Wednesday, July 26, 2006

This Ain't No Sesame Street

There comes a moment in every job when the BP, or Breaking Point, is reached. This, no doubt, varies according to the individual, the job, the industry, and maybe even the country (okay let's also factor in the boss to that equation).

When the BP is reached, the employee begins a frantic job search, suddenly convinced of the fallacy that he is underpaid/overworked/harassed/disrespected/bored-bored-bored and that it is only his particular job that has these drawbacks. The grass is greener in Makati (or the buildings are taller, whatever). I know that our former manager will argue that "When the rubber hits the road..." blah blah bullshit.

Here's the thing...

New employees are being paid to screw things up. To use MS Word instead of MS Powerpoint when preparing presentation materials. Or when he accidently made his King piece killed in the game of chess. You are paying back the company for your initial (hopefully not long-term) stupidity. After 6 months, it's either a pat on the back for a good job done, or another Rubber Hits The Road bullshit. This is what we call 6-months You Can Screw Up but You Have To Prove Yourself Worthy period. Proabationary period for short.

If my calculations are correct, it will take at least two and a half years to pay off your stupidity debt and become an investment of which your employer can be proud. To attain Job Security.

Not in my case. After 2 months, I was already kicking my engineers' asses, made my first presentation to our factory manager, and had back-aches for too much back patting! I had great performance reviews and percentage wise, well deserved salary increases. I already paid my debt before my Proby period.

Unfortunately, my BP is almost always concurrent. For example, about a month ago, I began to feel genuinely useful. Then after a couple of weeks, another form of BP settled in. BP1.2 = Boredom Point.

It’s actually worse this week. I've been dealing with the same business problems but with new faces plastered to each issue. I need to go back to square one just to explain what was wrong with whatever it is that they were doing. Actually, I want to tell them that they just need to apply pure logic and common sense.

Looking 2 years and 2 months back, I told the job interviewers that I do not like routine jobs. That the only thing that can make me sane is to have projects or so. After a couple of weeks, I received a salary offer. Due to the unpredictability of the job market and the fact that I was still very young with little to no experience, I took the job. And now, after being a happy happy joy joy employee, I woke up and realized that for the past 2 years, I became an extremely useful worker, and a miserable bastard, yet my job is not yet secured.

Now, I reached both Breaking and Boredom points.

It would be nice if I could be both useful and nice/happy, but at least in my case, they are two mutually exclusive states. I guess it's that time again to look for greener pastures (or taller buildings or whatever).

6 songs that goes with this post:

Ben Folds - Still Fighting It
I'm still fighting boredom and exhaustion.

Gary Jules - Something Else
I know there's something else. Just ask

Eagles of Death Metal - Flames Go Higher
And so is your BP rate.

Snow Patrol - Somewhere A Clock Is Ticking
And when the clock stops, I'll find out if my job is secured. But do i have to wait for the clock to stop?

We Are Scientists - The Great Escape

Devotchka - How It Ends
I'm not sure how, but this song says that I already know...


juOn said...

Breaking Point. Boredom Point. Hhmm. I’ve reached those points in my career (if you can call what I’m doing THAT) several times already. Three times to be exact. But after 6 years 2 months and 25 days, I’m still doing what I’m doing. And however I look at it, I still am enjoying my job. No, this is not the highest-paying job in the world. No, I don’t have the best boss. No, I’m not insane. Yes, I still get bored sometimes. Yes, I still think that I am underpaid. So what the fuck am I still doing here? The industry that I work in enables me to make a difference. It is and never will be a financial gold mine. But even I am surprised at how making a difference appeals to me even more than anything. It keeps me going. I guess that thought works for me.

MrDJ said...

maybe that's it... i'm not enjoying what i do right now. i'm young, i'm 23, i don't know what i want. but what i know right now is that i'm not happy with what i do. i don't have to love the company that i have to work for... i have to love what i do. you're lucky that you love your job. i have to force myself to like it. blah blah blah. :)

juOn said...

A career shift for you perhaps?

It's a good thing we don't have to get married to our jobs. Just imagine the hassle of having your marriage annuled every time you reach the breaking point and the boredom point. :-)