White Collar Lifestyle
|Alice Poon||Jul 1, 2008|
My translation of the essay:-
“The rapidly growing economy not only produces spectacular profits, it also creates spectacular lifestyles.
One American company invented a competing game called ‘Height-Jumping Competition’. In order to test the employees on their creativity, the company ordered them to run and jump inside an empty house. Whoever could jump the highest and whoever could run most creatively would become the boss’s protégés. As the company had recently announced that there would be a staff cut of about 20 percent, all the employees were passionate about participating in the game.
Compared to other companies, American companies are known to be forward in the area of developing human potential. In Shanghai, one American consultancy firm has a culture of ‘working late’. Those staff members who leave the office on time are often characterized as an alien group. One woman employee who came back from maternity leave found that projects requiring her handling were fewer than before she went on leave, and she could actually leave the office on time and go home to look after her baby. Instead of feeling happy about this, she was really worried. So she did all she could to grab more projects, and after three months, she successfully embarked on a life wherein she worked until midnight every day. She was so thrilled that she told everybody: ‘Finally, I can work overtime every day now.’ What about your baby? Oh, my parents are taking care of it. I go to see my baby once a week. Right, offer a little motherly love, like the childless white-collar couple who go to a welfare centre on weekends to look at orphans!
A little while ago, one of my male colleagues collapsed in the office because he has stomach ulcer. He never eats regularly and is often so busy that he only eats one meal a day, right before he goes to bed. I remember what Jiang Wen said in a stomach ache relief medicine advertisement: Stomach ache? That’s glory! If one uses such a yardstick to measure people, then those who suffer from stomach ulcers are heroes; those who eat three regular meals a day can go to hell!
But this is not a complaint that you can tell other people. Once you say such a thing, they would retort: Being busy is a good thing! You earn more money! How we wish we could wear designer brand clothes, travel, and eat at high-class restaurants. But that’s wishful thinking for us!
So, the alternative is to hang out with a few of your colleagues to let out steam, curse the bosses, laugh a little and be merry. If you really feel desperate, you can curse money. Money is such a bastard – it negates everything that you set out to work for. Then you can fall asleep. The next day when the sun comes out, you go out to pursue money again.
Well, people are all different. There are really some people who enjoy such an edgy survival. Some bosses only sleep four to five hours a day, and when they learn that you need eight hours’ sleep, they would be puzzled. There are some female workers who only need 20 days of maternity leave and their greatest stigma is to be called pregnant women!
A girlfriend of mine who works in an advertising agency has been feeling down recently. Although she is very talented, she frets about her lack of romances. At 27, she has only had two lovers. Her boss said to her: You are quite an all-round talent, but you would be perfect if you were more experienced in love. In his opinion, his female workers should all be expert lovers, so that when their creative talent is needed in advertising design, they could bring their thrilling sex orgasm to their work.
So my girlfriend has decided to add one more item to her resume: Experienced and well versed in love. She might also consider raising the number of her former lovers from 2 to 8 or 10. It looks like other than single-mindedly working overtime, she also has to single-mindedly be a busy lover.”