When my son was young, he attended a nursery school which operated by the name of Carpe Diem. It was located close to where I live and one of the reasons The Wife and I chose the school because it also had a spacious garden which the kids could run around in. I like to think he enjoyed going there and the teachers were able to talk to him.
He was there for two years and they had a sort of “graduation” at the end of their time in the nursery school where the kids put on some sort of concert and also receive a “diploma”. We were asked by the teachers to write down for the MC what the child wanted to be in the future. At the time, my rather artistic son was quite proud of himself for being able to make his bed by himself and he took pride in arranging all the pillows and toys he had on the bed, some of them are still with him today. So when they asked him, he said he wanted to be a “bed arrangement artist” and that’s what we wrote down for the school concert MC to say.
The day of the concert came and we saw that most of the kids were announced as wanting to be teachers, doctors, lawyers and scientists as they walked up the stage to receive their diploma and have their picture taken. So when it came to my son’s turn to go onstage, the MC announced his ambition as wanting to be a “bed designer”. She said something to the effect of “He enjoys drawing and wants to be a bed arrangement artist when he grows up.” We watched him go up to receive his diploma and he was beaming with pride at the announcement of his ambition. We also noticed some rather puzzled faces among the audience.
I told the incident to some of my friends for a laugh. One of them, Miguel, just went, “Bed arrangement artist? You mean chambermaid? Your boy wants to be a chambermaid?” We all laughed and it seemed so funny at the time.
Fast forward to the end of 2021 and my son graduates from his six-year International Baccalaureate programme at the School of The Arts. While waiting for his conscription, he took up an hourly-rated job at the Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay hotel. While he didn’t have a job title, his job description was to clean out rooms and make the beds. Basically, that was what the chambermaids were tasked to do.
He did the job for two weeks with a couple of his schoolmates. Although under the supervision of a cranky senior, he was thankful for the experience and money earned. He received his diploma results and score soon after. His score was an amazing 43 out of a possible total of 45 points. Something I don’t think I would have been able to achieve in his shoes. I’m glad he was willing to do some physical work, if only for a while, and tolerate grumpy folk, if at the end, he always knew his own worth as a person.