Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Random thoughts: The work ethnics of the older generation

My father had a tough life bringing the three of us up. I remembered the days as a hawker, we slept at 1 a.m. After clearing up the stall and he wakes up at 7 to prepare for the next working day. He and my mum tells me to study hard, so that I need not work so hard when I grow up. 

I didn't  like the job of a hawker too. I find it dirty, having to clear the leftovers food every night.

Fast forward to now, I am a successful "office worker", in my parents' eyes, staying in the comfort of  air - con room as we work. ( not true for teachers )

Readers will know I tend to whine and complain ocassionally. But recently, I really have to take my hat off 2 colleagues. Both nearing retirement age.

We are all overwhelm with work but these 2 seniors have more projects at hand than me. One of them told me she has been sleeping at 2 am for the past few weeks. 

Wow. Staying up till 2 am to blog and do what we like is a totally different thing from staying up to clear deadlines.

Another colleague and I were in charge of the running of the examinations. It was a lot of work and she being the head is coughing badly for the past week. When the exams are over, I thought she would take a short "MC".

Nope, her voice is coarse now with all the coughing and she still reports to work. 

It is definitely not because of money. She has several properties under her name and one of which is a landed property. Humble, she did mention she can retire anytime.

I also know of teachers who are passionate and have a calling to do their best for the kids. But the work we are doing is hardly energizing and it's taking a lot of time away from the pupils. 

Why are they doing this if not for passion or money? 

I think it's sheer grit.

Whether that serve any higher purpose  I have no comments, but they sure earn my respect.

But I would not want to emulate them
With all due respect. 


  1. commitment. discipline. hard work. i think this has been ingrained in the older generation's DNA. its missing in the rest of us. we don't view life the same way.

    1. Indeed, gagmewithaspoon

      I heard comments about younger workers irresponsible and calculative.

      But personally, I believed besides the innate character, it is also a issue of culture and chemistry between workers and boss.

      Also I have seen "nuan" older workers. But those who pianz, really cannot compare

  2. Being on the other fence, I notice the younger workforce born in 80s on wards are getting smarter in office. Older folks like me deem them as street smart... Can't take training from menial time consuming tasks.. Something to reflect will it bring out the enduring nature 忍耐 in us?

    1. Hi on earth,

      I belong to the "young" generation. We will ask what is it in for me. No it doesn't have to be measured in terms of money, it could be satisfaction and pride etc.

      We ask why and if is it worth it ....

      I am sure the older generation ask the same questions but the sense of "responsibility" override all noises ....

      I guess fr the fence of employer, to would like both in the workplace