It's fair to say that life in Asian countries has become the norm for me. Things that I often raised an eyebrow at in my early days barely warrant a mention now. Though occasionally, something so brilliant is brought to my notice that I just have to write about it. Baby Boss is my greatest find. This is exactly what I've been waiting for all these years, something that so harmoniously fits with the Asian culture and attitudes, it nearly popped my head right off.
I first heard about Baby Boss from one of my Kindergarten students who eagerly showed me his 'Baby Boss' dollars. My first assumption when I saw them was 'This looks fun! Like a Disney Land sort of deal.' I asked him if it was indeed like Disney Land and he agreed, but not that enthusiastically. Because it's not like Disney Land. Not at all. If anything it's more of a Communist Universal Studios. What Baby Boss does is simulate jobs for kids. It's a big playground city where they can take on various roles and essentially see what it's like to be an adult. Great, eh? And although it does offer some cool positions, like Fireman or Astronaut (which is what I want to be when I grow up), the bulk of what is on offer isn't so hot- Gas Station Attendant, Convenience Store Clerk and Cleaner, for starters. Way to set realistic goals, people.
The mind boggles at the possibilities and the dynamics that have to be at work in that place. I've never been, but I have to imagine that some parents must insist that their child only try roles like Doctor or Dentist, while more realistic parents just let their son spend all day as a Miner- 'Well... he prefers the dark.'
But it fits, so perfectly. The drive to have productive, society ready children is a major one and it makes sense that many Asian parents would want to start early. Let's make ourselves some nice little workers before their brains have fully developed- get that work ethic right in there. I know, I am being cynical, and I'm sure it's more than a little fun, but there's a sinister overtone to the whole thing. I'm quite sure that behind the screen of these fun activities, the idea to condition kids to get used to work at a young age is there. That seems a little messed up to me. Though in all likelihood, that's just the normal reaction of someone who hails from the increasingly work-shy western world.
And it's certainly not all bad. A lot of Baby Boss's jobs do sound fun, even the dubious ones like beautician, model and 'celebrity'. And hey, this attitude certainly seems to work. I'm still blown away by how efficient people are over here and how quickly things get done. We could definitely learn a thing or two. Really, this whole thing boils down to jealousy, I guess. I just desperately want to take part in the whole Baby Boss experience. It's just tough to decide what I'd be. Model and Celebrity are obvious fits of course, but I think I'd go with Crane Operator. Another dream to check off the list.