Yesterday (Monday 16-Nov-2009) morning, SSN L's long-time night partner SSN R called up the ward about her MC (medical certificate for sick leave) for several days. However, the admin staff did not manage to find anyone to cover SSN R's absence. Finally it was escalated to ADON G, but somehow there still wasn't any staff replacement. Thus it was 1 SSN and 1 HCA covering the entire ward of acute patients for that night.
Well, yesterday was my day-off. At around 17:40hrs, I received a call from my ward's admin staff requesting me to cover SSN R's night shift. As I already had a dinner appointment, I turned down the request. According to the admin staff, she has tried asking all the other day-staff but could not find anyone. Thus, she had no choice but to call me, her last resort, at that late hour. She demanded to know why I could not come for the night duty. When I persisted that I could not change my dinner appointment as my friend would be flying back to Hong Kong, she then said she has no choice but to inform the ADON G.
It reminds me of the work culture in Singapore. People expects singles to sacrifice their private lives for work emergencies, without considering singles also have their social roles and responsibilities to attend to. I have made this mistake before of agreeing easily to “犧牲小我，完成大我。” ["sacrifice personal interests for the interests of the greater group"], pissing not just a handful of my friends/significant-others/family-members as a result. Such a habit does not buy one any goodwill at work either because after a while colleagues/supervisors take it for granted that the usual sacrificial lamb should do it. Thus, I am not about to fall into this rut again.