austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

I need you to need me

I'd mentioned going in to Manhattan for a Contact At Singapore event which tried to drum up enthusiasm for the idea of working in Singapore doing Financial Services, whatever those should prove to be. As you might expect many curious little things caught my eye, such as that during one of the ten-minute videos about the quality of life one could experience in the nation they mentioned the variety of food four times. My mother, told about this, asked if they said anything about the quality of food. Her experiences are maybe unduly influenced by her, on the two-and-a-half days she spent there being taken to an actual hawker center, with the rather cheap food served in not-really-enclosed centers, which was an experience she didn't like. She's always been skeptical of outdoor dining, and she retreated to more formal restaurants the rest of her short visit.

During the panel session, too, there were a few questions which got to being specific enough to become amusing. One Columbia University graduate student -- who did not identify herself at the start of her question, even though the instructions were to, since nobody did that -- wanted to know what were the hottest genres of financial servicing right now, which clearly took all the panelists by surprise. You'd think at least the employment agency folks would have had a credible sounding answer; the eight people talking eventually admitted that there were good prospects in stocks, currency, bonds, derivatives, and commodities. I should hope so. Another man -- who didn't stay by the microphone for his whole question, because nobody did -- wanted to know about retirement plans. I encountered him later on and he explained he's arrived from Miami just for this event and was going back right after this. The Singaporean he was chatting with asked if he came by bus.

I proved to be quite the aggravation to people waiting in lines for contact information because I kind of knew deep down there wasn't any recruiter who really wanted me -- while I'm interested in financial mathematics it's in kind of the same way I'm interested in highway design, that is, unimpaired by anything a person who just watches a lot of Discovery Channel or who reads William Poundstone books wouldn't know -- so I wasn't too clear whether the lines were. Several people asked if I was on line, and were not happy with my honest answer of ``I don't know''. The woman who'd asked about what was hottest was quite agitated that I didn't know if I was on line. Finally I stood on a line just so I could have a clear answer and learned that while the Monetary Authority of Singapore -- roughly, the Federal Reserve equivalent -- has kind representatives they have no idea what I could possibly do that they want.

Trivia: Guglielmo Marconi's father Gieuseppe provided -- after prodding -- the £300 necessary to cover legal expenses in securing the 1896 patent for wireless communication. Source: Signor Marconi's Magic Box, Gavin Weightman.

Currently Reading: The Right Hand of Dextra, David J Lake.

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