Tuesday, March 08, 2005

I don't Eat Grapes (They are Sour Anyway)

I don't Eat Grapes (They are Sour Anyway)

Thinking back, I've been quite lucky that I've always been employed by companies that gave me a lot of freedom and lattitude to do my work. Working for IT vendors rather than for end-users also helped in a way. I would have found the end-user environment a bit too restrictive for my taste.

It's always fun when you are working for a vendor that is still small and growing. You define what you need to do and you go out and get the job done. In a sales environment, you are more externally focussed, going out to win deals and projects rather than being preoccupied with internal processes and procedures, and the inevitable office politics.

Of course, one can never escape from politics in any working environment. We like to say that we hate office politics but we do not always realize that we all, consciously or unconsciously, participate in it. The moment you think you deserve recognition for your work, you have already planted the seeds of politics.

Sure, we all want to be recognized and rewarded for what we do. We want to move up the corporate ladder, earn more money and enhance our standing in society. If we desire all that, we have no choice but to take the politics that come with it. The alternative is to be a hypocrite and pretend that we do not care about all those things and end up sulking or complaining whenever our achievements are overlooked.

Being the idealistic person that I am, I've never bothered to work myself up the corporate ladder. Perhaps there's a hint of sour grapes there :-) But my philosophy has always been that, one's standing and prospects do not only depend on one's performance as seen through the eyes of one's superiors. If you do good work, you will always be recognized and respected by your peers in the industry. You don't have to stab or manipulate people to move your way up. Neither do you have to be an ass kisser. By producing quality work, it is inevitable that you will be rewarded, directly or indirectly, sooner or later, tangibly or intangibly, if not in the present company, elsewhere.

Again, I am putting complete faith in Nature's Perfect Accounting System. Yes, I'm naive and foolish. And I probably deserve my lack of success in the corporate world.

You see, if you care not for the things that other people crave for, you are unassailable. Nothing touches you. To borrow a famous phrase from the Bhagavad Gita, "weapon cannot cut it, fire cannot burn it, water cannot wet it, wind cannot dry it". Despite my "lack of success", I can still pay my bills and I certainly enjoy life as much as anyone else, if not more.

I pursue the life I choose, and I'm willing to pay the price for it. In the end, don't we all?

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