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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Culture Shock #4

I am shocked to realise that:

It is unacceptable to leave work at 5pm even though there is no more work to be done. One has to stick around until the senior doctors have either dismissed you or have gone home themselves. Even though there are no more outstanding tasks to do on the wards, one has to look busy and overworked.

A doctor? Finishing work at 5pm? Impossible! He or she must be a terrible doctor - so irresponsible! This has absolutely nothing to do with good time management or being efficient or maybe having a life outside of work. It's just plain LAZY to leave at 5pm!

Thus, if there is little work to be done that day, Singaporean doctors will take long lunch breaks, wander around, go to the library and read journals, have a nap, work on their research projects/presentations in order to kill time.

In the UK, if I had to work late - which was not very often - it was usually because there was so much work to be done that it could not be finished before 5pm. On days like these, I would not even have enough time to eat lunch or drink any water.

Over here, I work late everyday. Usually it is because of the workload, but there are days where I could go home at 5pm, but I stay late...just because it is expected of me.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just go home lah. I mean, really, I never understood why people feel compelled to stay because it is 'expected of them'. My doctor friend at a govt hospital leaves on time or even early if there's nothing left to do. Why cave to peer pressure and waste time?

6:12 pm  
Anonymous simplyjen said...

I second that notion. After all, as long as your responsibilities are done for the day, no one can actually fault you. I am sure you rather go back and spend time with Stardust rather than waste time at the hospital.

2:12 am  
Blogger budak said...

It happens in other sectors too. Department heads and managers will not blink if you stay back til 10 but raise hell if you are 5 minutes late in the morning.

8:39 am  
Blogger tscd said...

anonymous/simplyjen: Peer pressure? Peer pressure? It's not peer pressure that makes me stay late. It's pressure from the bosses and mini-bosses. Mini-boss will torture me for hours with constant nagging if I happen to leave early or imply that I should be allowed to eat lunch.

budak: Oh, I wouldn't be surprised. The work ethic here is completely different to what I'm used to. But I hate pretending to 'look busy' on slow days. It makes me feel like a robot.

4:48 pm  
Anonymous Mayjane said...

I second your feel. But it is not only docs. It is just a culture here in the offices, hospitals et al in Singapore. And I just leave whenever it hits the dot when I have finished my work, when most of my colleagues still stay around chit chatting, but what I earned as a consequence that I have learned long ago? That I am "calculative" or "not helpful enough", even my boss ever said to me,"sometimes you just need to join the gossip a bit lah"...I felt bad from all these disgusting comments yet I have not changed, because I really can't pretent! I am still swallowing the bullets:-)

10:48 am  

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