Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Wrath of the "Non-Essential" Roles

On Sunday Times today, the newspaper came out with a controversial article that has raised a few eyebrows and backlashes from the public.

Amongst my small circle group of friends,  they were mostly grouped who comes from the line of art, engineer, lawyer, healthcare, research, human resource, financial advisors, IT, bankers, entrepreneur and self-employed.

Apart from healthcare, most belong to the group of non-essential jobs that ST has identified, yet these are jobs that most people are likely to rake in the biggest chunk of money home and are the mostly sought after courses in the university.

NMP Economist Walter Theseira said in his interview that it is hard to separate interest from compensation, as most graduates are convinced to pursue courses in the university that has the highest salary potential or lifestyle associated with the job once they graduate.

As an interviewer for student admissions, he is often amazed by the number of people who told him during the interview sincerely that they found accounting interesting and the reason for pursuing the course is pure out of passion.

Having been an accountant myself for close to 12 years, I can say that it's almost close to impossible that one would pursue an accounting course out of pure passion. While having that knowledge is nice (as with any other roles), accounting as a job itself is pure Fifty-Shades-of-Grey slavery. What comes as a big plus is the perception being an iron rice bowl with guaranteed job security and steady stream of income and benefits.

So coming back to the article itself, perhaps it's wiser to have things defined as an immediate essentials vs non-immediate essentials rather comparing it as essentials vs non-essentials.

Immediate essentials - as the name implies, are things that require immediate attention, so you have things like doctors, nurses, garbage collectors and deliverymen (during circuit breaker) providing services that attend to your immediate needs.

The non-immediate essentials role like business consultants, teachers, support teams like finance and HR, sales or pilots are also essential jobs. These people help to rebuild businesses and people to retain and retrain and their roles are not less effective than the essential jobs. What differs them is that they may not be as vital as an immediate concerns for the next 24 hours.

Perhaps the definition of essentials vs non-essentials may also be different in different times. For example, if we are in a war situation right now, you are likely to see an increase importance in army and soldiers and much lesser on garbage collectors and delivery men. So the paradigm might shift and we are all on this together to make up a good round community together.

The insensitive article from ST might also be an agenda to push for another round of minimum or universal basic income, based on the current Maslow's hierarchical of needs, which will surely be raised from the opposition during the election rally not any longer from now.

If only, things were defined better, I think we could get most of the readers to accept how the article is being written.

The next time my boss asked me to do things urgently, I will tell her that my role is non-essential, okay?

Thanks for reading.

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  1. uncle168,

    that's why i tell you to hold cash

    an accountant is non-essential as erp can auto generate financial reports

    then now got ai software to do financial analysis leh

    even got ai algo traders

    but vwry hard to replace garbage collectors with robot leh

    after the wo and psp with a landslide victory with psp winning amk grc with lhy and lwl in the team

    pritam singh would become the new prime minister

    lhy the finance minister

    tcb the deputy pm and natinal development

    the most amazing thing is chee soon juan would win a grc and become the education minister

    foreign labour levy and quota would be replaced by cpf contribution and min wage of $10 per hour for all workers

    foreign workers must pass gce o levels and speak english and must rent a room in hdb or will not be allowed work permit

    domestic consumption would shoot up as disposable income increase

    accoutant all become rubbish collector same wage but more exercise

    birthrate shoots up as healhy body and wage means more piak piak and hope for future

    pap become opposition party

    lhl hsk all become grabfood rider but with min wage they regain dignity without gov help



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  2. uncle168,

    you tell your boss lah you non essential

    je immediately replace you with ceca leh


  3. uncle168,

    you should read up the political history of singapore

    how a kampung caught fire and suddenly everyone ended up living in pigeon hole flats which lky claim that the value will only rise

    now it is falling but he up lorry so cannot pofma him

    last time my grc is bedok grc

    pap s jakumar very good mp lky pioneer batch always take care of us in bedok

    then after the pap won a election they suddenly say want to build casino

    many people object including pap mps but pap got party whip then s jakumar resign he never say why

    then the dtf toothpick stealer come to east eoast grc and won narrowly against wp because people very angry so many foreigners and wage never increase

    then pap tone down got pioneer package

    then lky pass away

    out of sympathy pap won a landslide victory

    but the stupid pap think is people like them

    then they start to accelerate ceca increase prices of everything

    ask people pay s$100b to build the duke to stop flood and say must raise gst

    then covid came suddenly out of nowhere hsk raid the reserves s$100b to all the capitalist who will never trickle down

    how come the gov has the money to save the fat cats but no money to build the duke leh?

    trust is eroded cannot be gain back easily

    true enough the gov has to force the reits to pass down the property tax rebate

    the pap fail to understand the textbook version of an open economy would lead to everyone benefiting is a lie

    karl marx predicted that when the winners takes all economy is left unchecked eventually it would lead to a revolution

    this has happened to all countries with high gini

    it is singapore's turn

    who tell you so stupid become stinkie

    you have to think properly who you vote for as it is not for you but for the future of your children

    your children jobs will be replaced by ceca if you vote pap


  4. Never mind, most of these non- essential are able to wfh and still collect same salary. In fact most work lesser & able to shake leg, watch Netflix, jalan jalan to supermarkets & restaurant tapao during office hours, while pretending to be working & connected to office matters. That's why 80%-90% want wfh measures to continue even if there is a cure or vaccination. Doesn't matter which survey or poll --- they all say the same.

  5. uncle168,

    well said

    the #sgrevolution

    has begun...

    the pap fat cats would soon be kicked out of parliment house

    lky predicted this would happen sooer or later if the people lose their trust in the ruling party if they didn't perform well they deserved to lose in ge2020


  6. For some of the essential jobs that many shun, it is high time to automate and improve process to reduce people needed.

    With a good process and automation will reduce manpower significantly, just that we are so addicted to the cheap labor to hasten this.

  7. Essential or Non-Essential, I believe the Straits Times article does not address the real issue. More concerning is how technology will replace and re-define the existing manpower landscape. As a former accountant, I have seen how technology has replaced headcount in the accounting department at a tech startup. A real culture shock given that we process & manage payments for the largest Asian E-commerce firm and do see that such technology implementation will sweep changes in the audit and accounting industry easily. No doubt not all accountants & auditors will lose their jobs, but it will definitely change. The perception of the surveyed community seem naive or truly oblivion to the real change undercurrent.


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  9. uncle168,

    tharman once said singapore cannot be where everyone is a insurance, property agent or stock brokwr

    it is the reality today

    social mobility is broken in singapore when the gov remove estate duties for the rich and ask the poor to pay more gst

    as ministers are millionaires there is no empathy for the poor, the invisible easential worker

    pofma erode the trust of the gov of its people so why ahould the people trust the gov anymore?

    elitism is entrenched by lky in our society the winner takes all

    ceca mass immigration create structure unemployment among singaporean pmets especially middle age ones

    lumping singaporeans and pr in employment statistics hide the reality that jobs were taken away by foreigners disguised as locals

    the mismanagement of covid was the straw that broke the camels back

    the inability to draw the right people in the taskforce because of partisanship created a massive migrant worker cluster

    how can the president advise whether $100b in budget would bankrupt our country when she dont even know how much reserves we have?

    the lost of trust in the government would make the pap the opposition party after ge2020

    enough is enough

    we have to take back our country and make things right ourselves as the gov doesn't want to change

    pritam singh would be our next prime minister

    he would show the pap how to run a country and not to treat it like a corporation


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