How you can avoid OT with a simple trick and not get fired

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Homework—it seems like a dreadful word for students, and even more dreadful for working adults. When we were students, it seemed like homework must be given every day—no homework means the teachers are lazy.

Could it be because of this, that even as we step into the corporate world, we bring work back home to do? After all, we were used to working at home. This is merely an extension of what happened in school.

And I don’t need to talk about the consequences of bringing work home to do, I guess. For the record, homework by teachers is usually pretty reasonable. Work brought back home to do from the office is…let’s just use a milder word: challenging.

When I was in secondary four, my maths teacher told us to stay back after school. Each one of us had to complete 100 circle questions before we could go home—and we had to get them right, for she would mark on the spot. I was convinced that she was crazy. I remembered staying back until about 7.00 p.m. or 8.00 p.m. Then I went home and fell asleep immediately. But from that day onwards, I became an expert in circle questions.

Now that I think back, I believe my maths teacher has taught me more than just 100 circle questions. She taught me how to set target—100 circle questions before the end of the day. And she taught me something even more important—things can be completed in school (or office) once we have the desire to go back home without needing to work.

Isn’t that how things should work?

Still, Singapore employees don’t work in this system. My friend who works in an MNC said that the air-conditioner will be switched off at 7.00 p.m. daily. He would then bring his laptop back home to work. Could we have been so used to doing homework that this is a social norm? That if we don’t, we’ll be punished with a termination letter or a poor performance appraisal—much so like how we would be punished with detention should we not complete our homework?

I still do not know the objective of homework. Yes, revision, but can’t they be done in school? Finish everything required in school to get a pass, and whatever extra is optional for an A.


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