Blessed are the Arrogant

Chip Tsao and Other Word Vomit

Is there really any point to allowing yourself to be exploited? All my life I was taught that patience is a virtue and that good things come to those who are willing to wait. Now I’m starting to think that waiting is overrated. I remember telling Mei in a drunken haze that “Day jobs and regular employment are overrated, if you can keep doing what you love and earning from that blahblahblah” This is actually something I’ve known all along, but there is so much glory placed on humility that it’s become so hard to undo what you’ve been taught and say fuck it, I won’t be your clerk/peon/staple queen/photocopy monkey/button counter; do you really have to go through the bullshit of drudgery and working jobs that you know are beneath you? Is that how the universe rolls? Heck, you shouldn’t even think of anything being “beneath you” because that’s just conceited. That’s you overestimating yourself. Think of your good catholic upbringing, be thankful that you have achieved stability that some can only dream of.

Frankly, humility works well when you really need the money and the job is easy. The job is so easy that it allows your brain to rest so it can go places later. Mikey noticed that after work I talk nonstop and sing myself to sleep then wake up and talk some more. I take a shower and if my mom happens to walk in to brush her teeth or just get something, I’m talking to her too. If I run into you, I’m talking to you. a lot. I HAVE NO ONE TO TALK TO AT WORK AND ACCESS TO MY BLOG HAS BEEN RESTRICTED (yeah. boohoo, feel sorry for me, whatever).

From listening to people who have money, it’s easy to see that money is indeed awesome if it can buy you memories (that involve things aside from literally swimming in money) and if you can turn it into more money. When we say we want to earn a better life for ourselves isn’t it just about more money? You can go on and on about the time you survived on 5 pesos for a whole weekend but you now damn well it was the novelty of lacking something you so direly need and not the possibility of subsisting on nothing that makes that story work. You can’t susbsist on nothing, whether it’s financial nothingness or experiential nothingness, there’s a balance between the two that has to be met to live well. Just make sure you’re familiar with the options for living well.

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I’ve been meaning to bring up the Chip Tsao issue. First of all, get a grip, they’re words. Like this blog. I’m not saying we should back down to haters and “know our place” (whatever that means), but there’s a better way to counter “journalism” of this nature than gathering an army of people to get behind you so you can demand a public apology and relish the glory of having gotten some Hong Kong magazine to indulge your request. Add that to a list that includes Teri Hatcher and all you have is a pretty pitiful list. A good step would be to sack the fuck up. So sack the fuck up, country. I know it’s easier said then done, but if we can’t take those words seriously, then why do we turn on people like Chip Tsao who only has words as his weapon?

If this place is really so great, why do we romanticize the idea of life abroad? (I for one think of Sweden as a place where the streets are paved with candy and Ikea style formica and all the people are blonde, rail thin, and disco like there’s no tomorrow.) Why do we martyr those who had to leave when it is clearly out of the lack of options at home? Honestly, we are a nation of assholes, and too many people want out. Some of us are assholes who know how to capitalize on their assholery (take Willie Revi as a classic example of that one), others are like Enrile, some are like my older brother, and some are like me. One of the things holding me back from throwing the towel in and quitting my day job is the reality that working for myself means working twice as hard and doubling the taxes I’ll be pouring into the shitbowl system–unless i practice tax avoidance (not to be confused with tax evasion), a tactic taught to me by a lawyer no less.

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Money can’t solve boredom

Or maybe money solves the problem once I buy myself something happy, like a ukulele or a book, then after that the money’s gone and you’re bored again. I’m here because of money and the boredom is making my ears bleed.The best part of my day was still hanging out at MLNW with Isa. Friends and clothes are a good combination, especially when the clothes help bring in money.

But I now know that 0101.01.00 is the harmonized system’s tariff code for “Live Swine”.

Online Town Meeting with Obama on CNN. America wants its shitty jobs back so I might be out of skyscraper work if their plan pushes through. Then again, SGS isn’t an American company. It’s weird that we’re still swamped with work considering the financial crisis and the fact that we’re handling trade contracts for countries in deeper squalor than our own. Makes you wonder about all the money swirling around the world, and you have to ask where the hell your sense of security is hanging.

I’m a Trade Analyst now

Today I signed my first contract and celebrated the way the rest of humanity does: by peeing in a cup and submitting a blood sample. Is this how the corporate world works, you get a foot in the door and all they’re interested in is your pee? The next 3 months will be spent working towards god knows what, because at this point I can’t tell anyone, not even myself, whether or not I’ll enjoy this.

I’ve come to accept that it’s really not a matter of doing what you enjoy, but of making that compromise that eventually allows you to do what you really want to do. Isn’t that what all those tedious hours spent in school are about? sure, you learn stuff along the way, but the edge you create for yourself at the end is what it’s about. It will be boring, but at the same time it’s an opportunity. I really have no idea where I’ll land at the end of this (I just hope it’ll be awesome and it involves a lot of arguing with people because I genuinely enjoy a good argument).

I was never a full-time anything and I never intend to be. That’s why I don’t see the point in judging people based on their job descriptions.The whole idea of graduating and landing a day job is completely overrated because at the end of the 8-hours you put in each day, you’re still not your job and your job isn’t you. It’s a huge part of you in that it demands a lot of your time and sustains your lifestyle, but there’s always a lifestyle that comes with it.

My lifestyle’s not cheap, and I know I could be resented for that, but it’s not like I’m not the one going bankrupt to sustain it. I like having fun, don’t we all? I don’t see the point in martyring people who work their asses off only to complain about how boring their lives are and how mediocre they feel just coursing along the same prescribed trajectories of school-then work-then wife and kids. It’s one of your responsibilities towards yourself to make things interesting, look at Richard Gere and his gerbil.

Three months, then we’ll see what happens. In the meantime, it’s just a day job. Real life begins after 6 pm anyway.

Oh no, no I’m never gonna work

I’ve embraced my inner capitalist a long time ago and accepted that while it looks noble and sexy to be a starving artist (or entrepreneur, haha), I need to sustain my stupid gas guzzling, credit card swiping lifestyle. It’s pretty insensitive to talk about employment, which is a pretty touchy subject considering that come graduation, a lot of people find themselves unemployed. So in a sense I have the easy way out by finding myself practically employed without the graduation part.

I’ve got a job offer with some 21st floor Makati CBD schtick. I know it’s going to be deathly boring and there will come a time when I feel shortchanged considering the compromise I’ve made on what I really want to do with my life (which is still pretty vague because I really like money–admit it, so do you) and the kind of compensation they’re offering. But the difference is it’s actually there. It’s not something I’m pinning my hopes on, it’s an actual offer. And I have ’til Wednesday to give word and the Monday after I get back from Singapore to start. They’ll hopefully give me a day off to defend my thesis, but otherwise, that’s it.

So I’ve been weighing the odds, and it all boils down to there being no harm in it. After all, it’s a start, which is what I direly need when the requirements of the industry that’s supposed to absorb us have inflated to ridiculous proportions. Where they once expected graduates, they now expect graduates with honors or MAs or at least 3-5 years of experience. I have none of those, so a shot at being the youngest pick and the only fresh grad at a fairly stable 200 year old company is…okay. It’s just the nature of the work itself that puts me off.

And speaking of compromise, I don’t know what I want to do with my life anyway besides just keep trying stuff. My first course in college (Theater Arts) was chosen based on this crazed obsession with trying stuff. I’ve coursed through ballet, tap dance, a stab at pole dance, an electric instrument, a classical instrument, acting, behind the scenes, weird-ass interpretive dance workshops, writing, and random seamstress jobs. While it was all fun, it all makes for a very disjointed resume. Now I’m having fun just sitting back and being in the audience, but we have to feed ourselves somehow (and I really like buying shoes, it’s a crazy-eyed disease). Consultancy and analysis, which are pretty much euphemisms for paper pushing, aren’t on the list yet, but they’d look good on paper.

Is being good on paper the only reason why we take our first jobs? Heck people choose to spend their whole lives married to someone because they look good on paper, this will be 500 hours of my life spent looking good on paper before moving on to the next thing. And the next, and the next.