Saturday, 4th June '05

The LAB Rat

Alright alright, Limin, here it is. A good long blog, probably going to be written in various stages because there are SO darn many stories to tell. So this particular entry will change as the days go by and I manage (with a lot of pleasure and pain at the same time, I suspect) record the highlights of the past 2 weeks.

Where does one start on a whole new experience like that? It's not like I've never worked before, but this was the first time I was going to go to work as a LEGAL PERSON. Not like I'm qualified or anything, but it was the first time stuff I studied was going to make a difference in the real world, and you've got to feel excited about that! The anticipation was completely different from the kind of anticipation I had when starting work at the retail shop in Parkway or gave tuition. Those things were isolated incidents in that way. But this time I was about to find out wher 12 sloggy years in Pri / Sec / JC just to get into Law School, and then 2 years of ass-busting work was going to leave me once out there.

And don't get me wrong, I was rather nervous as I arrived on the first day. Don't forget that the Official Secrets Act, s. 5 was hanging over my head, and I was also wondering if I would screw up my very first job (imagine the nuclear fallout if, say, I processed a document like an affidavit, and it was bad and some dude would up being hanged??). It was kind of like starting at a new school in a way, too, worrying if people would like me, if I'd wind up lunching alone for 3 weeks, if my potential dumb-assed jokes would result in me never being able to apply to any Government job again. What it, heaven forbid, some mild remark I made got construed as anti-PAP sentiment?

Turns out that was all pretty much unfounded. Oh, what a relief. Working at the Legal Aid Bureau (LAB, for short) has got to be the best internship in the world, and I mean that with every degree of sincerity I can muster. Arguably I haven't much of a frame of reference, but compared to what I hear from friends in the private sector, I've gotten a pretty good deal.

And where does one even start waxing lyrical about the joys of being a small fry member of the LAB? The amazing people with their indefatiguable spirit, jovial natures and endless patience? The fact they're all pretty brilliant but gave up higher paying jobs to do work they felt was meaningful? The way they manage to explain and teach us so much yet all the while treating us like equals and adults (which, obviously, we aren't). And about the atmosphere - the family-like vibe that permeates every aspect of the workplace, the clownish jibes at each other (Senior Deputy Director Mr Louis being the major perpetrator of this) and the corresponding raised eyebrows from the most frequent victims, legal officers Jen Tse and Royce. Our eternally composed and patient mentor Sandra. The Head of the Legal Execs, Gesan, who I trouble with questions about 20 times a day, and who yet always tells me not to feel sorry for interupting, and who gives full detailed answers to EVERYTHING. Sharinah, another legal officer who specially looks out for interesting new files for us to read - this lady knows what it's like to want to see something new! She gave us our first opinions for the board, our first investigative opinions, my first Summons-in-Chambers to draft... between her and Gesan I've never had so much intellectual stimulation. And Lynette, another LO with whom we watced our first video link conference with chambers. So much good stuff with so many good people.

So now that the general things are summed up, I suppose specific incidents are in order.

DAY 1: Let's start from the very beginning...



en ying snapped a shot of life @ 01:24 pm
[8 photographs developed.]


8 photographs developed.

limz:

heheh i win smile anyway i've heard all of ur stories. nice stories by the way..and although i think u should extend cos u love it..i wanna spend more time with u.. which means next wed we can mambO! yay! grab qiong along! razz

en:

u heard that, qiong? razz

but like i said lah, i only go to watch pple... so babs, u gotta guarantee our favourite ah bengs will be there! cool eh?

qiong:

wah. mambo again ah

you guys have alot of stamina. *haha* we'll see we'll see ^^ and en. please update. i'm dying of boredom with nothing to read.

AND. someone needs to watch ROTK with me. you promised. *whine*

limz:

qiong we are not happening lah smile it's my last mambo anyways.. u must come! and i see u are BORED so u have NO EXCUSE!!! cool eh? and dajie.. let's do bball soon!

en:

i've just realised my website looks shitty on a macintosh. argh

qiong:

right. now that you have your net working. then OEI. UPDATE. haha. hm. what prog are you using to surf? maybe a change of program will help ^^

en:

it looks bad on IE in mac... the font is all wrong. *bah* but on safari it seems decent (though still not my primary choice of font)

qiong:

well then. tweak your default font settings *lol*





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