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We are what we think & my blog entries reflect how I think. Have a sip of the poison of my mind.. It's not always lethal.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Catalyst For Change

I've never seen my colleague-sister Jace like that before. She was despondent, quiet and just kept to herself in the office this morning while she was glued to the office computer laboring herself away with some paperwork and email. That sure as heck wasn't her usual self. I told her I was really worried about her and asked if there was anything I could do to help her with her workload.

Workload. That's the reason why all of us are stressed up lately, especially this morning. Jace wasn't the only one affected, I was too. Even our managers are being squeezed themselves. Jace is in the Pharmaceutical Specialist Sales Department and me, Pharmaceutical Consumer Healthcare. The extra workload demands (especially those damned paperwork) came so fast & furious to both of us across our departments we are feeling suffocated. Fuck, we can't breathe properly.

We are all feeling down. And hungry. So for lunch, Jace, Lester, our intern Charmaine & me went to have Japanese Sushi at Singpost to cheer ourselves up. It's just too bad the damned tropical hot-as-hell weather lately is compounding our situation from bad to fucked-up. Everyone of us in the Sales Division who make our living running about the country is bitching about it and rightly so.

Guitar 77
Anyway, it's already past 7pm and I've just finished visiting my final retail outlet of my customer for the day at Funan the IT Mall. I can't wait to go home and rest but the defiant me told me to hang on to my life outside of work and go check out the guitar shops in the basement of Excelsior Shopping Center next to Funan. So that's what I'm doing now, ignoring my tiredness.

I just have to remind myself of my favorite hobby again so that my work life will not drown it out of my consciousness. I'm still feeling down but the guitars do cheer me up. Standing outside Guitar 77 (pic on the left), I remind myself that this was the very guitar shop where I modded my Washburn N4 with the coil-split mod. The memory makes me smile. I thought I couldn't smile anymore for the rest of what remains of this day.

Yet, I'm feeling guilty and sad that lately, I've not touched my guitars because I have to keep up with my work. During the day, I have to travel about working at my customers's outlets and by the end of the day, I'll be so darned tired but when I get home, I still have paperwork to whittle down.

Which was what I've been doing for the past few days in an attempt to free up my weekend. So far, so good.. So what; You can imagine my dismay when the extra paperwork came piling on me this morning and Thursdays are so damned close to the weekends.

Don't get me wrong, I do understand that when it comes to work, such things are to be expected sometimes. I'm just worried about my guitar practice time. The situation is still bearable if I just crash through it and exhaust myself but the earnings are now much much tougher because of our grossly bloated sales targets and my commission for last month was pathetic. I could have netted for myself a few hundred extra bucks if my commission scheme hadn't changed for this year. I am starting to question if a drop in earnings coupled with a degraded quality of life is worth it.

Oh, I just heard Common Sense telling me that that's a dumb question, really.

And there's the product test next Monday which means I have to spend time studying over the coming weekend which will eat up my precious weekend time and that's like adding salt to injury.

I don't actually mind a product test, it's just that I feel we've been doing too much for just one product and the amount of nitty-gritty field research I have to conduct for it makes me wonder if the words 'inefficiency' & 'redundancy' apply to our case. It's easy to forget nowadays that our portfolios do not involve just a single product we are responsible for, as well as their respective sales targets. I don't think we have lost focus, we just do not have a healthy focus that is balanced across the board when the whole picture is taken into account.

And for goodness sake, I didn't even have the time nor energy to change the strings of my N4 and Ovation acoustic which I've been putting off lately. I wanted to, but lately, after coming home from a tiring day in the field and after whittling down the paperwork, I got so burnt out I had to crash & sleep, forgoing everything else.

This cannot go on. I have to do something about this and change the way I do things and reschedule the timing for not just everything I have to do but also for everything I want to do. I refuse to let work destroy what I love doing outside of work and vice-versa since both are important things we cannot do without.

Remember Maslow's Hierarchy. If you have no hobbies or personal pursuits, you will end up lost and empty when you are old and retired. Perhaps that explains why some of our elderly here do senseless things sometimes while living like lost souls.

I have wonderful customers. The Pharmacists I serve are the reason why I've been holding on to everything still, despite the times when I feel I've reached the end of my rope and despite the corporate nonsense I sometimes have to put up with that reeks of 'more work automatically equates political correctness, nevermind if they are actually productive or even necessary'. Efficiency and true productivity get thrown out the window in favour of looking good on paper sometimes.

Anyway, visiting the guitar shops at Excelsior will not be a complete experience without visiting Davis Guitar at Peninsula Plaza which adjoins Excelsior, the oldest guitar shop here that existed even before I decided to learn guitar way back during the early 90s. Did I mention I started playing during the early 90s? No way I'm gonna just let everything rot away when I've come all these way and this far. Besides, I still love playing, so that's the most important thing.

So here I am outside Davis looking at the displays of guitars window-shopping style and there's this guy in his work clothes too just standing there checking out the axes. I wonder if he is going through the same thing as me - contemplating about how to balance guitar practice time with work.

I hope he does ok with his life and I hope that I can too. I have to start with overhauling the way and timing which I do things and modifying their schedules in ways that allow me to breathe again and allow me to go to bed every night (or every morning during the weekends) with a smile of satisfaction and fulfillment.

Going to bed with the knowledge that you've done something useful and fulfilling with your day is priceless and is the secret to a good restful sleep.

10 bucks still say that in the end, sleep will be offered on Life's sacrificial altar in order to achieve a work-life balance. As usual. Perhaps this will be the only constant that will never change, at least until the day I can finally retire for good.

Damn, I'm tired.


- De Lion Speaks

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