Thursday, September 21, 2006

[Essays] What Is The Point?

It’s a warm Thursday night and at the same time, it’s almost been a week since the question was put to mind and tomorrow’s Friday and I’ve been debating with myself what the point is. The weekend is almost upon me and still, I haven’t found a way to reconcile this issue or to find the answer to this.

At this point in my life with this company, I just realized that I gave up a lot of the dreams I had before coming here and now it’s too late to go back and the worst is, I forgot about them, neglected that part of me that makes me who I am. I look back with a heavy heart because I no longer recognize the girl staring back at me from the other side of the mirror. Although she looks exactly the same as me, somehow, she looks more like an empty shell now… cold… feeling nothing, doing things as if on auto pilot, forgot what a real laugh sounds like, what living should really be, smiling but not really smiling, laughing hollow laughs… tired… wasted… dying. She’s no longer the girl who is passionate about life, always has a ready smile for everyone, laughs heartily, cries easily, finds pleasure in a butterfly or in a flower or in the simple task of watching clouds drift by and spinning dreams and tales. She no longer debates passionately, she no longer pause in the middle of reading a Danielle Steel novel just to cry her heart out at the height of the character’s emotions. The girl in the mirror is so different I’m not entirely sure if it’s still me and if it is, I’m not at all sure how it all came to be.

Going back to the issue, I do acknowledge the fact that during the last two months, my time in ranges from eight o’clock to eight fifteen and rarely eight thirty. This resulted to this unresolved issue because I had the nerve to ask: “What is the point of being on time when all that matters at the end of the day, week, month, or year is the output or quality of the work done?”

“That is not the point” was all the response I got. Well, what is the point then? I would have liked to scream out the question in frustration and see where such a discussion would lead us. Unfortunately, I opted to restrain my passion for debates because I felt then at that time that this subject would definitely be a trying one on both our parts. Better to focus my energy on work to prove my point.

On my part, it would be trying because I don’t have the heart or the drive to arrive on time for a number of reasons but mainly because I get the job done at the end of the day. The quality of work I believe I do is still unsurpassed (based on my own high standard of quality work because the company I work for doesn’t believe in evaluating the performance of their office personnel). For me, that is enough given the fact that I’ve thrown away my dreams for nothing, given my talents despite the fact it wasn’t appreciated and built dreams around it but in a blink of an eye, it all came crashing down on me… to fly around me like dust.

While I have considered the argument that it is company policy and professional to arrive on time, and I would have loved to say “Screw policies!” and storm out and probably get a memo for that, I would like to point out the other reason why I don’t have the heart to arrive on time these days and it’s because of the fact that I noticed (from days before when I get to the office early) people tend to chat and while away until what, nine in the morning? Then they’d try to work a little and you’d notice them lazing again after around ten to twenty minutes of work and after around thirty minutes of lazing around they’d go back to work again and the cycle continues for the whole day. Or they’d go to work early, do this unproductive cycle for eight hours and has the nerve to work overtime. The results? A lot of backlogs probably the size of Mt. Everest! Everyday is almost like Friday (the day when little work is done). Let’s not count being paid here but if you want to put it in the equation of this issue, let us and be done with it. Each of us gets paid for eight hours whether you did a good job or not, whether you whiled away the whole day or worked your ass off. Based on this alone, I believe the company has already benefited on those who worked their asses off even if they don’t arrive on time and yet gets the job done compared to those who do arrive early, whiled away the whole day and manages to work overtime minus the desired work output.

I’ve tried pointing out this kind of scenario but all I got is “That’s not the point.” So now, I ask: well, what the hell is the point then if not for that? Let’s say you’re doing repairs on your house so naturally, you’d hire a bunch of men to work for you. Would you rather pay people who does great work even if they’re a little late and doesn’t work overtime or would you rather pay people who laze around, do a little work, whether or not works overtime and yet, when you look at their work the next day, it would seem as if nothing has been done? I tell you, you lose more on the second type of workers. I remember this handyman my grandmother used to hire all the time to do repairs around the house simply because he’s trustworthy. While I acknowledge that fact, I can tell you that my grandmother wasted money on him even though he does arrive on time because he works like a turtle (that’s how slow he is because the rest time is longer than the work time), the work he does is not good at all (my younger brother could’ve done better) and instead of finishing the job in three days, it gets extended into a week and a half and sometimes more – a month or so! Imagine that! So ever since my beloved grandmother died, we replaced the handyman with a much more efficient worker who does a great job and gets it done on time. That way, everybody is satisfied, not a dime is wasted because you got exactly what you paid for - the work done was excellent and it was finished on time.

So let me ask the question again “what is the point of coming early?” Come on, convince me.