Dish Out The Awards!

This awards season, let's take a look at some possible prizes that people should win – or flaunt.

By Alywin Chew        28 February 2022

While updating my resume recently, I found myself contemplating whether to up the ante in promoting myself by slipping in the term “award-winning”, because it appears that every other person on LinkedIn is an award-winning professional these days.

Personally, I have pretty high standards when it comes to this matter. Unless I’ve won something that is recognised at least nationally, there’s no way I’m calling myself an “award-winning writer”.

But many of those I come across online haven’t even won anything worth batting an eyelid over.

Among them is my buddy Frankie.

“Look, it’s all down to the words you choose,” he said. “For example, I don’t describe myself as an ‘award-winning photographer’. Instead, I call myself a ‘photographer who has won multiple awards’.”

“And what exactly have you won?”

“IPPT Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.”

You know, he’s technically not wrong.

I think we should all be proud of the awards we have won. But please, show it off in the right context. For example, no hiring manager is going to care that you earned the Marksman Award during NS. It’s probably more appropriate to show this off at the sperm donation center.

Also, a 5-year Service Award doesn’t make you an award-winning professional.

Seriously, you’re going to flaunt about just existing in a company for half a decade?

Don’t get me wrong. I think awards are great and that we should be dishing out more awards – because they incentivise people to keep up the good work.

In light of International Women’s Day, which falls on the eighth of this month, I think we should also consider creating an award to honour the unsung heroines who have helped motivate countless recruits past and present.

These heroic women have for too long stayed hidden in the shadows, their legendary feats of strength only spoken of by those who come from the same bloodline. It is imperative that we honour their contributions to national defence.

That’s right. I’m talking about your platoon sergeant’s grandmother.

I reckon my friend Jennie should also win an award for her amazing ability to crack every single Wordle puzzle. I know because she shows off her scores on Facebook every day.

The title of the award?

No One Cares.

Speaking of show-offs, I’m sure you’ve come across the deluge of pull-up bar challenges that have been making their rounds on social media. The most recent one I saw was by a Korean BBQ stall that offered a free meal to anyone who could complete 15 pull-ups.

One National Serviceman took on the challenge and did a whopping 33 pull-ups.

“Woah!” I exclaimed, after watching the video.

“Quite impressive, isn’t it?” said the wife.

“Erm, I’m not amazed by the number of pull-ups,” I replied.

“Then why that reaction?”

“I’m amazed at the fact that schools have stopped teaching kids how to count.”

Watching this video reminded me of how my BMT platoon mates and I always had to wait for that one annoying person to complete his set of 20-plus pull-ups before we could march off for our meals.

Oddly enough, this person had always struggled at the Standing Broad Jump, so he never did get Gold for his IPPT despite his pull-up prowess. The poor lad was gutted. Not that any of us cared.

My consolation to him?

“Keep your chin up, buddy.”

LOL Mondays is an ongoing series of slice-of-life stories from freelance writer and NSman Alywin Chew. Look out for the humorous tales which will be posted every first Monday of the month, to help you drive away your Monday blues!

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