Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The curse of a true slave

There was a vacancy in another department a few months ago and I recommended that position to a former junior (“J”) of mine who is currently slaving in a professional firm. Upon my recommendation, J decided to put in an application for that position.

The interview went well and J was offered the job. However, the department could not match J’s expected salary. I then had a lengthy discussion with J and after deliberating the offer, I advised J to decline the offer both as a friend and a fellow professional.

A few days thereafter, I got a call from my colleague from the recruiting department asking me to convince J to join as they were really interested in having J on board. Since I made the recommendation and was J’s former senior, I should be able to exercise my influence.

I told my colleague (“C”) that I have indeed exercised my influence and my advice to J was to decline the offer and I thought the offer did not match J’s value. I told C that I will not sell my friend’s soul to the devil even if it’s the same devil who is feeding me. C was astonished to hear that.

C then went on a crusade to get me to influence J. C went on and on about how J’s competence has not been proven and if J joins and performs well, J will surely be able to climb up the ladder. That was such a bad point simply because I work in the same company and I know exactly how this company, and in particular, how C’s department works.

C was relentless. C said that in the years C has been with the company, it was proven those who work hard and slog late into the night will be duly rewarded and rewarded well. Given that I know C has been working really hard and been slogging late nights non-stop, I asked how well has C been rewarded. C confidently answered that rewards will come.

Those familiar with AZAIG’s sentiments on modern slavery a.k.a. corporate world will know that slaving your life away is not the way to go. And certainly, I will never recommend my friend to sell his/her soul, unless the price is absolutely right.

It is very sad that there are so many people with the
“true slave” mentality that one should slave out one’s life and will go all out to get others to join this disillusioned bandwagon. Will a true slave get rewarded in the end?

In the latest promotion list issued last month. C’s name was not there.


1 year ago…
How will the end begin?

17 comments:

Unicorn Girl said...

Your advice to J sure is essential hence J decision to decline the offer :) Wish I had more fren's or should I say colleagues like you Zewt :)

MKL said...

Interesting story. The biggest question for me is, why is "C" so enthusiastic, if he doesn't climb the ladder?

day-dreamer said...

LOL what an irony. I mean C. :P

Antares said...

As someone who resigned from his last corporate job 32 years ago, I have had to live on my own resources and wits all this while. About 23 years ago I vowed never again to work for money - only for love - and one result has been that the line between work and play for me has become blurred. I'm a full-time blogger now and spend hours at my computer for no pay - but the emotional gratification is priceless. To facilitate my own freedom from corporate enslavement I've had to minimize my overheads so that I can support myself, my family, and a growing menagerie of cats and dogs for a whole week on what some corporate high-flyers spend on a single lunch. I'm also completely open to miracles - and they do happen regularly for me. The point I would like to make: so long as the work you are paid to do is fun and rewarding in itself, it really doesn't matter about the pay. Imagine you are Sirul Azhar and someone offers you RM100k to shoot a foreign woman you don't even know... no amount of cash can ever restore your lost innocence! Similarly, most corporate jobs turn you into a blindly obedient automaton devoid of an independent will or personal destiny. In exchange for just enough to stay alive, you mortgage your entire life to a bank while your energy is harvested to do destructive things to the natural environment and you keep wondering why the air is unbreathable and the water undrinkable!

doc said...

i have to agree with Antares. the only just reward a true slave deserves is "liberation" from the chains of his job, but that doesn't come easy, nor are the opportunites many.

C will continue to slog for his dept with no apparent immediate rewards but try he will. maybe that's why he is so keen on J - a gem of a "slave" will surely boost up the reputation of his dept & thus impress his boss, taking C a step nearer that much needed promotion.

Amanda Christine Wong said...

maybe sometimes people don't have a choice?

jam said...

As long as he is happy to be one, let him be the slave! May be his life is destined for slavery.

Pinknpurplelizard said...

We're all slaves for something or other but weather we choose to become enslaved is another thing. If the exact value of J could not be matched perhaps a negotiation for something close to it would turn out well.

There are some whom I know where they're able to just walk-in anywhere with their portfolio and be instantly hired. If J feels that he is highly demanded and employable then he should perhaps look elsewhere for a better future.

skc said...

Promotion is not abt how hard u work for the company, promotion is abt how hard u 'work' ur boss/superior...

j_yenn said...

"Promotion is not abt how hard u work for the company, promotion is abt how hard u 'work' ur boss/superior..."

TOTALLY AGREE, 101%

Yvonne Foong said...

Well, I sometimes hear students within my social circle having this 'slave mentality' as well. Get a job. working 10-12 hours a day is inevitable. what to do? no work, no money. The way they say it sounds as if only this kind of work is REAL WORK. Reading betweem the lines, we can see that it's not so much about the job robbing them, but their own expectation of what constitutes real work as well.

It's really sad cuz I even have a friend who works for her family company and when we talk, she refers to her dad as her BOSS. My boss this, my boss that... with a brooding and frightful face.

Oh i am getting out of topic already...

fufu said...

well... i guess C should work smart and not hard in order to get promoted =p

whoalse said...

striving for work-life balance is key and one should not be tempted to climb the corporate ladder without considering the multi-facade of health.

having said that, i'm more into my own corporate ladder...in due time! ;D

zewt said...

Unicorn Girl - u can still come for my advice even if i am not your colleague :)

MKL - true slave mentality.

day-dreamer - precisely.

Antares - very enlightening comment indeed. somehow, we just miss the big picture. we are too blinded by the material possession that we long for. i have blogged against this curse so many times and yet, i am also part of it. that's truly ironic.

doc - that liberation will be shortlived if one goes to another same ol culture somewhere else.

Amanda Christine Wong - yeah, i know what you mean.

zewt said...

jam - yeah, i shiouldbt be bothered...

pinknpurplelizard - i am not saying J is worth a lot but i just felt the company failed to match J's worth... and it's sad.

skc - more like how smart...

j_yenn - hahahaha... speaking from experience eh?

Yvonne Foong - yeah, we have been put into situation where we are always in need of money. if we really want to cure this mentality, we must cure our need for money.

fufu - i think he should just stop working so hard.

whoalse - haha... enjoy the climb. but then again, it's not as bad over there.

Shaun said...

This C is not only a slave. But a damn stupid one.. hahaha

zewt said...

Shaun - amen to that!