Ratta’s progress

Tuesday 6 March 2012, 5.25pm HKT

11.49am local time / 25°C (77°F) sunny and humid

SOME OF YOU callous caring readers have asked for updates about Råtta (an alias), whom I mentioned in previous posts (“Ratta’s bother” and “Do this if you should get fired: A lifehack exclusive“).

I have good, bad, indifferent and what-the-eff news about her. Try not to snigger and giggle.

By the way, let’s now instead call her Ratta (with no å, the Ångstrom) because it’s one helluva chore to write Råtta.

The good news

Ratta’s landed a job!

You may remember Ratta is fiftysomething, not an age that makes for easy jobhunting nowadays.

She started her new job on 23 February, just three weeks after being made redundant at the old place on 29 January.

During that time, she went to no less than 20 job interviews of varying quality and what-the-effness that I reckon will be far too brickshattingly unbelievable to relate here.

That works out around one job interview a day. In my book, a person like her has dedication, stamina, disciplined and being thorough. Ratta can thumb her nose at the old employers, who can royally suck eggs (and a couple of other ‘things’) for giving Ratta her marching orders.

What’s her job now? We’ll get to that a moment.

The indifferent news

Ratta’s son is going to be 18 in a few weeks’ time, and he’s just started part-timing at some minimum-wage, sweatshop bucketslop owned by an internationally well-known American mega-conglomerate ‘catering’ Evil Empire (not McBongo).

It helps to work for an Evil Empire because the wastage of food is quite staggering. At the end of the day, Ratta’s son brings home literally three or four boxes of free food due for binning. The food is perfectly eatable — it’s just Imperial Policy not to resell today’s food tomorrow. Around 30 or 40 boxfuls (or 200 lbs or 90 kg) of this perfectly eatable food are thrown away every day.

Every little bit helps to shave the grocery bills.

The bad news

Ratta has a sister — let’s call her Fishtail.

Fishtail is 50-ish too, and she’s starting to get the same sordid aggro Ratta got just before sendoff.

Fishtail’s ‘managers’ complained that she wasn’t meeting her customer quotas for some time and now making moves to ship her out. Some of the other managers reconsidered and instead gave Fishtail an ultimatum to shape up (quota-wise) within three months, or GTFO.

Fishtail admits she’s the lowest-selling employee in her company — but that’s mainly because her pay grade doesn’t put her in more direct contact with customers. Like Ratta, Fishtail is in sales support — not exactly designed for grabbing sales prospects. Fishtail basically told the managers that three months to meet sales quota is … well … a near-impossible slog, especially given the just-turned-tougher business conditions here in Hong Kong.

So Fishtail rang Ratta up yesterday to say it might be her turn next to look for a job.

The WTF news

You’re gonna farkin’ like this one.

Ratta now works for a tutorial college — for infants and preteens!

You read it right. And if that wasn’t enough of a mindf*ck already, Ratta’s job title is personal education consultant. She’s on three-month probation before becoming staff.

Ratta is too embarrassed to even say her job title out loud. What flamin’ education consultant?!

She left secondary school with only two or three subjects passed. The older kids (roughly 10 to 12 years old) at the tuition centre are already better ‘qualified’ (in grades and the number of subjects passed) than Ratta herself!

That’s the state of our education sector here. It capitalises on the anxiety of parents who feel their babies must receive a constant piss-stream of anal-retentive structured tuition and drillwork in order to be able to speak 12.932 languages ‘natively’ (as opposed to ‘like a native’) and achieve Grade A’s in 23.8 school subjects before they hit 10.34 years old.

You know it, I know it, everybody else round the world knows it, but these parents obviously have never even heard of kids will become stale when overloaded with study and activities.

Just one single example from Ratta will suffice:—

Kid bumped himself in the crotch in the school washroom, wept and cried, got attended to by the staff, but no damage done. Asked why he was fidgeting all afternoon, the kid said he was tired from the morning picnic trip. And he’ll have to be in dancing lessons later the same day after this place. The kid is five years old.

I can’t stop laughing (in a sardonically sneering way) while I write this.

This is exactly the kind of unnecessary sphincter-expanding butthurt your kid has to live and suffer through for the next 15 years if you’re sold on that maddening craze called the Tiger Mother Syndrome now sweeping the world over.

Motherf*cker, did you tiger it?

I will not apologise for saying this, but that is the f@#king psychopathic crap propounded by that American-born Philippine Chinese lawyer/professor personage by the name of Amy Chua in her book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (Penguin, 2011, 240 pages).

“Tiger Mother” is a parenting memoir of how Chua raised her two daughters (both at Harvard now).

The Wall Street Journal picked up on the spiel and even got Chua to write her own piece there (“Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior,” 8 Jan 2011, WSJ). That unleashed the fearsome terror that book contains on the congenitally brain-damaged (or 80% of the world population) who thought it’s the best thing since sliced bollocks.

Frankly, between you and me, “Tiger Mother” would cause you to:—

  • EITHER think it’s the cure-all to handling your brats (if you’re brainless)
  • OR send shivers down your proverbial spine (if you have half a brain left)
  • OR buy the book and treat it as a training manual to milk cash off delusional parents with self-induced offspring anxieties (if you have a full brain)

Excuse my blasphemy, but Jesus Christ! man, I’ve never read such frighteningly neurotic stuff in my life before. The things people do to children. Stop concentrating on her well-formed English locution and pay attention to her ideas. My personal belief is to get children to achieve as much as humanly possible, aim high, shoot from above the belt, and enjoy the finite years on Earth. I’m no slacker and am not disposed to tolerate slacking. But “Tiger Mother” goes too far.

You, tomorrow

Realise there’s something important in my second point above. If you’ve bought into the spiel, you’re in fact producing, training, conditioning, inculcating, imbibing — choose the words you like best — a generation of psychopaths. Overachievers are psychopaths — you know this, you must do — because when you the parent is old and decrepit, slowly shutting down, no longer achieving so well, you no longer measure up to your kids’ overwrought expectations of your achievement. Kids who are like that, they’ll ditch the by-now-underachiever you one fine day in your geriatric hour of need. I’ve seen it happen before, first-hand.

Uptight and untidy

Listen, not to put too fine a point on things, what does […]

Sorry, I’ve deleted/censored this part because I think I was being a bit too blunt, and just a bit too racially motivatedly racist.

But I will say Chua is as Great Lakes Yankee as you could possibly get. I had a highly Westernised Chinese mother, and Mum was nowhere near as Westernised as Chua. The stuff Chua wrote, I saw nothing Chinese. So I don’t know where Chua got the phantasmagorical idea that she’s ‘a Chinese mother.’

I don’t think she’s putting in enough effort to achieve the requisite grade in Chinese motherhood. Such an underachiever. Nil marks.

Not exactly [censored]

[This part deleted/censored]


[Some parts deleted/censored]

If “Tiger Mother” is a battle hymn, then I remind you, those who live by the sword, dies by the sword. Namsayin’?

I happen to think the kids at Ratta’s place are having their childhood years being slowly snuffed out of them by their very own loving, caring, EQ-sensitive, socially aware, socioculturally dynamic, delusional, neurotically obsessive parents with ching-chong chowmein testicles for brains.

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012.

Images: Ratta via furry.org.au | Fishtail pop art via GMFS | Food box via Alliance Online | ‘I was a nice wall…’ via c4c.

4 Responses to “Ratta’s progress”

  1. Ed Hurst said

    I agree tiger mothers belong in a cage, because they are more tiger than mother. As a teacher, the most shocking thing was how little we gave them room to be human, while utterly depriving them of a real education.


    • I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thing is, I’m not even sure if these women are ‘tigers.’ I’ve looked lots of times at how tigers (the actual animals, though in London Zoo) rear their kittehs and they don’t seem to do things like that – in fact the big cats let their kitties fail once in a while just so the kitties can learn for themselves the ways of the wild. If the beasts could do that, why can’t we?


  2. SkyddsDrake said

    Well, I’m glad to hear Ratta got a job, but I’m sorry to hear it likely involves daily facepalming. =/ This is a way of raising kids I’ve just never understood. Of course, I wouldn’t want to, but it’s almost something I’d like to do a study on. What on earth makes them think it’s a GOOD way to be a parent? They obviously think they’re doing something for their kids, but…

    I don’t know. I actually didn’t have any clue what that book was about. It had such a hype around it I avoided it entirely. Now I’m glad I did. I think I might have spent the whole time reading it being sick. >.<


Comments are closed.

English Legal History

Making English Legal History easy and enjoyable to digest.

Diary of a Psychokiller

take a trip with me to the darkside

Lipsync Lawyer

Stop bitching and know your law differently

Daring Fireball

Hearing ordinary lives talk

An English Man In SF

a diary of life as an immigrant

MB Forde

Ghosts, Legends, Folklore and Writing

Motorcycling in Hong Kong

On two wheels in Asia's World City


Making her way back to Neverland one day at a time...

The Naked Listener's Weblog

Hearing ordinary lives talk

Basti in China


Making Maps: DIY Cartography

Resources and Ideas for Making Maps

Pointless Diagrams

A new, meaningless diagram drawn daily, just 'cause.

The London Column

Reports from the life of a city, from 1951 to now, compiled by David Secombe

Vintagerock's Weblog.

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Shirley Chuk

Chuk Yin-yuk 祝燕玉 of Hong Kong

%d bloggers like this: