'The Fall of the Rebel Angels' by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Looking back now, I find it hard to believe that a whole year has passed. It seems like a moment ago that I received the call telling me that I was about to embark on a new phase of my life, a phase that I desperately needed to start in order to take myself away from the disappointment I had just faced barely two weeks prior, to pull myself out of the slump coming back to this country had put me in. This Phase was to be my salvation, my way of proving to myself that if I wasn’t good enough for somebody, I could learn to be good enough for myself, and for others in the big picture.
I remember being so excited about it: my first job, back in this country, where I didn’t think I would ever be able to do anything or be of any good to anyone. I started out with a good feeling; I had a good boss, who thought along the same wavelength as I did — a rare commodity in this country — a handful (literally, as I could only count them on one hand) of colleagues I got along with, and a job scope I knew I could do relatively well in.
Everything started off so well. I was able to learn more than I ever imagined I could, and the fast pace of it challenged me to do the best I could and more. Though not without its obstacles — extremely large ones at that — I was fueled by the knowledge that there would always be a way for me to overcome them and come out higher every time. It didn’t matter that there were people I couldn’t bear and couldn’t trust any further than I could throw with an anvil tied on besides; I learned to shut out all the undesirable aspects of my job, and threw myself completely into what I had to do.
But then, as the rose-colored tint began to fade, I saw what had been there all along and I hadn’t wanted to acknowledge: the Basilisk that was the politics, rearing its great head, ready and eager to consume anyone who was foolhardy, greedy and ambitious enough to wander into its lair. The politics by which Corporate Malaysia — and indeed, this entire country — is run, putting money, race and titles above all else, in a bloodthirsty bid for absolute supremacy. The politics which are the cause of all the groveling, haggling and social-climbing that I witnessed around me every day and couldn’t learn to respect. The same politics that now have me questioning my own self-worth, wondering why nothing I do is ever good enough, and why I seem to keep selling myself short for a job I now like purely for the workload.
And now here I am — exactly one year into my job, and more convinced than ever that the corporate world was never meant for me, or that I wasn’t meant for it, at least not in this country. The bitterness and cynicism that has been my lifeline for as long as I can remember has forbidden me from adopting, and chosen instead to scorn, the demoralizing patience and blatant, unadulterated insincerity needed for this profession.
Do I plan to do this in the long term? No. Do I plan to stay it in long enough to learn everything I can that will help me escape and survive life outside the corporate world? Yes. For after breaking my spirit and selling my soul to Satan in order to do what I’ve done, I owe it to myself.