I am writing to you to describe a depressing situation I am currently facing at work.
I hope to share my experience as well as to see if you can offer me any advice.
To introduce myself, I am currently a final year poly student doing my attachment with a small-medium law firm with about 4 lawyers and 6 supporting staff.
The thing about this small firm is that they currently hire two pinoys for their admin clerks and I am feeling hopeless by the situation they have caused me as an intern.
To put things into context, my classmates who have been attached to the bigger-medium sized law firms have told me that they are doing some meaningful work such as assisting in legal research and sitting-in meetings with clients.
While I am attached to a partner who is supposed to guide me during my internship, the reality is that he is busy most of the time in court pleading for criminal cases and has told me to report to the pinoy staff.
All that I am doing is basic filling while trying to look busy so as to appease the foreign staff.
As absurd this this sounds, they would not be doing anything while asking me why I am so free.
On the first week of work, all I was doing was to spend the entire day sorting out client correspondences in their various folders As you can imagine, being a small office, the rolling cabinets barely have enough space to walk through and is already stacked to the brim.
By the end of the week, I had developed both a severe backache and numb fingers from trying to navigate through.
My impression of pinoys is that they are generally nice but my stint in this company has proved to be otherwise.
They would be doing nothing and surfing facebook while gossiping about me in a very blatant manner when I do likewise. As a result, even I feel stressed when I am supposed to find work to do when I actually receive none.
What is more shocking is that I found out from some colleagues (who don’t like the pinoy staff as well) that this filing is supposed to be done by them but they are generally too lazy to do so as they feel that they should not be doing this as they are degree holders in their homeland and this is below their level.
What they would do all day is to gossip about how stupid Singaporeans are and even express surprise on how one of our lawyers actually became a lawyer when he has to look up the relevant statues.
They would then go on to claim that they have high school holders in Philippines who can memorise the entire statue of law by hard.
They have also said that coming to Singapore was a waste of their youth.
Even their characters are flawed.
Our office has a part time cleaner who would come in at the early morning to clear the bins and vacuum the floor.
Never mind that they did not even help, they also made sarcastic remarks about the old aunty who I try to help out.The next day when I told them I had nothing to do, they said I could either give them a back massage or and date the aunty.
I am almost driven to depression because it was not easy for me to come to poly from ITE and am looking forward to a good future.
Not only am I doing less work in my poly work attachment than I am in my ITE work attachment, it is also a waste of my time but I have no choice but to appease those pinoys so as to get a good report for my poly which is essential in securing a good job after I graduate from poly.
I hope that you are able to offer me some advice on what I can do since I still have about 2 more months with them.
Thanks for your mail and sorry to hear of your predicament.
The current influx of foreign workers have complicated work harmony in our work places.
We used to have a minority of foreign workers in our work place but now they form the majority of workers here.
Some locals even have to report to a foreign supervisor like in your case.
Its really ridiculous that as locals, we have to report to superiors who are foreigners and worse of all they do not have the expertise and knowledge in their work.
Its no wonder that our productivity here has nosedived.
The work place represents a jungle out there and only the fittest survive.
Its not meritocracy anymore but who you know and which nationality you represent.
However, as you are an intern now I would advise that you abide by their regulation and put up a good front so that you will get their endorsement or else your career will be jeopardised.
Let me know if you want to schedule an appointment to see me next week at my office.
Take care and stay positive.