anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,
anotherlongshot
anotherlongshot

Lots of swearing in this post.

I've been morose and moody the whole day. It's probably around that annoying time of the month, but I can safely say that an idiotic email from the King's College London graduate admissions committee did not help matters at all. A brief background: I received an offer from King's sometime last week, but it is conditional upon my achieving a certain score on some IELTS or whatever exam. Quite clearly it's a bullshit condition because 1) I studied in Singapore my whole life; 2) unlike most Singaporeans, I can actually speak and write proper English; 3) putting aside that subjective factor, I was taught and examined entirely in the English language in law school, save for a Chinese Legal Tradition module which was obviously taught in Chinese.

I emailed them very politely, pointing out the above and more, and asked if the condition had been mistakenly imposed; if not, could I please be granted a waiver? The reply that I got from the admissions officer made me wonder on what basis King's was directing me to take a fucking English test when it wasn't clear from the face of the said email whether the officer was capable of comprehending and communicating in English at all:


Thank you for your message.

In order to apply to the UKBA for a CAS No. King’s College London have to claim that

"We have assessed this student's English language ability and confirm that it is equivalent to CEFR Level B2 or higher in each of the four components of language learning".


What the blazing fuck are you talking about and which part of that stupid message did you think addressed the two queries in my original email? Please remind me of this email the next time I complain about Singapore civil servants speaking in obscuring acronyms all the time - I don't know why this woman assumed that I would know what the fuck "UKBA", "CAS" and "CEFR" stand for, but I don't. More importantly, the email was utterly useless, so I wrote back for clarification - and I stated it simply for her limited English comprehension skills: "Do I still have to take the language test?"

The first thing that I read when I got to work was this woman's reply - yes, I still have to take the damn test despite everything that I told her and the fact that I am definitely not the first student from my school to have ever applied to King's.

I can't begin to describe how pissed off I am at this. I can't begin to convey in words in a way that will help a third party understand how 1) utterly stupid; 2) utterly insulting; and 3) utterly inconvenient this whole fucking fiasco is. I am not paying a single cent to take some retarded language test that's meant for people who don't fucking speak English as a first language. I am not spending a single second of my life studying for such a stupid test, and neither am I going to waste my time doing it. Can they please wake the fuck up and realise, probably, that I am not from fucking China because Singapore is not fucking in fucking China?

Fucking fuck you. The more I think about this, the more fucking pissed off I am. In retrospect, this is probably why I was in a foul mood the entire day. I honestly am extremely, intolerably intolerant of people who are so fucking stupid that they can't even do a job properly. Putting aside just how bloody freaking ridiculous it is to make me take a fucking English language test (it's like asking an American to take a language test. It's exactly like that), I am beyond pissed off by the admissions officer's crappy responses. First she didn't even bother addressing my original email properly and gave me some half-fucked response that made zero sense, and then in her subsequent email she continued to give me zero reasons for the ass-stupid condition. Who the hell is this person and why was she hired? Why didn't King's make her take an English test to make sure that she's competent in what is supposed to be her fucking native language? (Her name is an English name which is why I dare to make this claim.) I am absolutely confident that my fucking command of fucking English is way better than hers. In fact, just comparing myself to her is an utter and grave insult to my command of the English language.

And now I'm dealing with a buyer on eBay who apparently doesn't speak English because her mesages are completely incomprehensible and she just asked me to send a package to Peru. I sent it out ages ago to some US address but it was returned to me because it was unclaimed. What the hell? Why do I have to deal with such freaking nonsense? I think if I still don't understand what she's talking about I'm just going to freaking refund her. What's the point? It's only USD10 anyway.

Since I'm complaining already, I'd also like to take this opportunity to complain about the utterly idiotic IT people that I've been dealing with at work. But I don't really care to spend too much time on imbeciles so I'll make it quick: Bad English is already enough to annoy the living shit out of me. You don't need to add your half-assed attempts at doing your job to the mix. If I get an email from some whatever customer service person and in the email it's stated that I can reply to said customer service person if I had problems with the new whatever shit that was just installed in my computer, I definitely expect said customer service person to respond to my email in a timely fashion when there's an actual problem with the installation and I just need a very simple goddamn answer to a very simple goddamn question. It helps me not at all when I email you at 3 p.m. and you email back at 9 a.m. the next day, telling me that you forwarded my query to someone else. How typical government, but it gets worse: I email you back, clearly annoyed, asking what the fuck is happening, and you don't even bother replying.

Also, if you want to install some remote shit in my computer and there are steps that I need to take before the installation is successful, it's probably a good idea to tell me the programmes that I need to close before the remote installation begins. When it doesn't work because the very helpful customer fucked up service person informed you of my email to him, it's probably also quite important that you tell me what to rectify the next time you try the damn remote installation. More importantly, when I tell you to come over at 10ish in the morning and you can't make it, have the decency to tell me. I have things to do. I can't sit around and wait for some IT guy to fix shit on my computer that I don't care about but which has to be fixed because of some bloody policy. Also, don't be stupid and go, "You never slot in the card before????!?!omg!1/1/1!?!??!" when I already told you that my bloody computer is not encrypted or whatever because I've never had to enter some secure PIN shit or whatever when I turn on my computer every morning.

Is it just me, too, or does the acronym PIN stand for Personal Identification Number and therefore consists of digits? Because I was absolutely confused when the computer prompted me for a PIN and I entered 6 digits and I was told that it had to contain letters. That's then a fucking password you retarded computer.

I cannot imagine the amount to which my blood pressure would have spiked if this had happened in the law firm where I worked. I can't imagine dealing with all this stupid shit when I had deadlines to meet and irritating people to pacify. I just don't have the tolerance for this crap. I don't. You do your job properly and I will not complain; you do a half-fucked version of what's supposed to be your job and I might just get pissed off enough one day to complain to people that actually matter. I really can't stand the inefficiency. Just do things properly and you only have to do it once - how difficult is that to comprehend?

***

I know I need to stop getting so pissed off about so many things, but I'm quite convinced that I was born like this. I take after my mother in this way, except the condescending attitude is all me. I don't know why I can't be more tolerant and patient; I don't know why I can't just let some things go. It takes a lot of effort on my part to keep calm and remain relaxed when something staring me right in the face is just begging me to blow up. I cannot comprehend how stupid some people can be, how inconsiderate, how they can leave the house dressing a certain trashy way; even fat people irritate me because I can't understand how they can live with themselves looking like that. It obviously becomes quite magnified when my period is around the corner but I think even on normal days I'm just walking around and just waiting for the first person to cross my path and irritate me.

I don't know if I was better or worse when I was working as a lawyer. In a way, my current job feels like junior college all over again. I won't spell it out. My arrogance peaked in junior college and subsided in law school and went up again when I was practising. Now, though, it feels a lot, a lot worse. I hear bad English and I want to jump off the building. It's so wrong; bad English isn't the worst that a person can do. I may be a worse human being than all these people towards whom I condescend combined.

That said, I'd rather be myself than to be them. I can't imagine a worse fate.

See, there I fucking go again. This is exactly why I laugh at all the Roger haters who say he's arrogant because I cannot imagine what they would call ME if I were him.

***

On an infinitely brighter note, I was pleased as punch to discover that literacy is alive in Singapore - for some people, anyway.

I'm reading Rushdie's Midnight's Children now. It's quite a thick book and I've started carrying this rather small bag, so I held it in my hand when I went out for lunch today. I went for my final HPV or whatever vaccination jab and when I was at the counter waiting to pay, I put my book on the counter. This girl who was interning at the clinic saw it and asked if the book was any good. More importantly, she told me that she'd always wanted to read the Satanic Verses.

Incredible. She asked me who my favourite author was and I said Julian Barnes. She was shocked because she didn't know anyone who was a fan of the great Mr. Barnes. I was similarly shocked because here was another actual person who knew who he is who didn't study in JC with me. Oh, my, god.

When I went back to the office, I got into the lift with another guy. A third of the way later, he asked, "You like Salman Rushdie? I've been wanting to read the Satanic Verses."

TWO LITERATE PEOPLE IN ONE DAY. No, make that within the span of an hour. It was too good to be true. It had to be too good to be true. I've never experienced this before. Never. It had to be a sign of some sort, though of what, I have absolutely no idea.

***

For the record, the Satanic Verses is one of my favourite novels of all time. I may compile my top 10 favourite books one of these days. I'm on page 30-something of Midnight's Children and I'm quite in love with Rushdie, if I wasn't already in love after Satanic Verses. He is so funny. His writing is so energetic. The downside is that this book is closely related to the history of India's independence, the details of which I'm completely unfamiliar. I may just Wiki it before I continue with the book.

I finished Dracula before this. I wrote a review on Goodreads. In short, the first two thirds were thrilling, the last third was a bore and an epic let-down.
Tags: books, civil service, literature, llm, rant, salman rushdie, stupid people, work
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 0 comments