“When you say ‘yes’ to others make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.” —Paulo Coelho

Everyone knows there are times it is tough to say “no” to someone. There are also times we hate it when people say “no” to our demands. We felt rejected, right?

I’ll tell you my recent story. The freedom and consequences of this two-lettered word.

My job contract was already finished last October. I should be blogging already in the comforts of my home country.

I emailed the company almost two months ago asking for a pay raise. I also ask for site allowance, an extra monthly allowance if I work on a construction site. The company said “no” to my proposal. So I demanded to go back to the Philippines. Days later they said “yes.” But then, I said “no.”

I decided I would not work anymore in Saudi Arabia. Even if I’m often labeled as a loner, I don’t think I can survive another couple of years here. And this I don’t tell the company — I’m planning on getting an online job instead. A work at home. And I’ll do that while still looking for one more work abroad.

To cut the long story short, I agreed to work until December 15 of this year. My boss asks me modestly to give them time to find my replacement.

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The Fatality of Always Saying “Yes”

For the span of more than two years working in Saudi Arabia, I tried a lot of things. I’m in a small company with limited manpower, most of the time I must wear a lot of hats. Labor worker. Electrician. Air-conditioning unit technician. AutoCAD Operator. Document controller. Foreman. Photographer. Purchaser. Accountant. Supervisor. And of course, Quality Control Inspector, the job I came here for.

The only job I’m waiting for the company to give me is Project Manager. 🙂

I’m not good at all of these. I just did the best I can. I would have to admit, part of doing almost everything my boss told me to do is the combination of my arrogance and low self-esteem.

I know some Filipinos would not allow their boss to make them work outside of their job description. I looked down on them as inconsiderate and not flexible at work. Plain old entitlement mentality. The truth is I’m envious they have the courage to speak-up for themselves.

I hate conflict. Not only with my boss but with anyone. Well, who don’t? I would tell myself “it is better to be good than to be right.” I don’t have the sense of discernment on when to speak up and when to hold my tongue. I’m always in the default mode of saying “yes” to anyone’s request.

Don’t get me wrong, I have all the utmost respect for my company. The company gave me a kickstart as someone who works at construction sites. I love all the people both the Filipinos and other nationalities there. I’m more than grateful, but I want to find another adventure in life.

I don’t have much savings. But, I’m willing to take another life-altering challenge. I know my family will support my decision. They love me enough. Even if they don’t understand my quirkiness. They don’t have any choice. 🙂

Flexibility and consideration at work is a must-have attitude. Mine was kind of insane level. Even in the Philippines, I so loved positive affirmation I’ll do a lot of extra mile work. It backfired on me. I annoyed my co-workers. They told me I’m the kind of person who should not talk to.

Instead of boosted ego, it shreds into tiny pieces. I almost lost my sense of self-respect. Thank God it turns out to a good lesson learned in a hard way.

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Do the Right Thing for the Right Reason

Those are beautiful learning experiences.

All these frustrations came from my wrong intentions. I should do the right things for the right reason.

But in the process, I gained more self-awareness. I learned I can do things if I put my heart on it (or too afraid of what other people would say about me). I pushed myself to the point I can’t imagine. I had put a lot of investment in my character development.

I write in a blog to practice writing. Not to put people in awe. I would appreciate more a brutal honest negative feedback than any form of flattery. Of course, I would love sincere positive validation. I’m a human who badly needs encouragement.

“If you wrote something for which someone sent you a check, if you cashed the check and it didn’t bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.” ~Stephen King

I hope I’m writing for the right reason. Just for the love of writing. For never-ending continuous improvement. And make a living out of it (soon).

I’m a complete amateur in life. But, I can tell you the simple timely “no” is the boundary between constraints and freedom to choose.

I’m excited to go back to the Philippines. 🙂