I know I haven't been blogging lately. I'm not going throw any excuses. I've just hadn't felt compelled enough to write a blogpost. Even with the iPad2, which was supposed to make it easier for me to write blogposts, it still takes a full 15-30mins to actually write out something worth writing. (and by the way, the primary function of the iPad2 is to function as my JuBeat machine. I haven't played JuBeat on a real machine, ever. But I can pass Evans on Extreme on the iPad. Hope that means that I'll be able to do the same on the machine if I ever play.)
Ok so, why blog this one? Well, ORD is a special thing. It's the second release from prison, into another. (Life is full of prisons. Anything that holds you back, i.e. committment, is one) First release was from school, which marked a significant achievement. Now, it's release from the green hell. I'll write a full reflection of what I can take away from this once I've finally gotten back my pink (not pinkslip you american idiots, but I shall not tell you what it actually is too. Go find out. It's not hard.) There are both good, bad, and alot of shit. More than I seen before anyway. I almost feel like starting on it already... but no. Laws (or should I say directives) are still in place, and I fall under them, so I can't say anything just yet.
I digress... The main topic I wanted to talk about today is slacking. Yes. Well, not totally slacking, but slacking from work. Legally too. Not some AWOL and fake headaches, fever, diarrhea, etc. Firstly, leave. Leave is an entitlement, and must be taken. Forfeiting one causes quite a bit of paperwork, and nobody likes that (yet they still insist on those stuff, oh well, they're full of contradtictions). However, to blow all 14 (or 13 for me) days of entitlement over almost 3 weeks solid, while good, is rather inefficient. Why?
For one, taking in one big block is always done just before ORD to avoid having to work till the last day of your service. Hence, your block leave is fixed. That's not good. It means you can't go on holidays anytime else.
Spreading out your leave is a better option, but leaves you with another problem: not enough leave for your ORD mood month. That, however, is comparatively easier to solve. Split the leave days into half days. Supposedly, army starts at 8, and ends at 5, with 1 hour lunch from 12 to 1. This means, 4 hours morning, 4 hours afternoon. But notice, that people don't usually do their "heavy lifting" in the morning, and instead, the afternoon, which sometimes due to underestimation of time taken, could stretch past the stipulated hours for working. This happens more often than starting work earlier in the morning, and hence, despite the afternoon having the same number of hours as the morning, the afternoon is always busier.
Solution: Take half days — afternoon half.
So, while leave is limited to a maximum entitlement of 14 days a year, MCs, as my friend wrote: You are entitled to 365 days of mc a year. Of course, with proper certification. Now, "They" attempt to take care of us by giving free medical care and stuff, but it's really up to us to harness that. I've used quite a bit of that funds, out of necessity of course, and partly out of comfort. You could go for a free surgery, and you get a long term mc too, like my friend who's left us for a month already, and won't return until nearer to his ORD. But, not everyone has something to operate on.
Or do they? With today's health standards in Singapore, most people don't have decayed teeth. This means all your teeth fit nicely into your jaw by the time you reach your teen years. Then you turn 16. They might be useful if you happen to lost a few teeth along the way, but chances are you didn't. And so these wisdom teeth attempt to force their way out into the open, causing possibly pain, and naturally, overcrowding of the jaw. This isn't good for dental health. Solution: Wisdom tooth surgery. That's 5 days mc. Straight, for
Most dentists would suggest you do this in pairs, since it means less pain overall, but if you don't mind, you could do one by one. End result: Min 10 days mc, Max 20 days mc. How's that? It's something almost everyone can do, unless you happen to be unlucky (or lucky, depends on how you see it) like my friend who found out that his wisdom teeth came out perfectly, and didn't cause him any problems, so the dentist refused to remove it.
Next, External Medical Appointments (MA). This one doesn't save you much, but it does give you time out from camp, or if you're lucky, the entire day as well. You, of course, need to have a significant problem, like backpain, kneepain, or some sort of injury that requires a specialist who is more pro than the MO (who is pretty noob anyway). I got mine because my feet are pronated inwards (don't understand? Nevermind, just take it I'm flat-footed). Usually, like mine, an MA gives rise to a string of follow-up MAs, and the earlier you start, the more time you have off camp naturally. Late for MA? Usually, they'll excuse you once or twice, and book another MA for you. Score! Or isit? You don't wanna play this late card too many times or you'll need another referral from your MO.
We need to maximise our time out of camp. It's a necessity. Being in there just rots you. Everything. Brains, socialibility, even muscles. (remember, technically speaking, you need rest to build muscles. Not exercise.)