52

So I got a two day MC just for going to Khoo Teck Puat to fix a date for my wisdom tooth surgery. It’s a rite of passage for most NS boys, since surgery’s $1.5k and also fully paid for by the government as long as we do it within the ~2 years that we wear green. I could have gone much earlier; consequently there aren’t many good dates left. The earliest one’s 22nd Nov and that means that I’m going to be spending my 20th birthday in considerable post-op pain.

(yeah I’d be spending it in pain anyway because I’ve no friends and nobody loves me, ha ha)

For all my assiduous planning/accumulation of leave (7.5) and offs (2.5) I realise part of me actually wants to be in office. Army’s terrible but it gives you something to moan about when there’s nothing else to do. It’s an easy target. You’re sitting around wasting time? Blame the army and its various inefficiencies! Wait to rush, rush to wait, right? Oh, you’ve spent the last two years doing nothing but game and pick up smoking? Blame the Enlistment Act and the Extremely Bad Company you get around here! What could you ever do in the face of peer pressure? (Oh and by the way it’s called social smoking since you only do it when everyone else does.)

At home, you don’t have the benefit of legally enforced unproductivity. Squarely faced with impending civilianhood you’re given the burden of eight free and potentially productive months after ORD. No pressure to rack up the internships, of course – but well, y’know, touch your heart, what does it say about your interest in the subject/career if you haven’t bothered to find out more about it? Already there’s pressure to do something with all the MCs and offs – gym/run, read the Economist cover-to-cover, add to abysmal Japanese vocabulary… it’s the way I’ve been trained to deal with free time but not one I relish very much.

So I might do the unthinkable and pop by camp tomorrow, after dropping off a scholarship app and having a leisurely brunch. Maybe I’ll join them for SOC training, surprise myself with a new record. Or maybe I’ll spend a while refining my testimonial before sending it off to Manpower, or check on the status of the unit anniversary nonsense. What can I say? There’s no end of work to do in camp!

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