Tuesday, June 17, 2014 | By: BlackGargie

Returning to the Rat Race

Here I am, sitting here in my office, taking the advantage of the boss not being around to give you the 4-1-1 of my life.

As you can tell, I have returned to the rat race. Not sure if I've already told you guys, but a couple of months back I have gotten myself a freelance job as a story writer for this app called 'Episode', which is an app game that is one of those choose-your-adventure kind of games (the kinds that we used to "play" when we were kids when we read those kind of books).

It was a very good job, as I am earning USD$300 (BND$376.20 after conversion) per chapter. Originally there were a bit of bumps in the road, as in contracts and amendments and copyright and stuff, but it was all sorted out and at the time, when I was unemployed, I desperately needed the cash. I really enjoyed this job. It's something I love doing and matched my talent, skills and creativity, and I can work at home without the hassle of travel and time, and I can spend quality time with my princess at the same time.

Sadly, it was disrupted by my old fashioned in-laws who strongly believes in going out into the workforce is the most respected profession ever. To them, joining the rat race and get a job is what any human being should do because my in-laws are not exactly the modern type of in-laws. You know how it is in Chinese culture: if you're not at home toiling yourself with chores, then you should be out there in the workfield.

Working at home is inconceivable to them, and they sorta refuse to acknowledge writing for Episode is a job for me. I TOLD them about the job and I even TOLD them how much I was getting paid, and I even TOLD them how much is in my bank account right now, but my in-laws doesn't think much of it. They were like "Oh, cool. Good for you. BTW I got you a job. Your interview is next week." I was like "WTF? Have you been listening to what I'm saying??"

Of course, I didn't say it out loud, or I might start a fight, but come on, really? My in-laws complain that I oversleep everyday and stay up late and that I should behave like a nice housewife should: wake up early, tend to the kids, do housework, turn in early. Hello~! Do you know why I always stay up late and oversleep in the day? That's because this is the only time where I can actually have time for myself to concentrate and to work to put food on the table. You think I write stories like this for fun? I'm working, goddammit! I'm putting my share of the finances on the table, you know?? Even my hubs thinks that they assume that this is just a hobby for me. HELLO~! It's not a hobby when it's PAYING!

My BFF and my buddy were all quite surprised as to why am I still joining a rat race when I'm getting a job that makes my wallet fatter than anyone else. My buddy sympathizes with me and my BFF was like "WTF are you still working for if you already have a job that you love and pays awesomely well? Don't take that job, man!"

Ah well.

I couldn't back out from it because my hubby's relative was the one who made the effort to find me that job. It wouldn't be nice to decline on the spot. And I was going for an office job, so at least it might give me the chance to settle and write in secret and continue my ACTUAL PAYING job. I went for the interview and turns out it's a super new company run by a young man who had great ideals for the future of his business (which is air-conditioning dealership btw). Prolly a little wet behind the ears because it's his very first solo run of his own company, but since he apprenticed all his life in his own family business, he pretty much has a bit of know-how on it, and he does seem a little mature beyond his years, though he can't really get rid of that babyface look of his.

I was a little disappointed at first when he said he was going to put me under Sales and Marketing department when I clearly stated that I wanted an office job. My in-laws said just accept the offer and give the probation a trial run. If I am not satisfied and really don't like the job, just quit and they promise they won't have any objections towards my decision. Feeling the pressure of their hidden desires for me to take the job and the small guilty conscience of what my hubs' relative would think if I didn't take it, I relented.

On the day of the training, which we had it at our temp office at the boss' family stores (one selling indoor plumbing and tiles and another selling tires, apparently) until our new office gets done, I was surprised that despite accepting the offer, the first two guys decided to renege on the deal and went searching for greener pastures. So it was only the boss, me, a young 22-year-old guy under sales, and a couple of general helpers. And one of the people who jumped ship was the one who was recruited for the office admin job, so it looks like I got my office job after all! LOL

First week into my rat race, while I have no complaints about the job, since it's new and just starting off, thus a little mundane and nothing much to do, I noticed a number of flaws.

For starters, the boss has yet to make any proper preparations for anything. Everything was done on the spot or on the fly. Things like invoices, delivery orders and cash bill forms that should've been done way before you start a business were not ready.

The workplace that was supposed to be temporary now has become our permanent office because the contractors who were supposed to work on the new office reneged and jumped ship, never to be seen again. And since the tire business wasn't doing very well in the first place, it seems that the boss' dad have decided to do a clearance sale and liquidate the business and possibly joining our team. A perfect workplace that was supposed to be not too far from our workplace (10-15mins tops) became a super long journey (30mins at least) to get to.

Lunch places are a little hard to get to because it's either Option A: Walk a straight road under the hot sun for 10 mins (at least) to the home centre a few blocks away to eat at the only restaurant existing in that block; or Option B: Cross the super busy highway with tons of speeding cars (basically playing Frogger) within 5 mins at least to eat at Hua Ho area that has a bit of variety of restaurants.

Now I'm in my 2nd week of the rat race, and I have seen the first casualty. The young 22-year-old boy has been fired due to taking too many leaves within his first week of probation. First it was for his grandma's passing and funeral, which I'm not sure of the authenticity of it, then it was not coming in to office to punch in before going out to meet clients, and the last straw was the day before yesterday when he took a sick leave without notification, leaving us one man short of moving the stock when he should be a team-player. The boss had to let him go and paid him his week's worth of salary.

For now, I'm hanging in there on the rat race, getting along with the staff and the boss and his family. I'm actually OK with this job for the meantime, but if the distance still proves to be a challenge for me and my family, my stay in this company might hang in the balance...