Singapore Adventure

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

by venitha

Another day, another threat of being fired. Ah, life in the high tech world.

We are told again and again regarding our stay in Singapore to expect the unexpected. That we might be sent home at any time. That we might stay the full two years - or more. That this might lead to anything.

This seems a bizarre way to live life until you accept how false any employment security is these days. A common question from friends in Colorado when they learned of our Singapore plans: Are you guaranteed a job when you return? Our common response: No. Are you?

We moved here under the shadow of looming layoffs at Agilent and with a swirling cloud of uncertainty obscuring Jim's HP job in Singapore. Six weeks later, we're still here, and the sky is pouring rain. Rumor-filled news reports inform us that Agilent will soon sell my division and that HP will soon have massive layoffs.

All of this is nothing new; years of such uncertainty have left us, along with our US co-workers, somewhat blasé. Interestingly, however, Jim's Singaporean co-workers are not blasé: now it's their jobs being threatened as well.

Yes, that's right. You know that insatiable merlion who's been gnawing on Uncle Sam? Well, it turns out that he's swimming in a big bowl of Yong Tau Fu. Wielding chopsticks above the bowl, a chubby panda wears a red bib that says Made in China.

Today, we are here. Tomorrow, I don't know. And this situation is really no different from any other day. For me or for you.