I was an intern with this ang moh firm. We always have this impression that the ang moh culture is open but my internship has proved that this is not true of all ang moh firms.
One morning, one of the permanent staff stepped into office and announced that she had bought some chocolates from her holiday and she will leave them in the shared fridge for everyone to try. She gestured that we interns should try it too so my classmate and I took a piece of chocolate each.
By 4 p.m, we could hear some ruckus coming from the pantry area. We went to take a look. Turns out the lady was asking how come the chocolates are finishing already. Another of the permanent staff, the sort that you would always see hanging around the pantry area and forever munching something sort of person, glared accusingly at my classmate and I. She said, “Must be those interns lah… Dunno how to automatic.”
Hello, woman. 2 interns each took a piece of chocolate. If you were paid by the number of times you show up at the pantry, I think you could have bought many boxes of that chocolate.
But what to do, since we were interns, we just suck thumb.
Interns were invited to join the team at a retreat. At the catered BBQ (the sort where they hire people to BBQ for them), there was a lot of food. Just as I began to scoop some rice on to my plate, one of the big shots said loudly, “Don’t think I never see! That is your 2nd plate of fried rice.” His face was serious. It was as if I was trying to bankrupt the company by going for a 2nd helping of friend rice.
I couldn’t believe my ears. There was so much food to go around. The first round, I merely sampled a bit of some of the food catered. Here I am, an intern being shamed for eating at a BBQ where there was definitely too much food to go around. What gives?
Needless to say, I couldn’t wait for the internship to end. While I gain some invaluable experience during that internship, I have to say the staff were totally CMI when it comes to people-to-people relations. I found that to be very shocking given that it was an ang moh firm. Perhaps, it was because they were mostly local staff so the culture wasn’t as ang moh as I had expected it to be.