Last Monday, I was at my office canteen for breakfast. After buying my food, I sat down at the same table where one of the canteen staff was also having her meal. She had served me several times before. From her accent and her fair complexion, it was obvious to me that she hailed from China. She appeared to be around 25-year old. I started a conversation with her in Mandarin. It went like this:
Me: You are from China aren't you?After talking with her, I felt very lucky but at the same time, very humbled. She could very well have been my superior, if only she had been a Singaporean.
Me: Do you need to apply for a work permit to work here?
She: Yes, a two-year permit. I've been here for 6 months already.
Me: Do you have to pay any agency fee to come here?
She: I paid almost $10,000 in Sing dollars in advance.
Me: Wah, so much? By the way, what is the minimum education level for applying for a work permit?
She: All levels, from primary level to university graduate also can.
Me: How about yourself?
She: I am a university grad.
Me (quite surprised): Really? What did you study?
She: Hotel studies.
Me: Then why didn't you apply for a job in a hotel.
She: Gain some working experience first. Maybe later.