Thursday, 4 October 2007

Metamorphosis of slaves

I had a very long talk with my boss. I did share the conversation with some of my colleagues and they were totally astonished that I pulled of such a feat. What was the talk all about? Well, I refuse to put myself in an I-have-no-choice situation… I asked for pay rise and complained about over-worked. And when I said complain… I really mean complain.

I shall not go into the details but one of the many things I told my boss was that things have changed; that I am not like her. To my surprise, she agreed and told me that she is aware of this perspective. She told me she could see it in her children.

Indeed… things have changed; particularly amongst the modern slaves living in the urban area of this country. In my zewtpinion, the current modern slaves population is generally segregated into a few generations…
The True Slaves Generation… To me, they are usually aged 35 and above and are very much infected with the I-must-work-very-hard-and-die-for-the-company virus. They believe that hard work is the only way to success and success is measured by way of status and monetary rewards. They only know how to say yes to the company and bosses, never dare to voice out any grievances and their worth lies in their work. They think they are sacrificing themselves for the betterment of their family not knowing that their family may also be sacrificed at the same time, metaphorically speaking. That is, if they do have a family in the first place. Because of their I-must-work-hard mentality, they will instil the same to those below them… us…

Most of us here; aged 24 – 34, we are The Transitional Generation. We are stuck between the need to work hard in order to support our lifestyle and the need to not work so hard in order to have a lifestyle. Basically, we still carry a bit of the gene from the preceding generation but at the same time, we are also painfully aware that hard work does not necessary guarantee success. Further, we have a very different definition of success, and we look at the path to success from a different perspective.

We are constantly in a predicament of wanting to leave our job because we are so fed up and angry at the bosses and/or company but never truly get around doing it. We suffer severely from the I-have-no-choice syndrome. Some of our friends did make it big doing their own things, but we just can't bring ourselves to follow their footstep because we are too afraid to venture out of our comfort zone. Also, some decide to be modern slave in the name of ‘glamour’ due to a certain type of slavery.

Next is the generation hovering in the horizon, I call them… The New Breed. A few souls of this generation were seen a few years back and their numbers are growing. Made up mostly of urban population, work to them is just… work. Hard work is slowly being removed from their vocabulary and if you were to ask them to put in a few hours of over time, you will probably not have them as colleague very soon. This is real… I am hearing more and more stories where a new modern slave was asked to work past their official office hour for a few days and before you know it, they handed in their resignation already.

I foresee that this new breed will soon form the next generation of modern slaves. Let’s look at the current pre-slave population, those in their late teens, like the children of my boss. Despite not having made their first cent, they are already having ‘pocket money’ as high as a thousand a month, or more. I don’t even want to go into how they spend their money. This does not include a car and possibly even a condo if their parents are from out of town.

Brought up in such environment and with parents continue to be ever willing to over-provide, do you think The New Breed will slave at a job for a puny pay? Sorry for being too judgemental but I doubt it. Like I said earlier, the signs are already showing, some of them are already giving us glimpses of things yet to come.

But I think it is a good thing. It’s about time the exploitation of the labour force in this country morph into a better form.

Zewt supports the call to free burma, participant #2153. Come,
join the stats. Post up the banner and make it your ARK.

47 comments:

5xmom.com said...

I actually come to remind you wan....

stocktube said...

The True Slaves Generation was borned without any silver spoon, most of them ... and most of them had gone thru the hardship, by their age it was logical to conclude most of their parents were not well educated ...

so it makes perfect sense for them to work-hard-for-the-co ... unfortunately bosses nowadays do not know how to appreciate this range of "loyal" slaves ... the new generation of slaves (although not all of them) not only ask mountain as their starting pay, they will not blink twice about asking you to fly kite if you ask them to commit beyond office hour for certain vital projects - and that's a fact ...

somehow bosses seems to prefer the way this young slaves holding their balls, i wonder why ...

Angie Tan said...

Hahaha.. Just did my Free Burma post.

Will read your entry tomorrow morning when I send your fellow accounting/finance industry slave to work. She kena slave gao-gao, oso want to slave me oso... Haaaiiii...

Anonymous said...

I think the burmese deserve it cause they ain't no followers of Jesus, who cares? Bible says they're going to hell anyway.

angel said...

I am more interested in what your boss' reply to you is.

*grins*

Let's say you berjaya get what you have asked for, $$$ and lesser responsibilities, will the grass on the other side become not so green anymore?

*grins summore*

Jocelyn- Pluluwek said...

hey zewt,

i read ur blog once in a blue blue moon since i got d news of ur mum.

i thank God for the change in u... a good testimony to everyone around you n esp to those who knows you. we dun talk much but we know each other fairly long. reading ur blogs is like rediscovering an old friend ;)

btw, got to know u r getting married in jan'08. wanna congratulate u n julie ^_^ all the best in ur wedding preps.

confessing7girl said...

hiiiiiiiiiii how r u doing!!! oh i hv to much to catch up too!!! im with u on free burma!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bee Ean said...

There is a difference between work smart and being lazy. I don't know how the French make it but their productivity is one of the highest in the world, despite the fact that they only need to work 35 hours a day, and working for them is just to finance their vacation. I think when you are not forced to work too much you can actually work smart.

flaminglambo said...

What the fuck are you talking about anonymous? If they don't believe in Jesus, they should die? What's the difference between you and a terrorist? If you want to make such a stupid statement, at least have the balls to show your name. Fucking retard!

Zewt, too true. It's especially right for Generation 'I' (the generation after Y). Basically, they only do what pleases them. Some of these kids have no clue about life because they've always been pampered and sheltered by their parents.

Anonymous said...

What!

Excuse me anonymous at 12.35am. Supporting the political freedom of Burmese has nothing to do with religion! It is your type of ambivalent attitude that gives all Christians bad name. Pls be mindful that Jesus told us to love one another unconditionally and to love your enemies. If you can happily enjoy easy access to the internet and able to froth and spew rubbish as you like it, be thankful because you are blessed to live in the comfort and security of your home with modern amenities at arm's reach.

But don't use your high and mighty, holier-than-thou attitude when you want to speak about Christ and His teachings!

And zewt, good show. Your courage have served you well indeed. Despite all the bad things your boss did in the past, as I have always said, at least she is frank about it. She doesn't tell you one thing and acts the other way.

Hmmm... I suspect it is part of your grand scheme to turn the tables on them when you announce you have no choice but to make an exit right? I foresee it coming soon... haha...

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

dude..ok i read it..to be honest, i wouldnt hesitate for a moment and approach this current boss, bcoz i know hes so call "up for this kinda talk"..infact had one with him whereby he hinted to give this a try until end of the yr..

end of the day, u have talked to her, she has acknowledged, but will things change?lets keep our fingers crossed..

under ur few categories?..i haven hesitated to stay back beyond my avg 5.30 leaving time..but i also spend my parents money still wahaha..so which m i?

Hor ny Ang Moh said...

I agree with u.....will most of it anyway!Work smart not work hard! This is my working like motto!And if ur boss see that u r smart & the co can get more out of u then what it paid to u then the co will be most willing to increase ur pay. But it also depend on ur boss if he is of the first gen then u die lah! But I have being under all the three type boss so I have to change my working style!So r u happy with ur pay rise??? Have a nice day!

-= said...

" Arbeit macht frei " maybe the things of the past but nevertheless these words are the basis of so called life we proclaimed;a better than this, a better than that where only "I" is everything and not "U" XD

p/s I ain't no nazi 0.o!

-=SiN=- said...

" Arbeit macht frei " maybe the things of the past but nevertheless these words are the basis of so called life we proclaimed;a better than this, a better than that where only "I" is everything and not "U" XD

p/s I ain't no nazi 0.o!

Jason said...

I think i am abit like the new breed but still stuck deeply in the transitional generation..darn...dunno what nonsense am i typing..hahaha. work stress~

Huei said...

okies! will support the Burma monks.

everythign has a price to pay..high salary = more work..so maybe if one is not so demanding..work may be easier

like my penut pay lah..no requirement to work OT wan!!

anonymous at 12.35am said...

They didn't accept Christ, therefore they're going to hell anyway, Jesus told us to love one another, but they're still going to hell, why not we love Satan and company then?

changeiam said...

I couldn't agree with you more about being stuck in the transitional generation and being in that age group doesn't make things any easier. I could never understand how my younger sister could sit at home and bum around without a job and when asked why she quit she said her boss was putting too much pressure and always had to work overtime. In my mind I was thinking "what the hell is wrong with you ?!!? A little hard work never killed anyone !!" Yet here I am being a slave and taking shit hahahaha and stuck in the "no choice" world

rinnah said...

I like how you've segmentized the slaves. I have seen all types... I am the transitional one...

So, dapat pay rise kah?

Helen said...

You spoken to your boss. By speaking to her, can I safely come to the conclusion you wanted to give your current place a second chance?

If you naik gaji you'll stay?

j or ji said...

"u give me peanut so dun blame me when im acting like a monkey.."

"plus,dun expect me to stay back..there's no glamour in goin back late."

well..i wish i can say that to my boss!

kat said...

I was at a launch of a high-end condo at Mont Kiara not long ago, and some parents were buying their kids a unit each. A young girl at her first job was given by her rich father an Audi and Volvo to drive to work. 'Nuff said.

Zewt, just curious. If you are not Type D with a plan of greener grass up your sleeves, would you have had this talk with your boss?

Anonymous said...

the bottom line is 'r u happy with wat u r doing'.....

some people work hard as a stepping stone....

u have to work hard at the begining, but work smart after that.... it's all above delegation and empowerment!!

Mcmercedez said...

To look in a real life situation, this virus will never stop infecting you whenever you go.. Some people might think that if I start my own business will be better because I work for myself.. To a certain point, I find that it's true BUT the virus is worse.. You need to work more.. If not.. there goes your business..

Hm.. I think if you enjoy the work you're doing and the boss is ok.. then I think it's fine.. Hopefully I'm right or I'm just giving excuse to myself.. hahah..

cirnelle said...

I suppose the "overworked" bit during the talk didn't get absorbed, huh? Meeting at lunch time. Sigh! *Disappointed*

Princess Eileen said...

I am the transitional new breed.... Errr... is that possible?

Aput said...

I've actually joined in the free Burma call from Amnesty International, which I am a member.

kinda hypocritical seeing as how I'm supporting the death penalty, though.

will anyone else be joining the vigil at KLCC on Friday night?

As for modern day slaves, I feel where you're coming from. Although, I think our "modern day gladiators" get a worse deal...

penang-kia said...

Thanks for the support to free Burma.They need all the support they can get.
I do agree this is not about religion or colour of our skin but about human kind.
For god sake,these are peace loving religious unarmed people who can't even kill a fly.Live and let live.

Congrats... on your pay rise.But the sewage system is still bocor.You know what i mean...

zewt said...

5xmom - thanks... i did not forget.

stocktube - agreed... most of the people in that generation are 'survivers'... they have that survival instincts... and they will fight all the way. good and bad i guess... they should know when is the limit.

angie tan - maybe ask your slave friend to read more about modern slavery.... especially the post on 'professional mistake'.

anon @ 12.35am - may God have mercy upon you.

angel - the outcome of the talk shall remain a secret... hehe...

jocelyn pluluwek - it's julia... thanks anyway. your wedding should be along the way too if i am not wrong.

confessing7girl - where have you beeen??????????

zewt said...

bee ean - i believe it's possible there cos the does not encourage internal competition, where everyone is almost on level ground. here on the other hand...

flaminglambo - calm down bro... let the Lord take care of him. and the problem about generation I is that the parents continue to shelter and protect them. today i read something in the news... supports what i just said.

anon @ 7.55am - have mercy bro... let the Lord judge him and not us. as for my boss... yeah, she is quite a true boss... unlike you-know-who. yeah, the fact that i am leaving does pulls up the courage level.

constant craver joe - you the transitional generation between the new breed and the transitional generation... hahaha... as for me... things only changed... a bit.

hor ny - pay rise does not only depend on my boss but the boss above my boss. when you have a cost control freak somewhere out there... things can be very... tough.

-=sin=- - i must say.. i am lost. hehe...

zewt said...

Jason - if work stresses you and you're not reacting to it... then you're not fully new breed yet.

huei - no OT is good... but are u happy with peanut pay? u willing to OT for more?

anon @ 10.22am - i have no comment at what you said.

changeiam - oh... your younger sister is truly the new breed. it's a good thing and a bad thing... depends on the way you see it. wouldnt u wanna be a new breed too?

rinnah - what do u think... is it that easy to get pay rise?

Helen - second chance? i just dont want to jump around due to my Type D plan... otherwise... i would have bugger off already.

j or ji - though my words arent the same... that was basically my message during the talk.

zewt said...

kat - the condo unit i bought... right next to it is this student whose parents bought for her to stay... got a car too. and i dont even have money to renovate mine... hers... need i say more. as for your question... yes, i would. i am trying to move in between transitional generation and the new breed.

anon @ 2.18pm - not everyone is like that... some just expect you to work hard all the way.

mcmercedez - i think the issue about starting own business and ends up working more is no longer that apparent... most of my friends who went down that path are waking up at 11am and playing mahjong during the afternoon.

cirnelle - some things never change...

princess eileen - possible, it only means you're highly confused kaka!

aput - modern day gladiators? hmmm... i need to decipher that.

penang-kia - pay rise? how sure are u that i get it?

narrowband said...

The "New Breed" you mentioned - it's gonna take some effort to 'kick-start' them. Haha.

I'm *so* in the Transitional Generation.

JasonPhoon said...

I'm actually in the new breed , as I couldn't accept the "working past official hours" thing malaysian companies take for granted.

That is why I'm going to try work somewhere else, where working conditions are more favorable.

Call me selfish, but I really think Malaysia can do with working smart, instead of working hard towards lofty goals.

Aput said...

modern day gladiators = the sportsmen and women....hmmm....

i.e: football players, squash players, badminton players, etc.

AngelaT said...

Hi zewt,

I'm in the transitional gen whereas my sis is the new breed.

Most of the time our opinions clashes cos I always think freshies in a company shuld work extra to prove they are worth bigger responsibilities whereas she thinks working OT makes them ez to bully.

And I keep on thinking as I go yamcha with some of my new breed friends who cant stop complaining how sucky their new companies are and how they are underpaid (mind u, they are paid more than 2k and above) and how they are not given the opportunity to work at bigger things, that how spoilt they are. I mean, how does one given bigger responsibilities when they work right on the dot when they r still fresh and when ask to do petty stuff after work by more veteran employees and they decline? The new breed kinda forgot that if they cant handle the small tasks well, how can they handle the big tasks?

Makes me think, the new breed nowadays wanna hav things on a shorter road cut.

Also btw, how does one work smarter when they finish their part faster but were handed more work thus no matter how fast they finish their work, there will always b more work waiting for em. Course this type would climb the ladder faster but with time sacrifice on their part.

Thus I'd hav to say, the old breed must adopt a bit of the new breed's method of working like knowing when to say no to OT whereas the new breed must also try to prove their worth in order to be handed a bigger task and better pay check.

There really aint no short cuts in life.

sharlydia said...

actually sad to say...i'm one of those in the transitional generation...sometimes it's easy to say we wanna work smart and not work hard, coz when it comes to reality, when the job is not done the way it should be, we'r still to be blamed...

jam said...

Nice piece of writing. Couldn't agree more. And I belong to the transition generation - that's why I am working while blogging!

Huei said...

that's y i'm doing paid posts..at least paying better than OTs will (i got no OT pay wan leh!) =P

Maverick SM said...

I agree with your categorization of "slave" earners. However, the 3rd type are natural. Parents have bred them that way and as long as the parents leaves behind tons of money for them, they could one day become your boss and mine.

zewt said...

AngelaT - hi and welcome to AZAIG. your comment deserves a personal reply.

very informative comment u have there. you're not the first who has such a sibling, one comment from changeiam above stated the same phenomena too.

in relation to task, i think we should not stereotype the new breed and said they cant handle small task well, we should give them the benefit of the doubt. many a times, it is the older generation who has pride and refused to believe that ppl are getting smarter and more capable. having said that, the new breed should also have some form of respect.

indeed, work can never be finished and working smart is not about finishing work, but working in a reasonable amount of time. blending the new breed and old generations mentality would be a good thing, but i still believe the new breed will rise soon and i am supporting it, cos i think exploitation of labour in this country should come to a stop already.

zewt said...

sharlydia - yeah, until we move up the chain, we are the one to be blamed. and the new breed... once they take the blame, off they go.

jam - if i can do that... i would too :)

huei - hahaha... then keep doing PPP. I dont want to fight with you all in PPP la... hah!..

maverick SM - my sentiments exactly, the new breed will rise whether we like it or not.

FriendfromTaiwan said...

Excellent post... really covers what needs to change in Asian working cultures

_butt said...

so totally agree. all I know is that I would never want to end up becoming like my boss someday. keep reminding myself that everyday.

zewt said...

narrowband - i am sure the new breed is a breed where a lot of ppl would like to belong to.

jasonphoon - good on ya mate... you have my support... perhaps you should share your story with us after you've done that.

aput - i see... but then, i heard a lot of controversies about them too. not very good news.

friendfromtaiwan - you know me... when it comes to modern slavery...

_butt - hi there... one thing i have observed, though who claim they never wanna be like their boss... usually ends up like one... opppsss... :)

_butt said...

yerr... don't lah. scary le wei :P

zewt said...

_butt - hahaha... let's wait and see :)