Monday, August 11, 2008

Exit Interview Questions

Today I read with interest the kind of questions managers should ask their staff during their exit interviews (in Straits Times, Recruit).

Below are my frank answers:

1) What did you enjoy most about working here?

Ans: Not my colleagues, not my stakeholders, not my bosses. The only thing I enjoy is my often interrupted leave. It made me realised that a bad day at home is always better than the best day at work.

2) What did you enjoy least?

Ans: Working with kaisu, kiasi and cannot make it bosses. They are there to make sure they do not get fired and will go to great extend to cover their ass. I can only feel stupid working with such people. In fact, I have scolded a few superiors when they repeatedly cannot see my point and keep forcing me to do stupid silly work!

3) What comments or suggestions can you make to help our organisation grow stronger and more successful in the future?

Ans: Stop asking the majority of the staff to work on silly nitty gritty administrative work. We studied till postgraduate levels (90% of staff) not to be asked to do some silly work. Let us do our core work we had specialised in.

4) Do you feel we dealt with complaints and problems on the job in a timely and effective way? How could we have done better?

Ans: You have dealt with complains in the most patronising way. Your one and only strategy is to increase our pay and bonuses. You could have done it better by not doing anything at all. You only make things worse.

5) Did you have a clear picture of your specific career possibilities within our organization?

Ans: Yes. But I do not want to see myself become another Mr. Kiasi boss and force my colleagues to quit.

6) What one thing would have possibly made you re-think your decision to leave?

Ans: I have to start from scratch earning $2500 monthly after a career change. If I had stayed on to this job, I can comfortably retire upon reaching 50 (seeing most of my colleagues doing so, some even younger!). If I were to change my current job, I may regret and never retire!

It was then I realized that my current job is really unsuitable for me. In fact, I have been sharing with my close colleagues my intention to resign from my industry altogether. I would have resigned if not due to contactual obligations. Honestly, $2000 a month is more than enough to sustain my current lifestyle. Why do I have to slog so hard and live like a dog everyday? Sometimes work can be so stressful that I have insomnia at night. I come back home so drained that I cannot even summon strength to literally put food into my mouth. Many of my colleagues complained of the insomnia problems, sleeping only 2 hours daily. Some turn up for work with no sleep at all! Others end up spending large amount of money on sleep specialists, TCM (myself included) and other forms of treatments.

Is this the norm for Singaporeans? My teachers and parents told me then to study hard now, “suffer now than later in life”. Apparently they equate less education qualifications to more suffering. What kind of inverse relationship is that?!!

Or is there statistics to show that higher educated people are happier people?

Yet the happiest moments in my life was when I was in Secondary school, playing arcade and basketball, with only 50 cents for a can of Coke.

I shall look forward to tha day I have my freedom.


Anonymous said...

Haha. Sound like you are in a government or statutory board.

MakeTraffic said...

Don't give up. Endure and one year will pass. You will be amazed how you have overcome. Take this time to review your life and career goals (i know you have neither time nor strength but Hope Floats! and Hope can carry you through.)

BTW, i am a loyal fan of your blog and i must compliment you for an excellent blog! It is a good read + good reflection upon my own investment strategy. You are also an excellent writer as well.


Sgbluechip said...

Thanks MT! Initially I thought you were some spam!!! haha!!

I am definitely only a mediocre writer, compared to MusicWhiz and La Papillion. I believe you read their blogs too??

In fact, my English and GP teacher were often amazed when I pass their tests! (I came from a Chinese school then)

Do pardon my grammatical errors and inappropriate usage of prepostitions! I really suck at it!

Thanks for the encouragement! I shall read more to improve my delivery and content!

musicwhiz said...

Hi sgbluechip,

As far as I know, there is no correlation between education level and happiness. Happiness is an intensely private thing and is notoriously hard to define. Each of us has their own definition and version of happiness. For one, it may be happy marriage, another may be lots of money while yet another may enjoy a beautiful sunset.

There's always a trade-off between time and money. This is what I realized after being in the workforce for close to 8 years. Many of my friends earn much more but they end up bringing work home, staying super late or working on weekends. Is that worth it ? Some argue that they need the $ to sustain a certain level of lifestyle, which they deem "quality of life". So I guess it's their problem cos they NEED that kind of salary. Such people may be in trouble in case of a downturn when salaries are cut or if they are retrenched, as they may incur more liabilities than assets over time.

For me, although I do not earn a paltry sum, it's not those high-flier type salary either. I would say I earn close to the median income for an average Singaporean. I try to keep my life simple by taking public transport, cycling when I can and to bring my own water out for lunch during work. I don't desire gadgets or branded/fancy clothes either. Living simply means we get to enjoy the simple things in life and are easily contented. I relish a nice simple meal at a coffee shop, a beautiful sunset and a cool breeze on my face. So you must ask if these are more important than others who shower themselves with material goods which may offer "security" but not happiness.

You do not need to "suffer". Work hard but also work smart, and try to avoid a future job with too much overtime as time can never be bought back, while money can always be earned back. Most importantly, make your money work hard for you so you don't have to slog for your money ! Investing is one way of achieving this....


Sgbluechip said...

Thanks MW, your insights are always enriching and encouraging!

Indeed, life is all about balancing: Time and money, risk and returns, family and friends, work and play, mind and body, needs and wants and the list goes on.

I do hope I can work towards discovery of my optimal balance and live happily and simply ever after!

Ah Qing said...

hey hey!

when u mentioned 'bond' in this post, i shuddered because i am tied down by a bond too (and unfortunately, in the education line!). and double unfortunately, my bond has yet to start!

i see why u sidelined into playing with stocks, and i hope i can do the same too, so as to leave this hypocritical, stressful and demoralizing workforce that is eating into my personal time and health ASAP. but i do not know how to start! even as i try to read ur posts, there is just too much terminology for me to stomach. X-(

nevertheless, keep on writing!

Sgbluechip said...

Hi Ah Qing, I am a bit curious, since your bond have not started, how would you know about the cons of education line?

I do think it is a noble profession and it used to be my childhood ambition!

I have many friends in the education sector and they do have a lot more time for stocks and shares!

Perhaps you will really need to enter the industry and perhaps before you know it, you will be loving it!

Good luck!

Ah Qing said...

hey hey! fast reply from u!

haha, i have already seen the reality in schools, having taught in a sec sch for 9 months last year, and studied in NIE this year, and currently undergoing a 10-week attachment in another sec school. that makes 1 year of horror.

erm, ur friends must be super to squeeze out time to manage stocks and research about them. i, on the other time, am always nose-deep in work. do u have any stocks to recommend to someone like me who prefers low risk and low returns?

Sgbluechip said...

Hi Qing, you can consider to buy Singpost as it is a stable company with monopoly. It is also giving out dividends every 3 months and thus you will have a stable cashflow.

You can try queuing to buy @ $1 or $1.01. The yield is roughly 6.25% base on last 3 years track record.

The company is still growing, going into financial products, retail pawnshop and remitance.

With more foreign population, Singpost should be able to restand the financial crisis well.

Anonymous said...

I have left the corporate life two years ago and now trading full time. It is definitely more satisfying and I am happier as I have all the freedom to do things I like. Also no need to take the cramped up MRT everyday and perspiring in the hot and humid climate of Singapore three times a day. Best of all no more stress and the frustrations of stupid politics played by narrow minded beings.
Now leisurely lunch at various buffet joints and I have plenty of time to savour my favourite foods. Two thumbs up!