Sunday, August 22, 2004

Chicken Hearts

---Beware. Angry, long, incoherent, at times stream of consciousness rant below. Enter at your own risk. ---

You gotta give it to them. Them?

Them yellow bellied, chicken hearted, flea hearted gutless wonders that we call our leaders.

Tonight was the Prime Minister's National Day Rally Speech. Some of us had to watch it because of work, some watched it because their General paper tutors demanded that they do so and some watched it out of pure self interest to see how the government was going to serve them this coming year- and they ARE supposed to serve the people, by the way, that's why you call it the public service.

I watched it because I wanted to know about the potential 5 day work week and the upping of maternity leave. To find out about that, I had to sit through the speech first in Malay, and then in Chinese then finally in English and an extremely long exposition about his recent trip to Taiwan and the ruckus it caused with China.

So I wait patiently and in pain because the recently accident proned me managed to stub my toe on the staircase and it was bleeding profusely and throbbing like a migraine in a big toe.

And it was nothing for all that labour.

Instead of the up to six months leave that was promised earlier in the year and the civil service rumours of at least 4 paid months of maternity leave, we get 3 months of it, with an additional two weeks of child care leave till the child is 7.

So, that's 2 days child care leave a year for 7 years. Seriously, how many kids get sick ONLY 2 days a year? And when they do get sick, how long are they sick for? Chicken pox, mumps, the measles all last about 2 weeks and the first few days are a total horror from what I recall from my own experiences. A colleague of mine was away for 4 days because her son had 40 degree fevers and when she came back, the poor lady looked like she was about to collapse out of exhaustion. So, is 2 days really enough to nurse a sick child back to health and to give yourself some rest before going back to work? Or does the employer really not care when you get the rest as long as you're back and can function at a basic, answer the phone, in my case go to class and set work level?

This really pisses me off.

And then there's the maternity leave. Ok, I'm grateful they upped it a month, but when there's so much literature out there about breastfeeding your baby for at least 6 months, how does one justify 3 months? Are they going to make provisions for nursing back in the office? Most likely not, because your colleagues will more likely than not, flip, if you were carrying a breast pump around. Worse if you actually brought the child to school just so that you could feed it on demand. So how? And breast milk production is indirectly related to stress levels. The more stressed you are, the less milk you're likely to produce. And that's what will happen. The baby's resistance, thenwill be lowered because formula doesn't protect against viruses as well as breast milk does. The outcome? We'll have to start utilising our precious 2 days or child care leave even earlier than expected because the poor baby's ill, has so much snot up its nose, it's turning blue trying to breathe and you're running round, exhausted, like a headless chicken, trying to keep up with emails while constantly keeping an eye on junior with the temperature that is sky rocketing-possibly due to the stress that you are feeling and transferring onto the poor sick child.

I understand that from an employer's viewpoint, extended maternity leave is a logistical nightmare and we really might not have enough manpower, or womanpower for that matter in the female dominated industries. But there has to be a clear picture of what they want as priority.

Babies or the economy? You really can't have both.

And it's time you stood up there and made a choice, you pieces of chicken hearted cowards. You screwed us over with big hearted promises with an inability to follow through and when our sportspeople fail to follow through on YOUR expectations of them, you blame them when it is YOU that has inflated everyone's hopes. You're the ones that hyped it up, hyped us up and then used a pin and pricked it, making it harder for us, because we believed what you said, because it was you that got our hopes up in the first place.

So, the final questions is who's screwing who? (or should it be whom?)


Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:03

4 thoughts...

4 thoughts...

At 9:29 am Blogger D W said...

Farenheit 9/11

At 1:52 pm Blogger Terz said...

Well, we probably won't be as angry as viewers (if any) in Africa:

"If you want to go to Africa, well, God help you!"

At 5:54 pm Blogger Lillight said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1:14 pm Blogger Mr. G said...

I didn't watch the speech. Cos words don't mean shit. Actions do. And when it comes to actions our government has been found lacking way too often.


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