This is Why You Have Nice Things

Have you truly felt passion? How would you describe it?

Well, I just found out a few days ago that it’s actually possible to feel passion for just about anything on this goddamned Earth. Even something you know to be bad for you.

By the way, this might segue into something extremely EMO, so be warned. Also, this will delve into a take on (possible reasons) why people have trust issues and what exactly is burn out.

(RAMBLE WARNING)

So, some of you may know that I work for a company whose leadership I don’t particularly care for. And because of that, I know for a fact that since nothing has been done to fix some issues (Mostly HR related) that plagued it before I came on board, it then falls to me to fix them. Except without any support from the people in charge.

The problem is that these guys in charge know better. And yet they aren’t doing it due to reasons and excuses. By definition, they are just being evil because of fear. Yes, Yoda was right.

So, here you have a company that chugs along. It sells things that society direly needs. It does this with relative efficiency and minimal fuss. Unfortunately, these things happen to be books and my country has a rubbish reading habit (except those of us who actually like reading). So, here you have a market consisting of people who primarily buy books that contain shit (revision books, don’t get me started on them) for a shit education system.

Anyway, we have an e-commerce website that was made four years ago, was developed and maintained almost single handedly by a programmer with way too much things on her plate, has no frigging content marketing strategy, and has a fulfillment system that is unable to fulfill volume that is any much higher than the pathetic amount that’s coming in right now.

So, I was asked to write up an orientation course for existing floor staff to be able to promote our (effing) website to walk in customers. Naturally, marketing is a lot better when you start with why. So, I wrote one that requires the participants to discover why they should care about the (bloody) website, company, and their own reasons for wanting to join.

And therein lies the problem and the realisation about why I am so lousy when joining other people’s companies.

It hurts.

I found that joining and turning off my brain and just doing “work” just doesn’t (****ing) cut it for me. Doing this is a sure fire way to make me produce substandard work because I really don’t give a piece of excrement about “work” that a few pieces of minimally configured Github-found code can reproduce. This will in turn cause me to hate myself for not performing to my supposed “high” potential.

For the first time since a long time, I produced what is perhaps my most impassioned speech promoting the need to engage the staff by getting them to find out the whys and wherefores before telling them what needs to be done. People were impressed. It felt good.

However (There’s always a but), it felt like I was just arguing passionately to stay in an abusive relationship. I know my presence here is not liked. I know that people feel threatened that I am too happy in the office. I know that people think that I have too radical of a worldview (compared to their 70s one) to identify with them.

Here’s the thing: I don’t want to go to where they come from. I don’t particularly want to help people who don’t want to be helped. I am not the boss, so I am under no obligations to answer to the fucking shareholders. I feel even less than the payroll guy to want to keep these guys on the payroll.

What can you do in an abusive relationship (even a potential one)? You could:
1) Stick around and try to improve the other party.
2) Walk out and find another who would appreciate you better.

So, not being quitters, you would pick choice 1 and stick around. Y’know, like in a marriage.

But what happens when too many things you have invested in emotionally fall apart?

It hurts. Not only that, you will develop walls and deflector shields like scar tissue. This is bloody counterproductive because you know that all it takes is just that one thing (or someone) that you can invest yourself in entirely and you would be set for life. But the walls become stuff you would have to break down yourself and the deflector shields only let through very specific frequencies.

And that is how you develop trust issues. You will turn to alternating between upbeat music and stuff like this. You might even look for a way to generate dopamine artificially, thus getting addicted to the stupidest and unsustainable of things, like substances and wagering on mathematically inferior mechanisms.

All that for what? For some stupid little shitty thing like personal identity? Perhaps it’s to feel like you are contributing?

Whatever the reason, I do believe that we do things we care about because it’s a lot easier than pretending. When we get too invested in things, it’s way too easy to get hurt when other people place too little value on the output we produced by putting so much of ourselves in. It’s not an entitlement mentality, but it’s a little like someone throwing away an iPhone you spent months saving for to gift them. Or someone significant laughing at a story you spent months perfecting.

It really stings when the product of that little fragment of your soul is rejected. And perhaps looking forward, being a better person means being able to invest your soul even though it may mean that you could be rejected, or worse: disappointed.

P.S. It’s quite interesting to note how an article written over a long period of time turns out in the end. As you can probably tell, I went through a few emotional states as I was writing this.

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Hankit Mok

I live to tell stories. Sometimes, I get paid for them.

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