Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The YOG will be a success

It must be nice working for the government when you're in a position like Teo Ser Luck. Or Vivian Balakrishnan.

Ignoring that part of the reason why the YOG is being organized is to bolster your public profile just so you can stand for elections under the ruling party's banner in the near future, purely a coincidence I'm sure, the government will bend over backwards and pull out all the stops to make the event happen. Nay, not happen, make it a success even, a foregone conclusion.

Budget overrun? No problem. Triple the amount of money available, and doubtless there's more if needed. Concerned with transportation hiccups? Request that the LTA mandate a YOG-only lane that motorists must give way to, on pain of a fine. Put in a note to remind Ms. Saw from SMRT to run more trains, something a groundswell of grousing and bitching from the public failed to do. Stacks of tickets left unsold? Get MOE to conscript students and SAF commanders to force NSFs to attend the various events. Apathetic public? Enlist the "nation-building" press to print favorable stories and put the best possible spin on things. Whatever. Call in all the favors you need. The time and inconvenience to thousands of students, NSFs and motorists is...inconsequential when it comes to trading favors between powers that have a mutual understanding of how things really work here on the Island. I think they call it networking in the public service, and those job rotations are meant to foster this sort of thing.

As for inconveniencing the great unwashed, people are resources and factor inputs after all; they're meant to be used to achieve a desired result. If you have to, justify it with a nebulous claim of supporting the Olympic spirit, or an appeal to nationalistic sentiments. Doesn't matter that it runs counter to the average experience that a Singaporean grows up with, that if you want something, you've got to pay for it (hey, we learnt from the best.) You want my time, my passion, pay for it. Money talks and bullshit walks.

If a project that I had to manage at work were to meet with massive budget overruns, failure to meet specified targets, or inability to obtain customer buy-in, I would be hauled up before the risk management committee, along with my boss, for an earful. My bonus would be negatively affected, and my career prospects probably shot.

No recourse to summon extraordinary resources from distant realms, like what the organizers for the YOG can do. And of course the YOG will be a success. The only KPI for its success, after all, is that it was held. Nobody should doubt that the Anointed Ones for the YOG will receive anything other than accolades for this event. After all, worst things have occurred on the watch of other luminaries and nothing untoward has ever happened to them.

I wish I had a teflon career. With millions of dollars in wages and benefits. Pity. Common mortals like me are so...encumbered...with accountability.

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