How I Survive A Full Time Job

I am only twenty two and I am already hating the full time working life. I have been working in the tourism industry for seven years and I can openly admit that I hate it. I hate serving unappreciative tourists who think that I cannot live without their money. I hate working under a hierarchy. I hate being told what to do. I hate extreme uniformity. I hate supervisors who create rules along the way just to accommodate to their own convenience. I know shit loads of my colleagues would rather have me dead because I question the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) all the time, I question their actions, I purposefully spot on other people's mistakes without realizing mine. But most importantly, I don't give a shit what they think about me. I just come to work, do what I'm supposed to do and when the time is right I go and have my one hour break and then tap out at the end of my shift.

Well that first paragraph was me being a negative bitch - yes there is a difference between being a positive and/or a negative one. Anyway, I have been working full time in a camping company where (on most days) I am in charge because campers, listen to instructors and instructors, listen to senior instructors. They don't really have a choice. In that industry, being a bitch sometimes helps. However, a year later I went back to the tourism industry and here - being a negative bitch did not get me far. Instead, it got me two complain letters within my first month of working full time, a few pesky red-eyed colleagues who cannot stop talking about me behind my back and also got the management to keep an eye on me on most days. However, I soon came to my senses, learnt the difference between being straightforward vs being rude, made friends with people who would make a difference in my life (and work life) and changed my perception. 

Perception. This word. Right after I changed the way I perceived things, almost everything changed. This leap of change made a huge a difference. Without me realizing, 2015 is now my eigth year of working in a theme park - a place I thought I hated back when I first starting serving stupid guests in 2007. Well you might not be working in the same industry but here's how I survive seven years... and counting.

  1. Make as many friends as possible.

    Do things together - eat lunch, head to work, play games. I am blessed to be put into an attraction that is bonded, it really feels like a family. (Eg. We have our Mummy Linda, and Papa Bear etc) We have chalets, barbecue sessions and even monthly futsal sessions. Cliques are bound to form but gatherings are the best times to break the status quo. I am now in a different attraction - I definitely miss my previous family - but we still see each other around the workplace so it's not that bad. True friends remain friends even when they don't spend time together that often anymore, and I'm blessed to have a new attraction that is (even though still forming) just as bonded :)

  2. I make full use of my off days.

    My off days are really important to me. Currently, I'm getting three days off each week and most of it is spent paying off my sleep debts, blogging, going to the gym with my buddies, baking orders, spending time with my loved ones or just enjoying some me time in my room. As much as I want to pay off my sleep debt and sleep in, waking up in the afternoon is gonna abruptly ruin my body clock. I usually wake up the same timing, do as much as I can within the 24 hours because of two reasons - so that I don't think about an incomplete task on my next working day + ensure that I have drained out all of my available energy so I'll feel tired when it reaches my regular bedtime!

  3. I create a game out of my job.

    As a kid, I like receiving gold stars and I love winning awards. Over at my workplace, if you perform beyond extraordinary standards, you get legit awards at our annual ceremony. If you perform good enough, you'll get these tiny silver star cards. Also, there are days where I get to help out another attraction - put on their uniform and spend a whole day at the other side of the world. My buddy Faiz and I have made it into a competition to see who gets to try out every other attraction before the other and it's really fun when you make it into a game. The company should really have a "Best Rescue Of The Year" Award. We have the selfies to prove it.

  4. Avoid mood spoilers every morning.

    This is really important. There are loads of factors that can cause a bad morning and more often than not, most of these things are not within my control. For example, the dreaded morning crowd on the public transport or for my case - the staff bus that transports us into Resorts World every morning. Some days they are on time, some days it takes me almost half an hour just to be transported in. So freaking annoying. I have since started walking into the island because I trust my legs more than being driven. I used to do it with a friend but now even when I'm on my own, I take it as a morning stroll that I get to enjoy before my hectic shift starts. It's been four months since I started this habit and I look forward to my morning walks now. The best part is? It only costs me ten minutes and 110 calories to go to work. Win win.

  5. Sleep as much as possible.

    I think that most Singaporeans suffer from a lack of this. I can never keep track, the amount of colleagues that I run into who says "omg, so sleepy" whenever I bump into them in the lift, the cafeteria, the convenience store, the toilet...... I used to be one of these people but the more I repeat saying that I'm sleepy, the sleepier I become. The most rational way to get over this zombie virus is simply to just.. sleep it off. I get quite a reasonable amount of breaks. Most of my colleagues will run down to grab a puff and since I don't smoke, I used to spend my fifteen minutes of short break browsing through instagram, until I realized how precious my breaks are. Now I spend them sleeping and whoa, power naps really do help!

  6. Endorphins do help.

    Endorphins make me happy. I do have friends who work out after they end work just so that they will feel exhausted by the time they get home and go to sleep faster. Unfortunately, I'm the type that gets more pumped up after a work out. I think that this is a matter of habit as well as preference. Hence, I choose to work out in the morning right before I leave for work. This helps wake me up and feel a little fresher everyday. My job requires me to run up and down the staircase of the tallest dueling coaster in the world, and I realized that the more I drag my feet, the more lethargic I feel. Perception. Now I act like it is not a chore, but a benefit. Surprisingly, I look forward to my opening track walks now. It's like doing vertical lunges fifty meters above the ground.

  7. Laugh.

    At myself. At my colleagues. At guests. At everything. Laughing makes my mood feel lighter and coming from a background of disciplinary annoying campers, laughing constantly reminds me that I shouldn't take everything seriously - not in this job that requires me to make strangers smile. Laughing helps me stay positive, lighten the mood, ease the atmosphere and someday, help you get abs. Nah kidding.

It sucks that if you live in Singapore, a full time job is something that you spend most of your waking hours doing. Might as well find something worth doing, right? My passion still remains to be the outdoor adventure life - but once a passion turns into a job, it's not necessarily exciting anymore - and I'm speaking of experience here. No job or workplace is perfect, but I have a job that is fun, has perks and pays me reasonably too. I wouldn't wanna have a brain cracking job while juggling school anyway. I'll keep craving for the outdoors everyday but as of now, I'll keep this love hate relationship.