anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,

I was genuinely quite humiliated.

Kim Jong-il dies

I don't say this often when hateful and hated people die, not even when Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were killed. But in the curious case of Kim Jong Il, I really have nothing much to say in response to this news except well fucking done, good fucking riddance to bad rubbish, finafuckinglly, it's about time you died.

The cult personality that he cultivated for himself, his massive exaggerations of his abilities (to put it VERY mildly) and the way he brainwashed seemingly the entire North Korean population and starved millions to death while he lavished in his Hennessy and sent his son to Switzerland is even worse than Saddam and Osama put together. I came across this video and I felt genuinely dirty and disturbed and plain sad after watching it.

I'm utterly unable to put myself in their shoes and try to understand just 1% of the apparent outpouring of grief evident in this video. It's great for a world that we're rid of this scum. The sad thing is, I don't think his death is likely to translate into any real changes for the North Koreans.

Accounting and Finance - just fuck off

I sat through one whole day's worth of a crash course on accounting and financial analysis. I'd been dreading it ever since I found out that I was being forced to attend the course, which did not mix well with my PMS.

At first, one hour into the course, I thought it was pretty okay. The lecturer talked about the recent financial crises - real world application. Great. I could flow with this.

Then he started getting into the technical details of accounting. He started showing us formulas (formulae?). He started talking about models and throwing around phrases like the Black-Scholes model as if everyone in the room knew what it was. I'd heard of it certainly, but fucked if I remembered what the hell it's about.

Then it got worse. There was a quiz. There was a quiz that we had to complete in pairs. We were seated in groups of 4 with our names in placards on the table like primary school children and by default, I paired up with the guy next to me. I was utterly horrified and embarrassed throughout the whole thing, because my only contribution to our "discussion" was calculating a bunch of gibberish on my iPhone calculator.

The quiz involved some balance sheet thing with a few missing figures which we were supposed to figure out. I wish I could explain it better but I had no clue whatsoever what was going on so this is the best that I can do. I felt very sorry for the guy - he literally did all the work. I tried to help by matching the phrases next to the blanks to the formula or whatever sheet that was provided and halfway through I wished I had a soft copy so that I could just fucking control+F the whole thing.

I told my partner up front that I did law in school so all this was absolutely alien to me. I just - I just really cannot stop my brain from shutting down when it sees, hears, and comes into contact with numbers. I'm fine listening to someone talk about why accountants are to be blamed for the sub-prime crisis; just don't tell me how they are to be blamed. Or rather, do tell me, but please don't give me the pedantic details that will just fly over my head. I didn't want to attend this course because I knew that I wouldn't understand anything. Accounting/finance isn't something that I get intuitively, especially not accounting. I roll my eyes when I hear the phrase "spreadsheet" and feel thankful that I'm qualified to practise law whenever I come into contact with accounting-related information. If I wanted to know all these, I would have taken something else in school.

But of course, my organisation doesn't care. The biggest problem, really, was that the speaker had a too liberal assumption of the average, or mode, level of prior knowledge of the group to whom he spoke. I felt like telling him that I was a lawyer and therefore didn't understand most of what he said; could I please be excused? The worst part is that I have to attend the second part of the course tomorrow for a whole day, and there's going to be another two-to-one quiz, so I'm going to have to torture another unfortunate soul. This is very annoying. I haven't felt so stupid and lost in a really long time.

Wei Chuen was really sweet though - he said that I should be able to understand it but my brain can't be bothered. Sadly, the truth is that my brain can't process such information. It switches off when it's being force-fed numbers. I can't comprehend the utility or intelligence in trying to reduce a complex, variable world into a simple "model" or equation with a few variables. To me, that's cheating. That's efficiency at the expense of the whole picture. Assumptions in basic economics - ceteris paribus. How absolutely useless. When is there ever such a thing as ceteris paribus? I prefer to take everything into consideration when tackling a problem - it's what lawyers fucking do. I have been contaminated. I have been lured to the dark side. There's absolutely no turning back now.

But seriously, I've always been more macro than micro anyway. I liked the stuff about economic regulations, but really hated all the accounting details. Percentages, numbers, decimal points. I mean, I got a C for A Level mathematics even though I studied the hardest for it out of all my other subjects (for which I got As). That says it all, doesn't it?


I was very happy and RELIEVED to see Mag and Ven for lunch. They kindly came down to my area to meet me in view of my drastically reduced lunch time due to the course. For about 50 minutes, I felt like a human being again. Thank you for coming down and for your company. :)


Sometimes I miss practice. But I don't really miss practice; I just miss doing what I'm familiar with, even if I mostly hated it. What I really miss is the private sector. The salary, how I didn't feel financially constrained, mostly.

But I don't miss the working hours one bit. I could never go back to that.

On another note, I don't even feel like going to the office these days. Nobody's working. I just want to go shopping.
Tags: civil service, current affairs, legal profession, wei chuen, work

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