What passes off as work these days

I recently took on the job to refresh the Stanford Alumni Association of Singapore’s webpage. For three-day rushed work, I think it turned out alright… I hear there are problems on IE5, but aghh. Fuck that.

Before: old site Not hideous, but not to my liking either. The old designers used frames and had the most annoying machine-coded HTML I’ve ever had to contend with. But the people who hired me just wanted to transplant the old site onto the new server, so less work for me at the time.

After: new site Without mentioning the obvious ripoff of the actual school website’s logo elements (the imitation was specifically requested), the main design elements were adapted from Minima Plus. And now it’s running WordPress 1.5, which makes posting announcements and archival so much easier.

Fleeing the country

The plans are set:

April 23 through May 17, I’ll be in San Francisco and the Bay Area, and will be staying (at least initially) at Sasank and Toru’s apartment in the city. There’s something about going to Vegas one of those weekends, but I obviously didn’t bother to pay attention when someone in the drawgroup emailed about it (hell, I think they’ve already booked a flight for me). After that, stopover in Korea on my way back May 18, with another flight to Jeju island 20th to 22nd. Back on Vesak Day.

I will be so tired and broke at the end of it, so I do wonder why I’m spending all this money (easily my first month’s salary) when I could be sitting at home and relaxing. I should be looking forward to the trip so much more than this — I’m absolutely certain I was desperate to go at some point — but right now, I’m not sure what to feel. The last year and three quarters of NSF life haven’t really been the painful ordeal (nor even the dull grey monotony) I’d imagined the worst of before I came back. Then again, having been trapped in endless office politicking among NSFs (with the corresponding cap in maturity level — I’m trying not to be mean, but it’s the most succinct description of the situation) while handling oft-unreasonable bossly demands, thinking to myself how ominously well this would serve as a prelude to real working life… I think I need this trip much more than I know, before I plunge into my life of grudgingly acceptable indentured civil service labour.

Maybe I’m thinking too much. Who wants me to bring anything back (that won’t get me arrested)?

A conclusion

I had a long post with a lot to say about my NSF “career” as a whole, but it really wasn’t very interesting. Long story short: Friday was my last working day as a NSF.

In all likelihood, however, I’ll have to go back at some point. Probably a result of one of the following scenarios: (a) my understudy panics and doesn’t know how to do something because I really didn’t spend much time teaching him, (b) my boss realises this, decides he’d rather have me do something for him than my understudy, and calls me back to do it, (c) they realise I haven’t cleared my IPPT and SOC yet, my window didn’t really close, just that I’d deleted my name from the nominal rolls, or (d) someone (e.g. CO, ATEC chief clerk, FO team) realises that I’d yet to complete whatever I was supposed to for them before I fled camp.

Meanwhile, I’ve given the camp number, and any other potentially threatening work-related numbers, silent ring-tones on my mobile phone.

This last week, I was told I would be the primary MC for yet another parade, coincidentally on my last day (Friday). Fine, I thought, it’s my last week, I can handle this. Next, my backup MC wormed his way out of helping out with announcing for the post-parade reception, so I had to stay till 8 on Friday evening announcing for the whole damn thing. Fine, I thought, it’s my last day, I can handle this. At some point, I realised, no I bloody couldn’t — Friday night was important. Aaackk. Fine, fine, it might last till 8, things could be postponed no matter how important they were, they could keep me till 8 and no longer because it’d be my last day.

The reception ended before 7, thankfully. I think Friday night went reasonably well, despite my generally harried state.

I’m done. Done!