Friday, August 27, 2004

The Aftermath

Not too bad i suppose. Was quite a nervous wreck at first. Ran into Yinloon there. Wished him luck as he went in but he didn't seem to notice (prob abit nervous/distracted himself)

Opening volley courtesy of the chairman:

"I understand that you got some money from your university."
"But the figures I have here don't quite add up."
Aside to myself: "No sir I did not appropriate the money they gave to me, nor did I needed to."
"Err, let me explain..."

Actually he started out by asking about my medical condition and I told them all I knew about my kidney. Makes sense now that YL says he's a doctor by training, not just any old PhD.

After the chairman passed me to this Mr. I-can't-remember-his-name 2 guys to the left, who asked me more about Caltech, and things like "So you eat and breathe physics?", "so you don't want to be considered for the MAP at all?" I really should pay the psychologist a visit and thank him. He's done such a good job brainwashing & prepping them. Or maybe I should give myself a pat on the back for putting him to sleep that time. Good job, bean!

But then he asked me about what I wrote in my feedback form about a BS from Caltech being at least as good as an Hons from NUS and probably a Masters. Explained I learnt that from seeing the curriculum of a colleague who was doing a part-time Masters at NUS. Oh well. That probably didn't go down too well with board members present who graduated from NUS. And later, triggered yet another minefield when I said I wanted to do my PhD overseas cos "Right now the impression I get is that a PhD from a prestigious overseas U is probably better than one from NUS, especially if I'm thinking of employment in NUS after my PhD. Oops again. Sigh. I guess a lawyer's (esp one from Microsoft) skills would have been handy then.

Then back to Dr Chew to close up for the killer(s). "What do you think of the HMO?" "What's dat???" Mental note to self - must really properly 'thank' Yinloon for this one. If u're reading this, gee thanks!!!

And the follow up "Did you have any friends in Caltech? Do you have any friends here? Do you feel disadvantaged being an only child? Do you feel like you have lost out?" Err.. I thought the psychoanalysis was in the other session sir. Right, so I only have a handful of close friends. Maybe sometimes I don't feel as social, I'm probably more reticent than if I had sibs, less communicative etc etc but so what? What do you mean by 'lose out'?

"Do you interact with your colleagues, hang out with them after work?"
"Yes I go KTV with them sometimes." Did I look like such a loner on my psych profile?
"You what???"
"So you go there and sing?"
"No I go there to break the glass."
"Just kidding. I meant to say I tried my best but despite my valiant attempts.."

I enjoy a quiet read. But doesn't mean I don't feel lonely sometimes. Like now. Especially blogging on a friday night. Yes yes I know Habit 1 - Be Proactive - awareness that one is the "programmer", in charge of his own program. But even Covey admits it's hard to fight against genetic and social programming. And it doesn't help that YL is attached, that we met up with his friend J who is newly attached, that EY just called me to tell me about his romantic dalliance, that DY is so hot he gets gfs like it's nobody's business. Actually that's all none of my business. I hope I didn't offend anyone, and if I did don't take it to heart cos even the psychologist said I have zero political inclination aka tact etc.

Anyway the Chairman also asked about my long term research plan, and I had to say I didn't have a step-by-step one. Beyond doing RAship at NUS for a couple of years, going back 2 US for further studies, and coming back to finish my bond as a postdoc. Started talking about how next year's World Physics Year. Saying I'll probably organize some activities to promote physics to youngsters. But stumbled abit.. not too prepared for that. Oh and Mr. Rex Anthony Shelley suddenly opened his mouth and exclaimed,"You know you'll have to teach as well in NUS." The chairman then asked if I was prepared to spend my entire life doing research. I said my interest should be sustainable for at least 10 years. Then that led on to me blabbing about how "you never know what you're gonna get in research" and how Einstein spent like 9 years in blind alleys before getting general relativity right and I was about to continue to Feynman and his dry spells when someone opened the door wheeling in more caffeine. Chairman then asked if I was looking forward to ORD and I said yes of course dude. He asked why, aren't you having a cushy NS job in a nice air-con place? I said yes but I'd really appreciate the pay increase from below to above subsistence level. Chuckles all round.

Seemed like alot of bloopers but it was generally smiles, chuckles sometimes. Just like how Cheryl Fox has bad hair days, the Commission has good mood days too. Must be the PM's rally speech. Or Comex. Or WOMAD. Thank you PM. Thank you Comex. Thank you WOMAD. Hopefully I'm not counting my eggs b4 they're laid. Oh yes read more post mortems here and here.


Blogger AcidFlask said...

sounds that it went pretty well, actually. besides, is it really that bad to be a swinging bachelor? < g > think of the other two people in that zoo with you :)

Sat Aug 28, 09:59:00 AM GMT+8  
Blogger bean said...

who who? u dun mean WX and BS rite? :D anyway there's no way we can tell if they're hiding secret dalliances behind our backs. and r u implying that u're not a swinging bachelor yourself anymore? :P

Sat Aug 28, 11:34:00 AM GMT+8  
Blogger AcidFlask said...

How much do you wanna bet on your claim? And speaking of secret dalliances, don't you have one with WX already? ;)

Sun Aug 29, 05:40:00 AM GMT+8  

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