For a couple of weeks, almost every day I’m with the two guys at the office. The one is my fellow Filipino engineer while the other one was from India. Sadly, three days ago, they’re on their last day. Our bosses told them that they have to go to Yanbu — a place more than a thousand miles away. A seaport on the Red Sea.
It just happens that was also the day we (me and my fellow Filipinos living under the same roof) were exactly two months working abroad. Or rather without the word “working.” So I say — two months in abroad.
My current company is a contractor. I’m not hundred percent sure, but I think it is as I had observed the course of events. I know I should be attentive and observant of my surroundings because we don’t have any briefings about their company. To be fair, I can’t say anything bad about their treatment to us. This I’m sure, though, that the same with others, it would be a matter of days that I would also have to go to some other place.
Me, as a first-time overseas worker, I just have to accept this experience as an eye-opener to how things are done here.
Now, we are five remaining in the apartment (here it is called “flat”). It feels like we are in “Big Brother” reality TV show where we got evicted one-by-one. The big difference is we don’t have cameras to capture our every movement. For me, this is way more real than reality shows.
The Uneasy Feeling of Not Doing Your Job Well
Our office doesn’t have cubicles that we normally see. We have doors instead. And in all of the rooms, we are in the biggest one.
At past eleven in the morning, my two new-found friends left me alone.
The biggest space in the office was now occupied only by me. Bigger than all of my bosses here. I felt odd actually. I just consider God is pampering me again.
Courtesy of the office, I sip a cup of hot tea with milk. I then enjoyed my internet connection using my tablet. I always use my pocket wifi that I bought to replace my mobile phone’s wifi hotspot. Loneliness is not a bad thing for me. With my introversion, I rarely got bored just being with myself.
Now, among my roommates, I am the only person who needs to report to the office. I still don’t consider this work; I feel more of a student more than an employee. I have only one goal — to learn the standards and specifications of the project I’m going to as preparation for my day of evacuation. With a lot of files that I have to read, I believe I deserve some break.
I felt some guilt, though. It’s just fair to take some break to relax my mind and body. But, my conscience is also telling me that my company deserves the best from me.
Being the only one in the office means no one looks after me. That also means I could not do what I’m supposed to do if I want to. So I didn’t. Sorry employer.
Browser Block-Out in the Office
The lack of communication of my bosses to what’s going on bothers me.
I can’t help but be pessimistic. They must be hiding something. They must be cheating us. Or, they must be thinking that we are just a bunch of cogs, who, as long as get compensated won’t need to answer our questions.
From time-to-time, I’m always asking them about what can we expect. I always get vague answers.
With my stinking attitude, I do an an-eye-for-a-eye rebellion. I told myself, if they are always neglecting me, then I should not take seriously on my job. So I just browse the internet and almost ignored my real purpose in the office.
It just happens that there is also a desktop computer with free internet that I can also use as I please. The temptations of distractions were all in place.
The next day I walk alone in the office. A bit late because of my slackness.
Facebook. WordPress. Gmail. YouTube. Evernote. Blogs. Then repeat in a different order.
Instead of studying things about my job, I read about on how can I inspire myself more to write.
Minutes before I leave the office, I asked myself — whoa, what happens? I just wasted my time doing unproductive things. Sometimes, I pride myself that I don’t watch too much television because I want to read instead. The harsh truth is that the internet became my new drug.
This should be stopped.
Don’t Forget to Take Some Rest
The unpleasant feeling of not making the most of what should be done could eat up my confidence. I don’t want to be timid again. I have to do something
Coming home from the office, I rest a bit, then hand-washed my clothes. I then eat our dinner. I’m so thankful that there always someone who cooks our meals. I slept at ten.
I woke up at five this morning. Prayed the Rosary. Then read God’s words through Kerygma email subscription — with Catholic daily gospel and reflections.
Then I ready myself, so I’m off to go. I walked alone again to the office.
I came on time. Then did what I suppose to do. I read and study the files that my boss gave me. Then I compliment myself with a cup of hot tea.
Then I fall asleep. Hays…
I’m bored to death. Not because that I’m alone, but I can’t just find myself having fun reading textbooks. That’s maybe why I can’t do well in school.
Then one of my boss notice that I’m asleep. I thought he was disappointed. He walks away and came back to give me a chocolate bar. He told me that I should go home to take some rest. So I didn’t report back in the afternoon. Wow! What a kind-hearted person! I never thought someone could be rewarded for sleeping at work.
I then remembered I might be so tired of hand-washing my clothes the night before. So here I am in my bed typing this blog post. Fully-rested.
I’m typing this blog post for three days.
Wrong Way to Justify Your Passion
So what’s the point of this not-so-good attitude at work story of mine? I believe it’s this — that we could not justify our passions for not doing the things that need to be done at that moment.
I’m passionate about Jesus. But, I could not justify that I didn’t finish my work deadline because I’m too busy praying or reading the Bible. That’s self-righteousness.
I’m passionate in writing. Or, starting to be passionate in writing. But, just like my story above, I could not ignore my job that feeds me so I can hone my craft. That’s ungratefulness.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. ~Colossians 3:23
I don’t want to sound preachy. But, I can’t ignore the fact that my Christian upbringing is what keeps me doing what I’m doing. Christ is my strength.
Maybe your strength comes from your family, your ambitions or your frustrations about your current situation. We need compelling reasons. The fuels to get you going every time.
Some of us make a living out of their passions. For some people like me who make passion as a side hobby, we must not forget to be also great at our day jobs.
Trust the Process
We deserve the best in life. But, deserving is always having something to do with our mindsets.
Maybe you’re like me who got impatient at times. I read stuff about writing during working hours due to my scarcity mentality. Sometimes, I thought that the only way to get ahead is at the expense of others.
Pondering at my priorities, I concluded that I have to stop blogging for a while. I should focus first on the things that will let me write more in the future. I will continue to write 500 words daily in my journal, though. Besides, part of writing is living a good life that will put more inspiration to my passion.
We must do our best shot. Don’t be so pre-occupied of our destination. Enjoy the journey instead. Just be better tomorrow that you are today.
Another thing, take some rest.
Tomorrow is another God’s gift for us. So if you don’t mind, I have to prepare myself for tomorrow. So I won’t fall asleep again. 🙂
My friend, trust the process. All is well.