17 types of civil servants that really exist in S'pore

This article is inspired by real people. Any coincidence is real.

Jonathan Lim| April 02, 11:57 PM

The civil service. An institution in Singapore that runs along like clockwork, holding the fort and sorting out the papers in the backend, so that everyone else can live their lives as if hunky dory.

But did you know that there really is a third-class honours graduate who sucked at project work and has been promoted twice within four years in the service?

Here are 17 civil servants that really exist:


1. The one who claims all the credit all the time

The civil servant who will say that he/she contributed to every initiative no matter how small his/her contribution - like printing out some meeting minutes.


2. The one who claims credit but really didn't do anything

You know those that do nothing for the entire project but claims credit just because they are in the email CC list? Complete that with a pompous look.


3. The Legolas

That one civil servant who is an arrow-shooting extraordinaire. Once he/she sets his/her eye on you, you're going to get arrowed work.


4. Faculty of Arts and Social Science civil servant

They perpetuated the stereotype that people who go into FASS is because it's a dumping ground. And then they went into the civil service.

And continue to perpetuate that same stereotype.


5. The reluctant civil servant

Maybe they didn't get into the top consultancy firms. Or didn't want to do sales in banks. And it was too competitive to get into some MNCs.

The civil service offered a well-paid alternative.


6. The in-and-out-in-again civil servant

You know those that quit the service to try something new outside in the private sector and then get enough experience to jump a grade or two when they return to the service.

Actually they couldn't fit into the private sector and got ostracised by everyone.


7. The overachiever

You know those scholars or high-flyers earmarked for great things? Yeah, they come in to the service fresh out of school and given positions, such as managers and assistant directors, from the get-go.

And they go into cruising altitude of 30,000 feet, bye bye minions.

Then again, there are many of them who are genuinely smart and hardworking talents. Some of them are even good-looking to boot. Just to rub it in that life isn't fair.


8. The idealist

So many young men and women enter the civil service wanting to 'help people'. So much truth contained in a GIF.


9. The idealist-turned-cynic

The idealist who wants to help people will be stopped usually by two things: red tape and the unappreciative and overbearing members of the public.

And the paperwork.


10. The politician wannabes

Nothing pleases these people more than hanging around the politicians in the office. Never mind that their performance is not graded by the politicians but by their civil servant bosses.

And their wet dream is to be parachuted into a GRC.


11. The Taiji Master

The mortal enemy of the Legolas. The Taiji master fears no arrows. Their colleagues on the other hand...


12. The ball carrier

If you're in a division/ department full of ball carriers, good luck.


13. The Government Instruction Manual Partisan (G.I.M.P) or Protect-my-own-rice-bowl civil servant

If it's not written in the Government I.M. it can't be done. If boss never asks, don't need to do. If never do, boss don't need to know.


14. The perpetual telecommuter because husband sick, son sick, pet sick, potato etc.

How can someone work from home most of the time and only report to work twice a month is beyond me. But yes, it happens.


15. The I-hate-my-job-but-too-comfortable-to-quit

If you work in the civil service, you automatically earn more than half your peers because that's where the median pay scale is set. And you can't really get fired, unless you kicked someone in the face.

Or you get Brompton Biked.

And here's the thing: Plenty of civil servants stay on in their job because they can't get paid the same elsewhere.


16. The Minions

These are the unsung heroes, the rank-and-file civil servants that make sure everything's working 24/7 even with the shenanigans of the other types of civil servants. If they meet a good boss, their efforts are appreciated and they get promoted. Otherwise, they become easy prey for the likes of ball carriers and taiji masters to leapfrog when promotion or performance bonus appraisals are carried out.

When good minions work long enough they eventually become...


17. The Zen Master

These guys are above the office politics. Red tape? No problem. They are in the system long enough to know their stuff well and can get through all the bullshit and drama to get things done.


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7 tips you wished you were told before entering university

12 classic people you meet in BMT


Top photo from here

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