Thursday, 4 July 2013

labelled and packt like crushd sardines

Once, I went to an interview in a consultancy firm, proposed by a close friend of mine.

I came early to the office,  and was asked to wait for the boss.

Then I waited, and just looking at the staffs (who later become friends), and as usual, everybody there just ignores you. It doesn't bothers me, because I'd do the same.

Then when the boss arrives, and he greeted me like a long lost friend.

So, this boss of mine, before this, we worked together in Dubai (together with that close friend of mine who's the staff in the office), so we practically knew each other.

Then after the interview, somehow, I was greeted warmly by the staffs and one particular guy.

This guy, I do not know him then, was a senior in the office, and somehow, started to chat and act cordially towards me.

The attitude is different before the interview and after the interview.

After I excused myself from the office, this senior followed me downstairs, and we had a chat.

Basically he asks me what I was doing in Dubai, and he then proceeds talking about his own experience.

However, many months in the office later on,  this senior started to act different. He started commenting about me, and most of the time, of personal things.

I was a gamer, and so after work, I used to spend the time at the cybercafe below our office for a game or two.

Even this fact was commented by this senior, and I was surprised, when my boss started complaining that I do not want to do Overtime because I was spending the time at the CyberCafe.

I was shocked, I never knew even my private life was being reported to my boss by this senior.
(This senior is malay, boss is chinese).

Eventually, by then, the work in Bangladesh was on, that I was transferred to Bangladesh. The project was on and off basis for 3 years, when the job was called off, I'll be back to local office supporting the local jobs.

Other than this, there was two girl, at different times, who started to act cordial and nice when they found out I have a good "resume", only to be dumped later on.

Recently, I met a high school friend, who then ask "What did you felt when you've worked overseas?"

With the previous reasons in mind, I don't know what to answer.

Then I told him, working overseas was like going on a trip to a museum.

"The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was.

Nobody'd move.

You could go there a hundred times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish, the birds would still be on their way south, 

the deers would still be drinking out of that water hole, with their pretty antlers and their pretty, skinny legs, 

and that squaw with the naked bosom would still be weaving that same blanket.

Nobody'd be different.

The only thing that would be different would be you"

- quotes from Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger.

Then this friend of mine started asking two questions that made me "losing the mood"

1. How much is your salary in Dubai and Bangladesh back then?
2. How much savings had you made working overseas?

For me, the answer is obvious.

"Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." - Bernard Baruch.

Family members (trusted ones), closed friends, those who are "true" to you, respects you and don't ask this question, because what matters is your wellbeing. Not how much money you made.

I excuse myself from the conversation.

Sometimes, I just felt tired.

It's the same old thing. What happen is that your friend doesn't want to talk to you. He wants to label you.

He wants to group you under a category, rich, engineer, this label and that label, all are labels basically.

Go to a shopping mall near your house.

Look at a sardine tin-can. There are many brands, Cap Ayam brand, this brand and that brand.
Notice that people don't argue about brands while buying them in supermarkets.  They just buy the nicest or the cheapest according to their wants and needs.

Now look at a washing soap. There are many brands, Febreeze, this brand and that brand.
Notice that  people don't argue about brands while buying them in supermarkets.  They just buy the nicest or the cheapest according to their wants and needs.

Now look at current Malaysia, this argument about Islam, Wahabi, syiah, liberal, socialist, communist, karl marx is illuminati, all these arguments are based on labelling, right?

Just like 3-4 year old kids who fights and labels each other names, or mocking their father's name, everyone are just focusing on the labels on the sardine tin-can. Nothing more, nothing less.

This world are full of arguments, like traffic noises. The noises are deafening, but the car won't move an inch either.

 I'm just tired of people arguing. I'm just tired being labelled and packt like crushd sardines.

I figured I could get a job at a filling station somewhere, putting gas and oil in people's cars. I didn't care what kind of job it was, though. Just so people didn't know me and I didn't know anybody. I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. That way I wouldn't have to have any goddam stupid useless conversations with anybody. If anybody wanted to tell me something, they'd have to write it on a piece of paper and shove it over to me. They'd get bored as hell doing that after a while, and then I'd be through with having conversations for the rest of my life. Everybody'd think I was just a poor deaf-mute bastard and they'd leave me alone.- Holden Caulfield, Catcher In The Rye - JD Salinger

 "That's just about people who're easily amused, people who not only aren't capable of progressing their intelligence but are totally happy watching 10 hours of television and really enjoy it. I've met a lot of dumb people. They have a --itty job, they may be totally lonely, they don't have a girlfriend, they don't have much of a social life, and yet, for some reason, they're happy. - Kurt Cobain commenting on the song Dumb

Note :- Packt like crushd sardines in a tin-box is a song in Radiohead's Amnesiac, released in 2001.