Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Self-worth based on sales

Hello all,
This might be an overstatement, but today as feel as though if it were up to all the bosses in the universe, the self-worth of a person would be based on their sales (ergo, how much money they contribute to a company). 

Today I was told I wasn’t being worth the company. Oh, not in those words, they were decorative and carefully spoken, but that was the hidden meaning behind them. If I wasn’t selling enough --if I wasn’t earning profit for these people-- I wasn’t worth the salary they wasted on me every month (a petty one, too). 

You know the funny thing? This was based on sales that haven’t been performed yet because they are next year’s. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I was told I wasn’t making enough money next year. Does it matter that I 2016 isn’t over (h*ck, hasn’t even started)? 
No, all that counted was a sheet of paper with small projects because until now I have always been helping/assisting other people with their bigger projects. Who cares if most jobs are sudden and most foreign clients will come to me because I am good with languages? That stupid piece of paper which proves nothing gave me half an hour of an earful of mean comments.
Whereas last year I might have broken down crying, today I find myself genuinely not giving a cr*p. Let the bosses speak, let them complain and demean me. 

I am perfectly aware that my self-worth isn’t linked to an excel sheet, thank you very much.

They’ll be watching me and will want to see an improvement next year, they said. 
Well, do whatever you please. I’m proud of my performance this year, and I will be better because people improve naturally. You just want a prettier paper with a 2017 imprinted instead of 2016.

Meh. I might try to give it to you, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Friday, December 18, 2015

To become strong

Dear all,
There is something very exciting about Tokyo and the lifestyle here. Of course, anyone who is within the corporate world will tell you it’s hard. Long hours, periods of tons of work and ridiculous free-time (seriously, where is the balance?), the sacrifice… But there is something about it.
I will not lie to you. I have wanted to call quits many times.
Physically, mentally, emotionally, it is a lifestyle that drains me. I’m not meaning to generalize because there are people who can do it, who are doing it. Maybe it’s just me.
But still, when people ask me (and I have been asked several times) “why are you still here?” I find that I cannot call it quits yet.
Why? I don’t know.
I just get the feeling that there still is something left. There is something I still need to figure out. I haven’t learned enough. So, until I figure out everything and am able to say “yep, now it’s over” I will push forward.
I think it’s always been that way with me.

Of course, it’s not only the stable salary and the semi-predictable schedule (well, as long as there are no business trips involved), the amount of knowledge I have accomplished in a year here is way superior to four years at university.
How a company works, how the money flows and how the economy floats is something that, had I not experienced it first-hard in a crash-and-burn course, I might have never completely understood. I don’t think I would have had the ability to grasp it.
But what has changed me the most, what I am more proud of is how strong I have become.

When I first entered this company, I would burn out my emotional endurance in the course of a day. Every day, when I got home, I would be so drained I would only eat, shower and sleep. By the end of the week, I would need Saturday and Sunday to pull myself together and function. Enthusiasm helped, of course, but the novelty wore out soon enough.
Unfortunately, I have had to deal with very difficult clients.
Fortunately, I dealt with them right at the beginning, so I can honestly say that --no matter how difficult other clients are-- if I survived that client, I can survive anything.
I have cried time and time again because I couldn’t deal with the stress, with the pressure. But alas, crying doesn’t help (it’s a relief, but not a practical solution to life!).
So I became stronger.
Clients might be difficult, they might be mean and downright nasty, but I have gained the strength to take whatever they might dish out at me and move on. Their anger is their problem.
(Please note that this doesn’t mean I have completely overcome these demons. I still have bad days!) (...who doesn't?)
I can deal with more pressure and demands than a year ago, that is an undeniable fact. I might falter and slip here and there, but eventually I manage to get up. Mentally, emotionally, my foundations have grown stronger, and I am proud of myself for that.