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Saturday, February 05, 2005


The Sucky Jobs I Have Had, Part V

Changi Asset Management
The least said about this Gehenna the better.

It made Angus Ogg look efficient. As an example, this twelve-storey corporate monolith had precisely one fax room. All faxes had to be sent and received from this fax room.

(I swear to God I am not making this up. I wish I was).

The fax room communicated with the rest of the building by a team of elderly message boys who used to totter up and down the stairs about four times a day. They went home at three-thirty pm.

Our clients used to send us faxes with messages like "Our agent in Buttfuqistan has been kidnapped by the Robert Fisk Appreciation Society, please send 2,000,000 groats ransom by close of business or he'll be short one head", and we would get them the next morning at ten-thirty, when the messengers' pacemakers kicked in again. This sort of thing happened on a regular basis.

I worked for one of those teams that are very common in financial organisations, that do nothing and do it with great thoroughness. The principal activity seemed to be producing weighty reports that were snail-mailed out to clients who, as far as I could work out, threw them away on receipt. Several hundred of these things had to be produced every month, to ridiculously unfeasible deadlines. If I had to sum up my time at Changi, I'd say frenzied drudgery.

They also used to do fantastically bizarre things like taking a two hour liquid lunch and then saying, "Damn, we haven't finished our reports. We'll have to work the weekend again".

When I worked at Changi I could not imagine that a more pathetic, humiliating, dispriting and utterly worthless hellhole could possibly exist. When I found another job at the beginning of 2000 I was sure that there was nowhere to go but up.

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