Breaking the Spirit

I love my job, I really do.

Am one of the few people who never really cared for the money, but worked for the love of it. In truth, I don’t need to work. Not because I don’t need the money because everybody does, but rather, as my needs are quite simple, I know I can live well without spending too much.

However, these days, I often get disillusioned at work.

The shock started over a week ago when a colleague of mine got let go. This was the third massive restructuring my firm had gone through, and though it’s understandable given the slowing business, it doesn’t make circumstances any better.

In the first round, it was because of meritocrity that people got fired. If you were a low-performer, then you were let go. There were some who cried and wailed, but in truth, they were the luckiest ones. Actually, they enjoyed the best severance pay compared to those who left afterwards.

In round two, people who earned way too much compared to how much they contributed got let go. Basically, if you were an Executive Director, and yet 1) was unable to earn the value of a Managing Director, and 2) can be replaced by a cheaper substitute, then bye bye baby.

This round, it was the newbies who were removed. Last-in-third-round-out.

Unfortunately, along with them included a friend of mine, whom I felt was a competent analyst. She knew her companies well, was well-liked among the sales’ ranks, worked long hours and was getting traction from the clients. However, despite her best efforts and hard work, she was still let go because she was becoming “too good” and her boss got threatened.

Put it this way, when you get rid of the inefficient people, that’s just and expected.

However, when an organization gets rid of the lifebloods, then you start thinking, and it’s obviously not good for staff morale.

Anyway, the work environment reminds me more of Ayn Rand’s book, “Atlas Shrugged.”

The protagonist work for the sheer love of it. She creates excellent railroads because that’s what her purpose is — to give everything she can to produce the best work. Given her popularity, everybody else wants to destroy her and bring her down.

It’s like pork barrel — some Philippine government officials would intentionally use the bad contractors and inadequate materials to build things that will break easily. Though they have the power to produce well-made structures that last beyond their lifetimes, they instead choose to build inefficient infrastructure so that their budget will be increased further.

As a result, accidents happen and people die. Because of some government official’s greediness and inefficiency.

I feel that at work sometimes.

When I work really fast and efficiently, my colleagues get mad because they feel that I’m taking away the limelight. They feel that I’m doing it in purpose to make them look bad and lose their jobs. Instead, they tell me that as part of being a team, I should slow down and wait for them. Check with them first if they’re comfortable with it before proceeding.

Work has now become a political game. 🙁

Instead of working hard to make the bank money, I have to play nice and cater to these *ahem* crabs who want you to accommodate them. If you succeed, they get jealous and try to pull you down.

It’s these types of environment that break my spirit. The spirit of doing the best you can and working for the sheer joy of it. It risks taking out the enthusiasm off your work.

Hope that for my sake, I break out of my conundrum soon.

Is your work environment like this recently?

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