends with them, and you can do almost nothing and get promoted. The other workhorses will pick up the slack, do 7 or 8 projects / apps, while you do 1 or 2. The other workhorses will be told they are not doing enough even though they are involved in so many projects, while you can do 1 project and get continuous praise and promotion. Sustainable and fair right? But it is very arbitrary though, no guarantees you will be a favourite so easily even if you hang out with them till 4am or go overseas with them. Pray hard enough and maybe they will like you. Management does not care about or respect your growth, learning, or career. In fact, it is very against management’s interest for you to rotate away to do another role, as they will reduce one headcount for that project / app. They really only see you as a workhorse that is only there to do work without question, no life outside, no commitments outside, no family outside, no friends outside. If you tell management you want to rotate away (e.g. from infrastructure work), they will ramble on and on about how your desired role is a dead-end career that does not amount to anything, and you should stay on in infrastructure to have a great and fulfilling career - a great and fulfilling career full of OT till 5am pressing some buttons, taking some screenshots here and there. There are also no learning resources to upskill yourself despite promising that to SEED/TFIP people, management will actually tell you to watch YouTube or use ChatGPT while you wait for your tasks to start at midnight, like as if I cannot watch YouTube or use ChatGPT unemployed. All bootcamps and certification bodies bankrupt already, got YouTube to steal their business. Sponsorship for cybersecurity certifications is also extremely limited and reserved only for their favourites, their friends, and nepo babies. Management will also use their own SEEDers / TFIP / contractors as cheap labour. SEEDers are asked to take on many projects and apps, and even irrelevant things like event planning or internal engagement activities all under the guise of learning. SEEDers are told to compete with each other for graduation, which is idiotic as all SEEDers graduate eventually. TFIP and contractors are treated extremely differently from perm staff as they are viewed to be below perm staff and thus dispensable. TFIP and contractors are not given any attention, there is no career prospect, there is no mentoring, and benefits are non-existent. They are just there to do jobs nobody wants to do with way less benefits and compensation. TFIP is used as a cheap labour as their monthly allowance is not even provided by the bank, meaning free headcount. TFIP / contractors are always lured with promises of conversion to perm based on performance, when in reality there may very well be a hiring freeze or management never even had the intention to convert in the first place, and these poor people are just being led on for months. By the time they are able to give you perm, you probably already want to quit anyway. There is also no incentive for management to convert TFIP / contractors as they would become more expensive to hire. If you are offered a role as contractor, do not accept unless you are about to be homeless soon. Management will actively invalidate your concerns and complaints. As mentioned earlier, the workforce is extremely lean, many people wearing many hats, doing many things, working for many hours. But they will never publicly acknowledge that it is a problem, in fact, they like to turn it into a “character building” or “resilience building” exercise, saying that all these hardships are here to help you become a better person. Sometimes management will even tell you that the problem is you, you can’t prioritize, you can’t handle work well, you can’t multitask. Management can even say that all these hardships is a great opportunity to prove yourself and be recognised, or to use this to compete and outshine your other colleagues for promotion and conversion. Is super rigged though cause end of the day only nepo babies and favourites get promoted / converted. Management is not open to feedback at all. Similar to above, any feedback given, even if it is constructive, is met with a knee-jerk reaction – they will proceed to defend before you can even finish your statement. Perhaps they are too used to defending in blue team, but they will not even pay attention to whatever legitimate concerns you have. Instead, they will remember that you dared to speak out against them, and mark you as dangerous. There is also this internal rating system where you rate your managers. It is a huge deal because it actually affects the manager’s bonuses. As such, management will organise social events to brainwash you into thinking how great the department is, and that you should give high scores for the managers. They even bribe you with peanuts, yes actual peanuts from Tong Guan I am not even kidding. Most people just give a high score because they give up already. But management will always take this and try to pat themselves on the back saying how they are doing such a great job etc. They will then have another social event after the voting to review and say how they are the best and everything. It’s nauseating and most of the time you feel like you’re in a cult. Colleagues: Some of the colleagues here are some of the most miserable, crass, insensitive, petty, hypocritical, backstabbing, gossipy, childish people I have ever seen. People pushing 40 acting like they are 14, the jokes range from mean-spirited to totally inappropriate, let alone in a professional setting. Cliques are normal and gossip is the medium of communication. If you are not in any clique, feeling isolated is the norm as the social climate will be very hostile towards you. Cliques are also exclusive and they usually won’t talk to you unless you are working with them. Sometimes cliques are not well defined, and people are influenced to migrate cliques, steal friends, etc. If you miss secondary school maybe this isn’t such a bad place. The overall social climate in the office is that there is this inner circle of friends that consist of many people in power. They have known each other since this department opened up. There are many powerful people inside this inner circle because friends promote each other, or they are referred in from outside and then get promoted fast. If you have been here long enough, it’s very easy to see who is in this inner circle, you can even see on social media – it’s the same few people over and over again blowing up on your feed. These people in power just do whatever they want, horde and gatekeep resources and information for themselves, and exploit / bully / gaslight people outside this inner circle into working and serving them. It turns into a cult where you are end up serving these same few people, conform, told to work hard, be just like them, and you can join their ranks one day. If you are outside this inner circle, they really do not care about you or your welfare. You are just a robot to do work for them and their friends. The result is you notice that the department is becoming top heavy and suffering from severe talent drain – inner circle and their nepo babies, even the incompetent ones that do nothing, get promoted into high ranks, while people who are actually talented and do the real work end up leaving because they are exploited or upset that they have not promoted. Disgruntled employees outside the inner circle that complain they did not get promoted will be told how they do not work hard enough, and that they should work even harder to one day join their ranks. It’s all rigged. Management also doesn’t care that people are leaving, all outside inner circle, why should they care anyway? They will just replace them with cheaper contractors, but then they will get surprised people use this place as a stepping stone, when they have never taken proper care of their employees. As previously mentioned, the inner circle has more access to information and resources. As such there is a clear career disadvantage if you don’t join them. It is extremely unfair, but if for some reason you choose to stay and wish to progress, you must eventually join the inner circle, and really give up your entire life for them - join whatever social event they have, prop up their egos, be their driver, go overseas with them, stay at someone’s house till 4am regularly, even if you have a real family waiting for you back home. Also, there is no guarantee they will even like you after you do all the above and give up whatever life you had for them. Jokes are very crass, childish, cringy, slapstick, and disrespectful. People love to make fun of another person’s appearance, misfortune, difficulties, or habits. It is always at the expense of another person. Sometimes you confide in other people you thought you could trust about the difficulties you face at work, and they laugh at your struggles and/or they tell other people. Colleagues also being straight up rude and disrespectful, because they think it’s funny. Sometimes it can even get vulgar. People also love to call other colleagues fat, stupid, ugly, when they have never seen a mirror in their lives. Why not use some of that 10-20k salary to buy a gym membership? Zero sense of work decorum. If you dislike social events, or if you dislike socializing with these people, this place is hell. There is a strong, unspoken rule to attend as many social events / community service events as possible. Regarding community service events, even though they say it is optional, and you are strongly encouraged to go, there is actually a tracker in the backend to track attendance. Even though only perms are obliged to go because they need to hit a certain number of events a year, contractors will also get chased for not going. Someone will drop you a paggro text that you did not go. Social events wise, there is also a very strong pressure to go. If you don’t go, people will gossip about you again. Some people will actually notice if you don’t show up, or if you recycled an excuse as to why you are not going. If only they could use that kind of diligence in their own work. If you do not speak Mandarin, and you work here, I actually feel very bad for you. Nearly everyone chooses to speak Mandarin, even though they can speak fluent English. Even in meetings where official work instructions are given, they speak Mandarin. Those who do not speak Mandarin won’t even understand what is going on, and they won’t even be aware there is work being given out. They will then get scolded for not doing work, which is so dumb because the instructions were given in a language that they do not even understand to begin with. People will then say weird things like “I thought you can speak Mandarin by now” when you tell them you don’t understand Mandarin. As you can tell by now, gossiping is a professional sport here. Some people gossip better than they do their jobs. Some people only gossip and don’t do their jobs. Sometimes the gossip is totally wrong, or just made up, and yet it can travel so far and so wide because it is too entertaining. Many people here are so addicted to gossip their brains literally become dependent on the dopamine rush they get from gossiping. It comes to a point where you can know everything about another person in another team before you even know what they look like (assuming the gossip is even correct). That’s why so many people are so quiet, paranoid, and anti-social, because if they share something about themselves, that information can be used against them, or it can travel to other departments. Mouthpieces of management / inner circle will even spread misinformation about certain colleagues, teams, or even external companies / people who have already left just to convince people not to rotate to another team or leave the company, or maybe just for fun. It’s actually really pathetic, and they think we don’t see through them when we are just giving them face. If you are lucky, you can even catch someone accidentally typing gossip into the wrong group chat, before they quickly delete. The things they say can be really vile sometimes, and it is quite disappointing when you catch bosses or colleagues you trusted saying those things. There is a very strong pressure to conform here. You have to be a certain kind of person that enjoys certain kinds of jokes, has a certain work ethic, has a certain worldview, talks in a certain way, think and behave in a certain way. I am sorry but it is very difficult to describe to you, but I hope the rest of the review, especially the previous few paragraphs, can give you a rough idea. If you do not conform, social life here is difficult. Sometimes people invite you to lunch, and the same people that invited you don’t even talk to you. You will go out, buy food, takeaway to some place, and eat. Since cliques already exist, they will talk among themselves, and you just listen. You can try to talk, but they may not reply, or they will just look at you like you said something super dumb. Then they will all go and insult or gossip about some random person (usually is the same woman over and over again), before taking out their phones to look at social media / play phone games for one hour. Is damn waste time. Then they are super puzzled why you don’t go for lunch with them anymore, before they kick you out of the lunch group chat. A good number of people are not helpful at all, sometimes because they do not have the bandwidth to help you, but other times because they just do not want to help you. We are not even talking about technical stuff you learn in school / outside. We are talking about work processes that are specific to this place. You can be a newcomer in your first week, and people can start dropping names of people and applications and servers without any context like as if you worked here for 20 years already. They will even say “anything don’t know just ask”, but when you actually go and ask them who to escalate to or how to use an app, they laugh at you and say “this also don’t know”, and they purposely say it so loud so management can hear and know you asked a “dumb question”. Obviously don’t know right? Nobody teach, nobody say anything, and no documentation. Then they will reply “trial by fire”. It’s so hilarious to say “trial by fire” when we are dealing with critical infrastructure. Don’t act surprised things break and we go on the news again when you never even taught people how to use them. At the rate which people are leaving, you will be the only one left to clean everything up. Some colleagues, you go up to them with a legitimate request saying something needs to be done, or you need something from them, but they will actually scold you for asking them to do more work or asking too many questions, or they will pretend they don’t know anything, even though they can be the app owner. You eventually start to notice that many people here are trying to divert questions away or push work away, even things that are legitimate. It then becomes a game of who can divert things away better. As a result, you get this work environment where everyone is working in silos, nobody wants to properly take ownership for their work because they are already overloaded, and people only want to divert attention away. It’s a very bad habit to pick up. Many people here are extremely miserable and they despise working here, but at the same time, they are extremely afraid of speaking out or even telling people that they do not like it here, for fear of being singled out and bullied. Some of these people also have very strange coping mechanisms, such as telling themselves and other people here is the best place to work, and the outside world is cold, unforgiving, poor pay, poor benefits, but all these are revealed to be false through a simple job search or a simple conversation with the large handful of people who have left. Out of misery, these same people will also tell other people who complain to them that they are weak, their problems are not as bad, they don’t know how to prioritize their work, they are too dumb to understand simple things. Worst of all, some people will alert HR and management that there are people complaining or unhappy, really like some cult here. Trust the wrong person and it could be career-ending. All this builds a culture of distrust, secrecy, and apprehension in addition to the already horrendous workload and poor management. The end result is that the very people who should be helping each other and united together against poor working conditions are fighting amongst themselves, working in silos, with poor morale. There is not enough unified and mounting dissent to wake management up as everyone is afraid. If you are a female in her 20s to early 30s who is single, it’s highly advisable not to work here. There are some men here who are single, lonely, and desperate. They think they are entitled to your attention. They will do a lot of weird things just to get your attention, in hopes that you would get together with them. Sometimes these men will get their female friends to befriend you, and there is an ulterior motive to set people up with each other. Colleagues may even become inappropriate and very creepy. Remember that you can always whistle blow, but if you whistle blow, it will blow up and all eyes will be on you, so just leave / don’t join if you can. With work conditions so bad, you would think why not exert work boundaries? But if you exert boundaries, such as leaving office on time, people will gossip about you for leaving office on time. Leaving office on time counts as sensational news here, despite everything else that is going on. Your colleagues don’t care that you finish your work already, they will still talk smack about you for leaving on time, saying maybe you don’t have enough work. (But is ok that nepo babies leave 1 hour earlier?) Going back to exerting boundaries, people will gossip about you for speaking up, people will gossip about you for providing constructive feedback. Management will also despise you for exerting boundaries. If you have people-pleasing tendencies, you will be very miserable, you will always sacrifice your own needs for the sake of keeping the peace. There are people who purposely choose to do their work slowly so they leave office at later, just so people won’t gossip about them. People who already finish work at 6 will wait a while more when more people leave, then they leave. Many people “adapt” to the toxic culture, thinking they are becoming “stronger” and becoming more “resistant” or “resilient” to life’s challenges, when in actuality they just acquired learned helplessness. Worst case is they become toxic themselves. Then they look down on those who “can’t take it” and quit, like it’s some sort of weakness. True strength lies in the ability to detect toxic situations and knowing when to finally let go. Stop looking down on those who quit as your coping mechanism, you have a lot to learn from those who had the courage to know they deserved better, those who had the drive to acquire a better job elsewhere, those who had the strength to quit even without a job lined up. Final thoughts: To management: So many people have left this department already. The recent ongoing exodus is of an unprecedented magnitude, and yet you still haven’t wake up? Sia suay. You reap what you sow, and you don’t deserve what you don’t respect. All advice has been given before by so many colleagues, if you did not listen, it’s 100% your fault. Stop delegating blame to external factors and other people. The common denominator is you. It is all your fault. To people who have an offer / thinking of joining here: My advice is - don’t. You can probably do so much better outside. You see the job description? So vague right? It’s on purpose one because if they tell you what you are actually going to do, you won’t even apply. Even as a stepping stone, I don’t think it’s worth your time, you don’t even learn anything except how to do pivot table, send email, or take screenshot. You ask people for training material they tell you to watch YouTube while you wait for your night time OT. Don’t get enticed by the pay, many places are catching up and overtaking them anyway. If you are really enticed by the pay, you should convert the pay to hourly rate and account for unpaid OT, it becomes very low. If you think everything in this review is nonsense, then congratulations you are probably a good culture fit, and I invite you to apply and stay for life.

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  • Should I strive to apply to pursue a...
    #11936adviceask-prof-ben· 9d ago

    Should I strive to apply to pursue a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science & Engineering at IIT Bombay instead of a Bachelor of Computing in Computer Science at NUS? Since our PM recently compared IIT to the likes of MIT and Stanford, while NUS is nowhere near the standards of MIT and Stanford. Perhaps I can get better employment opportunities with a degree from IIT Bombay than NUS.

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