What do you work for? To keep busy? To feel useful? For recognition? For the greater good of mankind?
Anything but money, right? Yeah, tell yourself that. Tell yourself your motivations are on a much higher plane than…daily bread. But with runaway inflation and a bunch of show-offs for Facebook friends, daily bread is the least of your worries. Yes, everyone and his cousin seem to be taking a world tour and buying i-Pads. And you are sitting there ruing over your daily commuting cost.
You are face to face with…FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out.
For the wage slave, opportunity to progress in life comes but once a year, on a pre-ordained date. This year, the date has come and gone. There is no word about the letter, that single printout which will set the tone for the next 12 months of your mortal existence. And tilt the trajectory of your fiscal fate down towards poverty.
Working for money is a tacit setting, like a conditional friendship. It is well understood but impolite when expressed openly. So you can’t ask or express your displeasure, not about the money.
Week 2 into no-letter land, you have already received your salary slip. Try as you may, you can’t resist calculating against last month’s salary slip to find out the difference.
…there isn’t any! In fact, you have actually received fewer quid in hand than last year. The story of your appraisal has gone from drama to suspense to tragedy and now, an anti-climax. ‘Is this current month’s salary or last month’s salary?’ a similarly ill-fated colleague yells out.
As other teams receive and rejoice, you feel like a special needs kid on sport’s day awards.
More than a week later, HS finally summons you into his cabin with a smile. You return the smile with ‘whatever’ expression. He finally found the time from his ultra-busy schedule. If only HS could clone himself so his mini-me could get around to unenviable tasks such as smiling through difficult increment sessions.
‘So, how are we doing today?’ is his uninspired opener. You want to convey your choicest opinions. But you manage to just grind your teeth and narrow your brow instead. With your carrot turning to peanuts, you don’t have much to lose.
Without fear, niceties and formality go out of the window. HS is leaning forward resting his forearms on the table in what looks like mild anxiety. You are slouching in your chair in mild exasperation.
‘As you know, it has been a difficult year for all of us…’
‘We already know the salary. Just hand over the damn letter and be done with it.’
HS has no come back. The coolness of what you just did only sinks in after a couple of minutes. So that is what inspiration feels like. You ought to feel it more often.
Whoever said they don’t work for money probably had a large inheritance.