It’s been nearly two years since my enlistment and I’m glad that I’m on my last mile. Throughout these 2 years, some people would claim that it has been a thorough waste of time, others would say that it’s an experience of a lifetime.

I’ve experienced a fair share of both claims and can testify that 50% of the outcome lies in my hands. There are certainly some sights to behold, trials and tribulations to endure, friends to be made, time to be wasted, problems to be solved, along the way of ORD.

The trick to your time being wasted is to make good use of the time when people are wasting your time. Although I am working in an organisation that prides itself for being timely and decisive, people are routinely late for meetings. I fit books in my iPod Touch or paperbacks in my side pocket. If I were to forget or be bored by rumbling drones, I’ll take out my mobile phone and look up the latest from Reuters and Google Reader. Of course, having the secret to prevent people from wasting your time should mean that you’ll be mindful of taking up the time of others.

Another trick to a time waster in another context is that people would insist that you do certain things using primitive and time consuming methods. I’ve learnt to give equally lengthy forecast of completion, use modern methods, and use the time saved to do my other more important things. I’d learnt this cool trick from one of my school teachers.

That’s the gist on the time savers I’d learnt and employed.

As my work moved into the HQ, time wasters are no longer the biggest enemies. The new and powerful word in use is Politics. Putting it upfront, I thoroughly hate it. Navigating through the minefield of politics is a skill to be learnt and polished in any office environment.

I’ve learnt how to smile when you’re boiling furious, make friends and be friendly toward deadly enemies, capture and understand the nuances of intent and sentence structure in instructions, reading the truth of smiling lies, and most despicable of all, cleaning up after people’s defecation. Sometimes I wonder, am I working too much and hard for what I’m paid? Then again, it’s the price for the development of alternative mental faculties.

On the other hand, I’ve learnt a lot more about myself that I could ever have. I’ve noticed that my subconsciousness is like a sponge, soaking up everything around me — the good, the bad, and the ugly, slowly assimilating collated information into my behaviour.

I avoid certain people only because I don’t want to pick up their traits.

As with all politics, I have to deal with lies, half-truths, and white-lies. Knowing how to distinguish between them is important as it gleams significant information which can be of great use.

Lies are rather easy to detect from non-compulsive liars. What’s written in body language books aren’t very useful, as I believe, every person has ‘fingerprint actions’ when he’s about to lie. Taking reference from an obvious lie, one can capture the ‘fingerprint’ and hence match it to whenever it occurs again. To be especially effective in finding the truth and to identify lying, use binary questions while watching out for the ‘fingerprint’.

Nevertheless, I will sorely miss my fellow mates whom I’ve met in one way another, having tried my best to know (and make friends with) as many of them as possible.