Money or peace of mind/soul?

The other day i met up with a good long time friend who was two years ago had the opportunity to join the private sector. i can still remember how exciting he was in getting his hand on a plum job that he was trying to get after two years of posturing and manouvreing to get a realease from Ministry of Education. He then managed to secure a two-year secondment to a semi government agency in one of the east Malaysian state. Let me digress a bit, I have known him for a good many years during our student days and we were still together when we did our Dip Ed and both of us were posted to East Malaysia and he was posted to the interior I was lucky (thatis a relative term) to get a school in town area. Somehow we were both got snitched by local lasses. Later I was posted back to the Peninsular and he stayed back, being almost a native by then. He had the gift of the gab and pretty hardworking as well with top class PR skills. So I am not surprised when he was headhunted to join the agency. Fast forward two years, we met up last night and he told me he had resigned or rather decided not to continue and would come back to being a good old college lecturer. Interesting thing is he told me he maybe earning a lot of money but he had to sacrifice a lot of things that he took for granted before. Ceteris paribus, he is a lot happier in the college. He hardly had any time  for himself and the family. He had to spend money to pacify and make up  for the loss of time with his family and friends. He had to be constantly on the move and on call. There is always trouble somewhere that he had to settle. He had so many people to answer to and he come to a stage that he would be deeply worried if his handphone is not ringing for the fear that something bad is brewing, some sort of lull before a storm kind of thing. I also noticed that he is an avid smoker now. In fact I used to smoke a lot more than him those days, but I have quit and he went big time. So he said despite earning a lot of money, he is not at peace with himself and his environments. He said he was surprised that he survived the scenario for a couple of years. Guys before him in the same position, cabut within months!!!

I told him, he suffered because he came from a staid, stable and happy working environment and definitely the corporate sector is a shock, what more when he is dealing with operational stuffs. He disagreed, he was prepared for the corporate culture but he could not take the constant unnecessary pressure. So, despite a lot of persuasion from the boss and my teasings, he quit and by next month he would be back teaching.  He would have to take more than half pay cut. Now he is just like me, another boring old civil servants who are now running the country quite effectively, bearing in mind the politicians are too busy quarelling among themselves and never been able to get off the election band wagon. I must say it is relatively quite peaceful not having to contend with politicians dirty interfering hands. Come on Anwar, throw us some more smokes screens, keep them on their political toes till 2011 or 2012…


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