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PSY367: Work Stress Assignment, SUSS, Singapore Barely 7 months into his job, Ishmael is already feeling the heat of working in ID Consult (IDC). IDC is an interior design company that offers consulting
University Singapore University of Social Science (SUSS)
Subject PSY367: Work Stress Assignment
Posted on: 24th May 2023

PSY367: Work Stress Assignment, SUSS, Singapore Barely 7 months into his job, Ishmael is already feeling the heat of working in ID Consult (IDC). IDC is an interior design company that offers consulting

Barely 7 months into his job, Ishmael is already feeling the heat of working in ID Consult (IDC). IDC is an interior design company that offers consulting, designing, and furnishings for hospitality and commercial projects. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, business has slowed as many projects were put on hold or aborted. The collapse of Evergrande, the property developer in China has also affected IDC as China was their main source of revenue.

IDC is set up and run by a husband (Peter) and wife (Siok Leng) team who met during their Singapore Polytechnic days. According to the rumor mill, Siok Leng was the top student in her cohort, and the calm and cool Peter was the playboy of the school. IDC is made up of two teams; the “hospitality team” which deals with hotels and housing, and the “commercial team” which deals with office and industrial projects.

Each team has three members with a supervisor who reports to one of the bosses. Ishmael is the account supervisor of the hospitality team and reports directly to Siok Leng. As a supervisor, Ishmael also liaises with the offshore production teams in Batam and Vietnam. Siok Leng is a hands-on manager, who relishes being part of every decision-making.

In her energy and enthusiasm, she often undervalues and overrides the team’s decisions, even those that they have agreed upon. Sometimes, this makes Ishmael feel that he does not add enough value to the decision-making, but he rationalizes these experiences as part of the learning process in dealing with their demanding clients in China.

Ishmael always checks into work at about 8 a.m., well before his bosses and team members who usually clock in at about 9 a.m. He typically wakes up at 6 a.m., goes for his morning run, and then sets off to work. He finds the early morning hours in the office therapeutic as he can read his emails, reflect, and plan the day. Ishmael loves his job because he gets to be creative at work. He does not mind the extra hours nor being contacted after office hours.

Customers often run into emergencies or make changes during the weekends and may want to contact somebody for help. Fortunately, his wife, who works part-time from home, understands the challenges and frustrations in his job. Ishmael met his wife at university and they got married after graduating from university. They plan to wait for another 2-3 years before having a baby as his priority right now is his career.

On Monday morning, on his way to the pantry to get his morning coffee, Ishmael bumped into Peter (Siok Leng’s husband), who just finished a Zoom call with a client from Shenzhen. Siok Leng was again working from home that day – isolating herself from the operational work in the office. She had looked disheveled and was easily agitated in the Zoom meeting the day before. Peter told Ishmael that the project in Shenzen has been put on hold and that
Ishmael should alert his team as the vendor may be insolvent.

Ishmael was disappointed because his team had been working almost round the clock to complete the project on time. Nonetheless, he was very grateful for the alert. Using his mobile phone, he quickly emailed his team with a c.c. to Siok Leng to freeze all works on the Shenzhen Project until further notice, and explained that the vendor may be insolvent due to the Chinese government crackdown on real estate businesses.

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