Monday, September 19, 2016

Corporate Job without a Safety Net

I work at an MNC that isn't doing very well - a lot of people are getting fired left, right and center and even more people are quitting voluntarily for better and less riskier opportunities. I feel odd working so hard at my job, knowing that I could be fired and I don't have a backup plan. It's kind of disconcerting but at the same time it is a good fear to have as it keeps me on my toes, and forces me to stay sharp and abreast of everything work-related. I know life may have been easier if my parents were wealthy and had connections. I know I took a road off the beaten path by becoming the first in my family to enter a fast-paced corporate job. I know that corporate life has its challenges and can be exceptionally competitive, and especially more difficult if you're an introverted female. I know I've sacrificed getting married and having kids in order to make this happen (and thankfully, the lack of family responsibilities makes the fallout of being fired slightly less harmful).

I just have to be brave and trust in God and believe that everything will turn out for the best. Thanks to God I've come this far and I know there are many more miles to go. I find it amusing that my normally reticent self (at least in spiritual matters) is invoking God with so much fervour. I have a theory that the poor and the weak are more likely to believe in God, because their lives have far more uncertainty and the quality of their life is more likely to depend on strokes of luck and shifts in fates than in only their hard work and effort.

I still care a lot about my career and would prefer if I could be good enough at work that my firm:

1) Doesn't fire me, instead promotes me
2) If the whole company does go bankrupt and needs to fire me, I am so good that I find a job within a couple of months

That is the hope and the dream.


It is both thrilling and frightening to have your life hanging by a string, without a safety net.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

What part of my heart bleeds?

I don't know if the periods of melancholy that I undergo are necessarily driven by world poverty. But I do know that I go through these painful periods of sadness when my head gets cloudy and my heart hurts and my mind races, unable to think of anything practical or useful other than world poverty.

In those periods, all I want to do is leave everything behind and alleviate world poverty. I'm serious.

All I can think is how unjust the world is. How unfair it is that millions of people live without enough money to get home from work, even after earning minimum wage (according to this article). Or how difficult it is for people across the world to find jobs, even if they are willing to work hard, because their jobs are being outsourced or replaced by robots. (Don't ask me how I find these articles - all I know is that they are attracted to me like bees to honey.)

I believe I have always been an exceptionally sensitive, "bleeding heart" since I was a child. But I only recently realised my "bleeding heart" may be a symptom of a very visceral belief, after a series of confounding feelings at a first date that left me certain of only one thing - I need help!

Long story short - a date was trying to impress by getting a special reservation at one of the most exclusive (4 Michelin star) restaurants in the city. Unfortunately for him, not only did I look unpleasantly taken aback by the opulence of the venue when I arrived, but I also sat through the entire 4-course meal looking like the spitting image of a glum, disappointed and deeply dehydrated fish out of water.

At the time, I didn't understand my behaviour and thought it was because I couldn't stand the guy. After some reflection, I realise I liked the guy's personality but didn't understand the need to splurge on a $400 meal when there was so much world poverty. World poverty. There it was again.

My mind has been obsessed with world poverty since I was a child. I carry the burden around like Jesus or Atlas, but without doing any of the hard labour they did. All I can do is mope, weep, get extremely depressed, accomplish nothing and feel deeply guilty again, in a repetitive cycle. I don't know why my heart bleeds the way it does. I don't know why it bleeds more than others (after all, I'm not the only one eating out at a fancy place.) All I know is that it bleeds and it is painful.

I know people say you shouldn't be guilty and you should unashamedly chase money and prestige and your career and some day that will give you the ability to write a check and donate to a foundation (or better still, create your own tax-exempt charity). I guess my heart doubts if that amount of success can ever really occur and questions why I can't just donate to my time and my life right now. Perhaps I feel guilty because I feel that the selfish, corporate way isn't the only way forward. Perhaps I feel guilty because I realise that the people for whom my heart bleeds are those the system has failed, and those that have been left behind in our competitive, unjust world. Perhaps my heart bleeds because I realise that my hard work, my time, my life, my colleagues and my income are all going into that system that perpetuates the inequity. Perhaps it bleeds because I realise that in a Rawlsian world, I could easily have been one of those left behind.

Perhaps it bleeds because it is trying to tell me that I will never be happy with more wealth and expensive meals - instead I will be happy by doing good and making a difference to the strata of society that I care about. Just writing that last line was so relieving :)

The only problem, oh heart, is who will pay the bills?

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Funny Gypsy is Back!

To people who were following this blog and reading my posts in the past - Thank you for your loyalty!

To new readers - Welcome!

To those of you who thought I had died - No I am very much alive, but had fallen in love with an amazing man over the past 2 years and thought I was getting married.

To those of you who wish I had died - Not yet! Have a lot left to learn, share and achieve in life!

To those of you wondering if I am now married - Unfortunately not. The future mother-in-law looked at the stars and decided the astrological risk was too high. In retrospect, it worked out for the best.

To those of you wondering what my plans are now

I am learning that happiness comes with age, some wisdom and accepting what you enjoy doing :) It comes from following your heart, even if it means you might be a bit weird.

I will restart blogging about life, work, love, happiness and social issues. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing!
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