Many years ago, when I was still an employee, I found myself stuck to my employment chair like a chewing gum. I even joked about it with my colleagues.
The 4PM Dong!
This job was not rewarding, was not paying well and we all dreaded the 4 pm dong, when the conference room phone would ring and the Indian boss from the US would call. Even when I was the star employee (anyone who performs well and asks for less $ can be a star employee), I hated 4pm.
The conversations after 4 pm started to be one sided mostly because my ideas were thrown in the trash, his ideas had to be implemented (no matter how wrong they were) and if you said YES to everything thereafter, the rest of the evening would be good.
Time To ESCAPE
Come 8 pm, if we were lucky, we’d leave work or we would stay back till 9, 10 , 11, 12 ,1 am but those days were few.
8:30 pm was my time to escape, unless there was a fire.
ESCAPE – what an appropriate word, isn’t it?
I escaped from the terrorising, blame games, sarcasms, yelling and shouting only to escape and come back to the same the next day.
Of course there were good days too because I was one of the rare species there would love to let go and play the YES to everything game. Plus, I was working with a good appreciative American client, who more than made up for all the crap.
And if there was something that I had to implement, irrespective of what the boss thought about it, then I would still do it. And when the client appreciated it, the boss would be zipped anyways.
Beware of The Sheep! It Will Make You A Sheep !
Sometimes, we are so oblivious to the fact that we are being led by a Sheep, that we give in to all their desires only to realize later that we have become a sheep ourselves.
We have lost the aggression, the passion, that differentiated us from the rest. We have lost the self-respect that we swore by back then. We have lost the zest, the creativity that we are blessed with as a human being. We become like a machine that blocks out all the noise and just keeps outputting a desired outcome, no matter how monotonous that outcome is.
I Was Stoned (Emotionally Not Chemically ) 😛
I found myself becoming an employment stone in the last 6 months of the job. Of course there were events that happened 6 months prior to those 6 months that led to me becoming so numb, not – interested (which we will discuss later someday), but the point was I became a stone (which was good).
It was a good thing that I became that way because I started to get affected. I wasn’t blinded anymore to the disrespectful treatment of me and my team members. It affected me and therefore it stoned me.
I was so determined to leave this job, that after a certain point, the yelling and shouting, the threats of firing me or my team members, everything fell on deaf ears.
The company not having enough cash flow, not having enough projects didn’t bother me anymore. I was not going to go out and help them get it like I had done once in the past. Because I knew, the leader / manager was not going to change, no matter what you did. He was still going to be the same human being who was so consumed in his own expectations of people that he didn’t see how he behaved with them.
Weekends Be Like
On weekends, I had started to think, what does the future hold for me? Am I going to spend the rest of my life, fulfilling other people’s expectations ? Or I’m going to spend the rest of my life being an employee who does not have any self-respect, self-esteem and is caged by that single paycheck that comes and goes like a wind anyways.
I gauged my performance, I gauged my abilities, I gauged my contribution and I thought to myself, if this is not enough for me to command respect, appreciation, money, rewards, then what is?
And while I was thinking, there was also a sword of “Fire You” looming over my head. Living with the fear of getting fired or someone else getting fired and me sitting in line, waiting for that to happen was unfathomable for me.
Going out in the same industry where others will treat me the same way was also something that I could not tolerate or bear with.
I had always been a free bird all my life and I was not going to put my freedom (even the freedom to be myself) as a collateral for the paycheck I got every month.
6 Months of What?
My brother said that if I had to quit my job, I needed 6 months of salary in my bank account. I didn’t have that. At the end of the month, after all the bills were paid, I didn’t have money to eat Poha at the roadside stall, where in the world would I have 6 months’ money stashed away. He was being practical but I quit my job anyways.
Because freedom from expectations, freedom from being a Yes- man, freedom from being threatened, freedom from being a mediocre individual, freedom from being a follower to a sheep leader was important for me.
I needed to be the follower of my dream life. I needed to be a free bird who could fly and whose wings were not clipped. I needed to eat, drink, wear, live wherever I wanted without the thought of money crossing my mind or being a limitation.
I quit my job in search of that freedom and almost 3.5 years from that day, I am flying high, flapping the wings of my freedom.
There is no threat of losing a job, there is no threat of 4 pm and someone either boring me or bashing me, there is no terror of deadlines or work load, there is no team to manage, there is no reason to be fake just to be in someone’s good books.
Money pours in like rain and money goes back into the economy generously so that others benefit too.
My FREE LIFE!
There is a sense of accomplishment, there is a sense of gratitude, and most importantly there is a sense of freedom.
Of course, there are many 1 am, 2 am, 3 am deadlines but they are not because I HAVE TO, they are because I WANT TO.
Now, I stay stuck to my office chair like a chewing gum. At 9 am I sit on this chair. I get up in the afternoon only to eat lunch, watch TV, and take a break. I get back on this chair in the evening and go one till after midnight.
I am stuck to this chair and I would rather be stuck to this chair than the employee chair (metaphorically).
I wish the same freedom to one and all because it’s true bliss.