Life's Lessons In Adventures And Misadventures As Seen Through The Eyes Of A Semi-Rambling Aspiring Savant!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Am just a Small Tuna Fish in an Ocean Full of Sharks

Well, sort of...

Or at least that's what I consider myself to be in this politically marred, ethically skewed self-serving world of corporate existence.

From the purportedly simple HR process down to the unpleasantly entangling nature of the macabre “under-the-table” approach to anything and almost everything involving corporate affairs, politics seems to play one hell of a major role in our working environment. It sucks, doesn't it?

As my friend puts it: “That's corporate life for you, dear. A cutthroat dog-eat-dog world. You can't choose which game you wanna play; it's the game that chooses you.” Not a good thought huh especially for someone who's pretty much stubborn when it comes to dealing with choices.

I basically grew up believing that we are afforded with the right of choice; that each one of us can opt to pursue one course of action over another, be it good or bad, for as long as we are able to bear the consequences of such a choice. So, when you parade the words “NO CHOICE” in front of me, it's like asking me to throw my birthright out of the window. No, siree! Will not tolerate such absurdity!

I've been employed for over 6 years now and have had my own share of experiences in this dog-eat-dog corporate set-up. I've been enticed....almost, but not some offers that I'd be easily accommodated into a good starting position and package of companies in which these enticers (my family acquaintances) either have connections or are more or less influential to be capable enough of dictating the employment process. This is what we Pinoys usually term as “lakad" or “palakasan system". I could have worked as a high-post high-paid but morally clouded employee for an international company out of these supposed arrangements, but I chose to go against the flow of this ‘palakasan system’ and worked my way up the corporate ladder.

Unfortunately, some co-employees of mine don’t see it as such. What I keep on incidentally hearing is that I was only able to reach my status because I happen to be a friend of the daughter of a former “cornerstone" employee. Little do these taleteller colleagues of mine know, I had the worst interview process of 'em all! I spent an entire afternoon then (roughly around 5-6 hours) in the interview chamber that is now my boss' office. And of course, it had to be the President, the EVP and the VPs who took turns in questioning and dissecting my capabilities and my character before finally ruling that I am fit to take on the responsibility being assigned to me. Once accepted, I busted my ass in meeting the executive's expectations and carried on to make a name for myself and to prove my worth....all without kissing asses and indulging in office politics like some of these taletellers do. In short, I've earned my place! Now can you imagine their chutzpah in accusing me of sweet talking & politicking my way up while trying hard to conceal their own stench?!! They shamelessly solicit for favors from suppliers and customers in return for some “under-the-table" arrangements that prove to be disadvantageous to the entire company; they coyly influence the hiring committee to take in their “alagas” despite the latter's obvious incompetency, so that they could have more of their kinds around to help them perpetuate “office politics”. Now, who do you think is engaging in politics huh?!

This is my life on the corporate setup. And as tempting as it is to join in on such ‘politicking’, I clearly refuse to associate myself with the word. Now, don't go telling me that I have no choice but to go with the flow, ‘coz I damn well know that I do! Call me a naïve or a stupid little tuna fish swimming in an ocean full of sharks, but this is my choice, my prerogative, my freewill.


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Jaz/Female. Lives in Philippines/Manila/Pasay City, speaks Chinese and English.
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Philippines, Manila, Pasay City, Chinese, English, Jaz, Female.