Tuesday 8 May 2007

Again, is it worth it?

There is a very famous Chinese saying that goes….

“Tuck han sei, em tuck han peng”

It’s directly translated as ‘free to die, not free to fall sick’. Free here is not referring to freedom, but free-time. It simply means one is very busy, so busy that falling sick is even worse that death, as falling sick means one has to catch up with work when one recovers. Death on the other hand… well, I am sure you get the flow, right?

Last month, we read about a young manager who worked till her death. She was said to be a loner. Perhaps she finds nothing meaningful in her life, thus, she concentrates on her career, which of course, eventually led to her death.

A reader commented about a similar story which happened nearer to home. Co-incidentally, my colleague in Singapore forwarded the news to me last week and I think I should share with all of you. The news about her tragic death is reported here. It’s rather long but if you have the time, you should read about it. If you don’t have time… make some time la!!!

It’s about a girl named May who lost her life. The reason? Yup, you got it right… she worked too hard. She has a blog and co-incidentally, she put up a blog entry 2 days before her death. In her blog, she said she was thrilled to “finally have the chance to fly high in Fortune 500 Multi-National Corporation”. I guess she paid the cost of having such thrill with her life.

Strange enough, she said in the last paragraph of ill-fated blog entry about how she learnt about the person of the similar role in the same company died of heart attack, and she was afraid that she will end up with the same fate. Unfortunately, 2 days after her blog entry, she did land herself with the same fate.

I really like her last line … “The moral of the story is don’t ever fall in love with your company or your job”. Though it failed to save her life, I hope it will save yours. The next time you wanna say “tuck han sei, em tuck han peng”, think again.

Her ill-fated blog entry can be read here.

May she rest in peace.


TingTitLei said...

i better stop gaming before i mati.

"tuck han takei mm tuck han sei"

rainbow angeles said...

If only we don't have to work but go holiday everyday... *daydreams*

psssttt!!! your time of posting is 12.12pm meh? :P

narrowband said...

Man... there's a lesson to be learnt. Exercise regularly. More and more jobs are computer-based and employers should really come up with some program or campaign that encourages de-stressing or exercise. Without doubt, overworking can be fatal.

ahjohn said...

the world has change... phrases such as 'free to die, not free to fall sick' is already cliche and perhaps no more in use.
Today, we are more likely to use not free to die, not free to fall sick as well.

We are so caught up with work that people die, and even to the second of death, they still think if their work is done or not.

i need not go too far to tell you stories because your ex company which appear to be my current company have two stories to offer.
1. a fresh grad resume goes like this: grad, join HW and died at work. - last year.
2. days back the plane that crash in Africa, HW has a staff in it, dying for to company while working only to be compensated with cash enough to be use in heaven. may your soul find rest.

well despite all these, the greatest saying in life goes, with all that have happen in life, life can only be summed up to 3 greatest word. LIFE GOES ON.

Anonymous said...

"Everyday is Saturday to a dog" - Roger Miller.

We should realize that "everyday can be Saturday" for us, too.

Zewt, I think you can get the gist of what I'm trying to say here.

**************Jz***************** said...

i thot u really tuck harn sei ng tuck harn peng d....since u had long week off last week ....i thot u r buried alive with the pile of work waiting 4u muahahahahha

Weig said...

Let's send this link to our bosses. If it's chilling enough to make me shudder, maybe we'll get a week's compassionate leave just because we work using computers.

But then again, could be a bad idea. Maybe the IT department will just shut down access to the servers and internet for 10 minutes every hour... bad idea.

Huei said...


yea..hope she rests in peace

Purple~MushRooM said...

I can't get into her blog... eerie..

Seaqueen said...

Everything we do, do we really sit down and think whether it is worth it or not?
Can we determine what we do at work or does God? Is there a reason we're in this particular company?? These are the few things I constantly think about, whether work is worth putting all my effort in, if I don't does it mean that i'm defying God's instruction to do well at work??

baggie said...

Poor girl.. really, money isnt everything... Zewt, u must change ur thingy dee "I am one who is trying very hard to ensure I spend a maximum of 10 hours per day at work. I am one who thinks a job is just to make a living. After work, that’s when the living truly begins."

why r u spending 10 hours to work ah?

Horny Ang Moh said...

I never fall in love with my job or company. In this stressfull world loyalty is worthless. If u want my service ( that is to work for u, not the other 'service' Ok ) u got to pay me. Have a nice hot, very hot day.

Anonymous said...

ngor tuck han nyam, sek, liu, emm tuck hai sei :D haha! boss can ask the employee to work his/her ass off, but the choice whether to do it or not, it's up to the employee. There is always a choice, everytime. You decide how you want to do your work. Like zewt said, is it worth it? Work will never finish, you ever finish your work? It keep on coming. I don't, that's why I will leave office after 5.30pm and continue again the next day, doesn't matter how hard people chasing me to finish it. Queue up la dumbass, I'm not doing only your work (Of course I said it 'mutely' hehe)So, if you work hard you should play/exercise hard, eat hard, sleep hard, fark hard as well. Balance.. it's all about balancing your life.

Daphne Ling said...

Wow...Thanks for the tip. Will remember when I go to the working force...Lucky (although a little ahem, strange, seeing the number of A's Malaysian are churning out in exams ;)) we don't have people studying till death...

Anonymous said...

I read about this case before I read about the Romanian case. It's scary how close to home these things can happen. I wish I could cut back on work hours, but how?

*one who does not want to end up the same way*

BaitiBadarudin said...

sometimes, when we feel life and people dish out unpleasant experiences, we tend to find fulfilment in work or study. a balanced life is what we should strive for!

Arena Green said...

I've read both the news link and her last blog entry. Really sad.

Anonymous said...

that's so scary...

anyway, health is the most important asset we have. Don't lose it for the freaking high-paid job. Not worth at all.

J.T. said...

Just not worth it, no matter how much some of those commenters tried to justify her work ethics. There is a time to work and a time to relax.
Chasing a lifestyle so that you can be "one of the Joneses" is also not worth it. Don't get me wrong, I do not have anything against anyone who has achieved that status - you are fortunate. But what did you have to sacrifice to get there? Wife? Husband? Family? Dignity? Worthiness? Health??
I burnt out after a while but luckily did not die. I think exercise kept me going. But never again. I will not owe my life to the company. I am replacable - anytime.

zewt said...

TTL - hahaha... dont worry, i think takei wont die wan.. keep it up... i am such a bad influence.

angel - dont we all wish for that too.... yup... nice timing eh? hehe...

narrowband - exercise regularly is a must! but most importantly, dont give our life to work. if we give, work will really take away our life... literally.

ahjohn - LIFE GOES ON? yeah... but if you no longer have life, what is there to be carried on? well, if i can get hold of stories from HW, i will have plenty to blog about eh? haha! i hope you wont join them mate... take good care of yourself, i think you work too hard.

jemima - yeah, i get the gist. easier said that done. but if we make an effort to try... that should be good enough...

jaezrel - yeah, there are plenty, but i am taking it one day at a time. i think i am going to tell my boss i am not a very ambitious person.

cirnelle - do u think our boss will care? but ironically speaking... this was forwarded to me by our singapore counter-part and my boss has a copy too...

zewt said...

Huei - yeah, she can finally rest. :)

purple mushroom - guess u can view now.

jessica - yeah, i do remember a verse in the bible that says we should give our all at work... but the bible also says work is a curse placed on Adam and his descendants after his fall. oh well, i guess the best is balance.

Calvin's wife - hahahaha.... i will try to spend lesser and lesser la. i think 10 is still ok. u know why? cos in those 10... maybe 5 hours i am not really working :P

hor ny - haha, yeah, not that kinda service. but i am sure you will also be willing to provide those service right? have a nice day to too.

bongkersz - haha... fark hard as well eh? i think you will certainly concentrate on that la. yeah, balance is the most important thing. but how many of us can actually do it?

Daphne Ling - hi there, welcome to As Zewt As It Gets. well, i wrote a few entries about those As fellas previously... if you go read them, then u will know what i think about them :)

HappySurfer said...

That is really sad. I got the news from someone in her company and blogged about it too.

zewt said...

rinnah - you know... one of my ex colleague when i was working in a big4 firm... she worked till she had cancer.

QueenB - yeah, somehow, work is always the medium ppl will let it out... i guess they were hoping for the best, for a career jump start.

Anak Merdeka - indeed. work kills... it's real.

Elizebeth DL - hi there, welcome to As Zewt As It Gets. yeah, we know that, in chasing wealth, we lose our health. but wealth to some is just so important... more than health. not worth it at all.

JT - yeah, we always say... sacrifice, but do we know what are we sacrificing, are we sure we are ok about our sacrifices? how sure are we that we will not regret for those sacrifices... better be safe than sorry. do u like gym... it's a good way to release stress.

Happysurfer - yeah, i know... read it at your blog before... really sad...

babyfiona said...

.....eventhough my motto is not the same..but i always said this.. "oh si to ng tak han". Die, hopefully i wont be the next her.. -__-"

Jewel Rays said...

Whoa.. That was pretty scary. I really think what she said is true. Don't eva fall in love with ya job or company to the extend of killing yaself softly. Alright i added the last part.:) And..Falling in love just seems to give a whole lot of problem..

* shrug shoulders*

Thanks for sharing


Anonymous said...

i concentrate on one thing at a time zewt :D like, when eating kfc.. i will concentrate on the chicken lar :D hmm, at least we try to do it, to have balance in our life..

nyonyapenang said...

it's so sad. work and work and work till we are all spent and then what?

J.T. said...

Zewt, when I was working in KL, my 30 minute walk from Jalan Raja Chulan to the train station was good exercise. I brisk-walked all the way, every day, alone. So, I had time to zone out mentally.
It was definitely a good way to release stress.
Some say why get tired at gym when they are already exhausted from work. Gym tiredness is different - its physical. Office tiredness is mental and emotional. When you get on that treadmill and jog or run to nowhere, you let out a lot of steam. hehehe
Some gyms got punching bag. Let it all out. Imagine a face on the punching bag and have a good one! :)

5xmom.com said...

Tks for the little wake up call.

Eh, I know you kena before but just to let you know, I chosed you as one of the five for my Thinking Bloggers Award. The post is over here:

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

take it as a lesson..life before anything..sometimes u need to listen to ur body..

may said...

I read this in someone else's post too. such a pity. yes to life, nay to working to the death.

zewt said...

babyfiona - if 'oh si ng tak han'... then 'oh liu' lor... yeah, better take care, u dun wanna end u like her.

Jewel Rays - love is always a complicated thing... be it a human being or a company or a job. dont ya think? sharing is caring... i will continue to share... definitely.

bongkersz - keep it up then. heheh... you just tak habis habis with this kfc thing eh?

nyonyapenang - and then... die. sad indeed.

JT - hmmmm raja chulan, where were you working? u know, i now work around there too. gym tiredness in definitely good... in fact, i like the gym tiredness. check out my post called "the right motivation" in my jan archieve :) .... for now, i love the dance class in the gym... it's fun and at the same time, i can sweat it out.

5Xmom - you know i read your blog regularly, will surely have a look.

constant craver joe - hmmm... but you right... u need to stop listening to your body... u know what i mean.

may - yes to life!!! yes! it's definitely not worth it to get yourself killed due to work.

CharlemÂgne® said...

Hi Zewt,

Wow...freaky and spooky!.

Anyway, i agree halfway though...never fall in love with your company but i think we should all love our job (but to an extent of not over doing it) like how the others did.

Also...after 11 months of working, i beleive in working hard only for people who knows how to appreciate your talent and competancy. No point slogging away those precious 5-9 session for someone who doesnt give a hoot (ehem...somemore no OT).

J.T. said...

Zewt, I used to work in MCB Plaza from 1993-1999.
Before that, I worked in Wisma Stephens (now Wisma Cosway) from 1988-1993.
I know the area has changed quite a bit since I left but I am familiar with it. Where do you work?

confessing7girl said...

WOW now im scared!!!!! i dont think i can actually visit her blog!! its scary!!!

Anonymous said...

habis dah.. boring liao :D

zewt said...

jermayne - when you are in love with your job... u will tend to overwork. it's very difficult to draw a line between loving your company and loving your blog... dont u think so? hahaha... i am glad you see the light in just 11 months.

JT - i now work opposite wisma cosway :)

confessing7girl - yeah, it's quite freaky. but the background is very pink... so i guess it negates the chill quite a bit... give it a try... :)

bongkersz - hahaha... so fast meh?

Yvonne Foong said...

I think it's not about whether we makje enough money or not by working less/more. But the culture and mentality.

Despite working so hard, we still get poor products and bad services.

In the U.S. I noted the people's more calm personality. They 'seem' to work slower, but more efficient too!

Are they more focused on their own tasks and roles, while we have to mind too many things?

zewt said...

Yvonne Foong - yup... i just found out today that malaysians are the most exploited professionals in the region.