Today was the last day of Hiram, a very *idealistic* friend, on the company. Being gifted with the flair for the pen, he has made an impressive farewell email showing his views. Unfortunately a lot of people were in the recipient list so I cannot post my replies there so I will do it here. For security and ethical purposes, the name of the company will not be posted here but I will be referring to is as the “firm” if I need to. I don’t have permission to post the whole email so I would comment on the parts I want…

But first, break a leg on your journey. My advice to you is to tone down your idealism. Just like what a comic said, the key to living life happily is lowered expectations. Idealism is good but you have to be realistic as well. Both are on the opposing sides of the arena that a person needs to precariously balance in order to find his happiness. Both are like powerful medicines which when taken too much will do you more harm than good.

Note that while I may be commenting on Hiram’s opinions my answers need not necessarily be aimed at him. I respect his opinions and what I put forth are my own views and opinions. The cliché goes that opinions are like assholes, everybody has them. None are absolutely correct or absolutely wrong. You were given a mind to digest things through.

Re the low salary, the correct term is “competitive salary.” The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. At least on the side of fence that we wish to see. An employee’s salary is not guaranteed to give you satisfaction, and most of the time it never will. We are always striving to get a higher compensation, always looking for the next fat increase. Unfortunately the business model can only take so much. You have economics to blame for that. Economics belongs to the realm of reality while fatter checks belong to the ideals. Make them play ball nicely with each other and you are set. Besides you still have to take into consideration other stuff like personal growth, job stability, etc.

Re health over time, I agree that on most occasions we, the staff, get the shorter end of the stick. Or so we thought. Unfortunately we only see our side of the story. Being the geek that I am, I don’t like managing other people because I prefer being a lone wolf. However I am not stupid not to observe how management works because sooner or later I have to deal with that both in the corporate world and in my personal life. If solving the next delivery/logic problem is already mentally and physically exhausting, I wonder how much more would managing a team? You think we are working long hours? Most management people that I know are working 24×7. Imagine how much exhaustion they have to bear with that kind of strain.

Time management is one skill that I wish to perfect because like you I am biting more than I can chew. Prioritization is one more skill that I need to master and hopefully I will get there someday. Part-time job? You are not allowed to do those and you explicitly agreed when you signed your contract. Don’t bitch for something you willfully tackled head-on. We make choices and we have to live with the repercussions, either good or bad.

Re slave-master relationship, that is your perception. I also cuss when I have to stay late but I don’t take it personally with my superiors. They have their own jobs to do and I have mine. Before you condemn somebody you first have to walk on their shoes. If you think you can do better then prove it with actions rather than words. Politics is something that you can never avoid, especially in the corporate environment. I have been employed in companies wherein the politicking is much, much worse. We could play indifferent to these but sooner or later it will suck us into the mire. I think politics is already embedded into the human culture. You can keep putting your finger in your ears and humming loudly but that does not mean that it is not there. Oh before I forget, sitting on the fence does not mean you are not participating in politics. You are only passively participating in it by letting both sides duke it out. 😀

Re crap. Hiram is right that crap is good. Come to think of it crap is life. Hiram might not be able to stomach the corporate crap but we will always take crap from somebody else. Look at you for instance, you are already reading my crap. 😀 . Some might think that starting a business means you don’t have to deal with (corporate) crap but they are dead wrong. Being self-employed only means that you will take crap from people from more than one organization. You may end up taking up more crap than before, but hey choose your own supplier. 😀 Eventually we all will turn to crap. The bible says that we will go “from dust to dust” (no, there is no “ashes to ashes”), but we will be crap in between regardless if you were cremated or dumped in the Pasig river. 🙂

So handing out crap is good? I did not say that. Avoiding handing them out might not be totally feasible but we could work on minimizing the amount we hand out to others. Stop hoping to change the world because that is too big a goal. Work on changing the persons around you as that is more achievable. Shield others from the unnecessary crap and they might hopefully do the same when their turn comes.

Whew, this one is longer than I expected. I could go on further but I need to sleep since I need to go to work tomorrow (yeah, I need the money too). To wrap things up

– Idealism with realism goes hand in hand. The right balance between the two will greatly help us find satisfaction.
– Time management and prioritization is good but difficult to master.
– Everything is relative based on our perception.
– Crap is good. Embrace crap. Life is crap but crap is life.

ciao!