Singapore ‘boomer’ boss flamed for dismissing intern who requested for virtual interview

A ‘Good Morning’ message by Toast Comics. Image: Toast Comics
A ‘Good Morning’ message by Toast Comics. Image: Toast Comics

A Singapore boss attracted both hate and support over the weekend for dismissing an intern after she requested a virtual interview.

A rant post by Jeffrey Koh, who runs a toy design agency, blew up online after he flamed an intern, identified only as Sarah, for wanting to do a virtual interview instead of meeting at his Commonwealth office. Koh then took offense and called her an “entitled Singaporean” who he rather not hire over “hungry and hardworking” foreigners.

“Call me a boomer but I seriously think our future is fucked,” he wrote Thursday.

“Sarah is the very reason why I absolutely welcome foreigners who are hungry and hardworking to work here. Fuck all these rules and laws protecting entitled Singaporeans,” he added.

The post was categorized under Koh’s “SHIT I SEE, SAY & THINK” album, which is filled with over 1,400 memes and opinions (that no one asked for – but hey it’s Facebook).

Koh posted an update yesterday, after the first post received mixed reactions with over 1,000 shares, and followed up with more context to justify himself.

He said Sarah shot him an email asking if they were still hiring after she ghosted him months before. She claimed that her current internship was having “legal issues” and had a “toxic culture” after just one day on the job.

Koh gave her the benefit of the doubt and told her to come down for a chat, which she initially agreed to but later pushed to do it virtually instead. Koh didn’t ask her why and immediately canceled the interview and wished her “all the best.” 

Koh then continued to lament over his experience with Singaporean interns.  

He said since being a boss for 21 years, he had taken many Singaporean interns under his wing, most of whom were “lovely.” But the two Year 3 design student interns he hired this year had no basic design skills, went for long lunches, oversleep and don’t meet deadlines.

“It’s maddening and frustrating when you see the lack of hunger vs the can-do attitude of the foreign students I came across when I was teaching part-time,” he wrote.

The posts garnered over 500 responses, with a good majority defending Sarah. Many argued that his work culture was also “toxic” and that Sarah “dodged a bullet.”

“She asked politely and you could just replied professionally. Don’t see how could your working environment is not toxic when you reply like that,” Kean Mun Alex Wong wrote.

“Being flexible and forward does not translate to a lack of enthusiasm,” Albert Weng wrote.

A comic by local satirist Toast Comics defended Sarah by drawing her as a weary mum with two children.

On the flip side, supporters of Koh on Facebook said that he didn’t owe any explanations and agreed that she didn’t want the job enough.

“Honestly, if someone was dead serious about interning with your agency that person will make it a point to go down to your office for an interview, you don’t need to stoop to their level of entitlement,” an Adrian Song wrote.

“Your company, your rules F what any says. You’re giving students a chance at learning real world work,” a Johnny Mac wrote.

One attempted to put out the flames by saying that it wasn’t anyone’s fault but both were just “misunderstood.”

Other stories you should check out: 

9 vs 1: 13-year-old among an armed gang charged with rioting in Lengkok Bahru (Video)

‘I’ll make sure not to bob my head too much next time,’: Singapore actor responds to mockery from CPR fail scene (Video)

3-year-old Singaporean dies due to Covid-19, country’s third reported fatality under 12

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