Cages

It is now forbidden at my office to wear :

  • dresses,
  • jackets,
  • scarfs,
  • shawls,
  • pashmina,
  • nail polish

Other restrictions :

  • skirts must be knee high (not higher or lower)
  • necklaces must be small (strand necklace, no chunkies)
  • necklaces may only be worn inside of the shirt’s collar

Goodbye there self expression, you have just been flushed down the toilet

Your Job is NOT Your Career

Today I was on the verge of my wits’ end, and ended up googling the words “I hate this job”

I am not a quitter, mind you. Never was, and hopefully never will be. I have always been one of those people that whenever someone tells me “You’ll never be able to pull it off”, it just adds fuel to my fire of determination.

I WILL prove them wrong.

But the past year has found me overworked yet underutilized. How is that possible? Well, I guess that’s what happens when you’re in an organization that’s “lean” in support functions. However, “lean” only works when there’s a good infrastructure and system in place. If things are still done manually, “lean” doesn’t work. And that is why I now feel stuck with too much paperwork, and too little time to actually do the projects that adds value.

It would be so easy to blame the situation, blame the supervisors, and the management. But then again I had to ask myself

What have I done to make the situation better? Have I made changes to the current “system”? Or at least propose a change?

This post by Edward Suhadi is one of my many favorites from his blog. I think the man is not just an amazing photographer and entrepreneur, he’s a very good writer as well. When I first read that post, I remember thinking : That’s easy for him to say. He’s making a living from his passion, which also happens to be one of the coolest jobs in the world. What about the rest of us unfortunate people?

Oy, the green eyed monster! It finds its prey so easily. Then after a while I thought :

Maybe the reason there’s so many people who aren’t  “lucky” enough to be able and make a living out of their passion, is because there’s not enough people brave enough to try.

So in 2013, I guess my challenge will be this : how good can I prepare myself? Banzai!

Dinas vs Tamasya

Di kantor yang lama, perjalanan dinas selalu saya sambut dengan riang gembira. Kenapa? Karena eh karena, biasanya perjalanan dinas itu berupa sosialisasi kebijakan sehingga tidak makan banyak waktu. Pun umumnya dilakukan menjelang weekend.

Alhasil, biasanya saya request penerbangan kepulangannya diundur ke hari minggu, supaya bisa puas sightseeing dan jalan-jalan. I consider it trip HRATIS melihat-lihat tempat baru. Can’t complain, right?

‘Utilisasi’ perjalanan dinas yang paling menyenangkan buat saya adalah :

  1. Melanjutkan perjalanan ke Toraja (extend dari Makassar)
  2. Naik bis ke Singapura sepulang training di Malaka
  3. Keliling kota Surabaya, yang sebelumnya belum pernah saya explore

Memang belum banyak sih, tapi ya saya bersyukur banget, karena kesemua kota itu baru untuk saya, dan mungkin belum tentu saya akan pergi kesana kalau bukan untuk urusan kerjaan.

Semenjak negara tetangga pemilik kantor lama semakin menancapkan kuku dan taring berjudul “COST EFFI” maka akhirnya perjalanan yang nyaman dengan naik maskapai nomor 1 di Indonesia, terpaksa digantikan bersempit-sempit di maskapai budget asal si negeri tetangga ituh. Plussss pekerjaan saya lama-lama semakin sedikit menuntut saya jalan-jalan untuk sosialisasi.

Setelah resign dan pindah ke kantor yang baru ini, saya bahagia setelah diiming-imiingi kata-kata “akan sering dinas ke luar kota”, “banyak remote area” dan “GA***A”. Otomatis terpikirkan banyak pelosok Indonesia yang bisa saya jelajahi. Pulau Sikuai, Pulau Menjangan, Derawan, kyaaaaa….

Ternyata…

Di kantor ini, perjalanan dinas dilakukan relatif dadakan. Wakwaow moment buat saya adalah ketika ternyata mayoritas perjalanan dinas dilakukan DI PERTENGAHAN MINGGU. *byebye exteeeend* Cuti? Nyaris tidak mungkin karena saya kan anak baru, belum setahun kerja, dan lagi nabung-nabung cuti untuk honeymoon.

So this is what my business trips so far looked like :

  1. JKT-PKU-JKT berangkat Selasa subuh pulang Rabu sore. Jadwal full, nggak liat apa-apa selain hotel, bandara, kantor. Makan aja nasi box.
  2. JKT-PLM-JKT berangkat (lupa hari apa) subuh, pulang di hari yang sama sore.
  3. JKT-CGK-JKT berangkat Selasa siang pulang Kamis malam. jadwal full tapi masih lumayan makan malam bisa di luar.

Ihiks….

Moral of the story : you win some, you lose some. In my case I win a little (upgraded airline class & new local destinations), but lost what really mattered to me : schedule flexibility.

Be careful what you wish for.

Cukup

Pagi di tepi jalan utama Jakarta, seorang laki-laki terduduk di trotoar. Dikelilingi dagangannya, entah apa, yang terlihat cuma warna-warni dan kilau plastik. Robot-robot kota Jakarta lalu lalang tanpa sedikitpun menoleh. Laki-laki itu sendiri, sebuah eksistensi sepi di sela padat ibukota.

Benarkah?

Ia kini sedang bernyanyi, lantang, meskipun sumbang. Tentu senandungnya bukan untuk uang, karena ia pedagang. Tak nampak wadah receh yang biasa disediakan pengamen. Pun ia tak tampakkan wajah memelas meminta iba.

Ia kini sedang bernyanyi, lantang, namun riang. Untuk dirinya sendiri. Untuknya temani hari.

Di dalam sedan istimewa tempat saya tak perlu duduk di muka, saya sedang sibuk merutuk rutinitas budak korporasi yang terasa membebani. Tamparan hari ini datang halus-halus dari nyanyian seorang laki-laki. Lantang, sumbang, namun riang.

Bahagia adalah abstraksi tanpa standardisasi ukuran.

Dan nyanyian laki-laki itu mengingatkan saya, bahwa bahagia adalah cukup. Dan berkecukupan bukan semata ‘berkata’ cukup. Semoga saya sampai pada titik dimana lebih besar rasa syukur daripada rakus. Titik dimana apa pun yang ada saat itu bisa saya maknai dan syukuri sebagai sesuatu yang cukup.

 

Lunch Break

Sometimes I think I function a little bit better when I’ve had my first glass of the bubbly.
It loosens my inhibitions just a little, allowing me to think more freely and talk more eloquently. I know I may come off as an alcoholic when I say this, but sometimes I wish offices give beer breaks in lieu of cigarette breaks for those who aren’t smokers.

Anyhow, seeing that we’re in Indonesia where even women who smoke are often frowned upon, I think the beer break wish is not going to happen anytime soon. But anyway sometimes I get the next best thing : my lunch break.

You see, a lunch break is only as good as the company you spend it with. You can eat a four course meal and yet leave the table feeling as hollow as a drum if you dine alone or worse, dining with someone you barely know.

In my first year at this office, I was one of the very few young people. The other few are several years older than me, with a background so pristine they could be nuns. These are the prim and proper young ladies of the world, who speak gently and curtsey while they’re speaking (ok, this is an exaggeration, but you get the point).

These ladies hang out and have lunch with the elderly matrons. They talk about children, gossip and almost nothing else. I only endured lunching with them for several weeks, and at the point of dozing off during conversations, I often chose to go alone. To bookstores, salons, massages or browsing the net at my desk.

But several months after, there were more and more people my age joining the department. So slowly but sure we built a tiny revolution.We talk about nothing important, we vent and laugh our asses off, and we *gasp* have fun.

However trivial it may seem to you, but lunching with these people may be the single thing that keeps me sane and grounded during weekdays. These corporate drones who had to give up big dreams because well, dreams don’t pay the bills, do they?

In a couple of years we may turn out to be the group that lunches while talking about diapers, but hey, let’s enjoy the ride -while it lasts.

papercut

Each and every day in life, we meet the chance of getting hurt. It’s something not to be avoided. It can’t be avoided, as it is an essential process in life itself. I believe that when something doesn’t kill us, it makes us stronger. Adversity is the thing that allows us -or rather, force us- to grow as a person.

However, I tend to look at pain differently when it happens to someone else. And when I am the source of that pain.

Being a very outspoken person, I always speak my mind. That is what you call assertive. On the flip side, I also always speak my heart out. THAT, may often prove to be abrasive, especially when done at the height of emotional turmoil and not granted with the privilege of self constraint.

Although I may not have any intention to hurt, but there is no denying the fact that someone got hurt. Just like a papercut. As small or minuscule it may seem to me, but the pain is real to that person.

As my lecturer in college once said,

when it comes to feelings, there are no rights or wrongs

So I’d have to say, the only thing wrong in this situation …… is me.
I don’t think a band aid’s going to do the trick 😦