Drinking The Corporate Kool-Aid

You are born, you are loved, you are sent to school. You aspire for upward mobility. You are messed up for life.

Our universities and colleges have planned the end for us even before it is time. You go to university, you spend four years trying to avoid the over zealous faculty members, you some how graduate, then the desperation of finding a J.O.B starts—one that offers you upward mobility so that you might quickly work your way up to a salary that helps you pay off all the loans your poor parents took and the instalments you’ll be accumulating throughout your life should you not be able to help them out and start paying them back ; so they can then start the process again to have money, for an other middle class task like getting a sibling married off or re-loaning their own meagre belongings to some one else in need.

You aspirations start building up, your dad had a bike or a small car, you think you went to college you should have a bigger car, a bigger house and a better version of all the things that you family tried hard, very hard in providing you. It your turn now to dig your self and every one out of this hole, that’s what going to school was all about, wasn’t it? This constant delusion of wanting more, yet not having enough plus the constant threat of needing to finance the basic necessities of life you and your family potentially need. It’s taken from you the most precious thing you ever had growing up: your “Dreams & Freedom to Dream”.

What age are you when you get out of a 4 year degree program. May be 21? In my view no one in their 20s should be concerned about mobility, let alone upward mobility. Unfortunately our colleges and what we have amassed from the west has destroyed our cultural sensitivities to no end. Partly because we have no guidance Counselling in a broken system that barely has education to offer. Thanks to both family pressures and the consistent crisis of good news around us, most graduating kids compelled to get a job right away, or to go do and MBA(More Bad Advice) and then find a job right away.

Why settle there, no one wants just any job, we all want an excellent job, oh a dream job, a job in an office, in a building, with lots of other douchey college graduates around you.Realistically the same job that will push you into a premature middle age whilst your career is just starting off. Clearly , its taboo to have any other kind of job you’re meant to feel like a failure if you take a job slinging make shift dish antennas after college or let alone doing some thing creative like painting or taking up pottery. The false urgency that guides you and many like you to ascend the corporate ladder, with a false belief that some how that is the only route to success, it is actually the failure of our educational system, societal beliefs, cultural norms and the likes there of to make you think that way. In my limited view, those are exactly the things that prevent a lot of people from being successful, including you. You bet.

I know too well what happens when you take your first job. Let me provide some reflection for you on good authority. You feel grown up, wow you have your first desk job, but I know what happens(to the vast majority): You start off by trying to figure out ways and means to impress your boss, but due to your corporate/professional immaturity and lack of professional sensitivities, you do exactly what you shouldn’t. You come in early, you do every thing you get asked, you keep on brown nosing the boss by being the needy pup that you are, asking if you can do any thing else? Hold on eager beaver!!!

We know where this is headed, soon you grow to Loathe your boss and all the useless s**t he gives you. Funnily enough all the acts of graciousness you did by coming early and executing, have actually had your boss loose all respect for you, because sadly and frankly you don’t have any initiative of your own. That my friend is the persception you create by being an eager beaver. Soon you stop caring. Like clock work you start leaving before Mr.Boss Man, why, because f**k him. Now that’s not why you aspired for a desk job, you wanted a better car a house, you had dreams to finance…..

You come to the realization that you even though your job has started to completely suck the life out of you, the nagging in your brain begins, the worry that you will loose it, you try to get by, by doing the bare minimum every day, every week. Just enough so that your cost of replacement is a pain to the business. They are trapped, you are trapped, it’s a zero sum game. You F**ing hate your job, but you need it..

Clearly this is not what you thought getting out of school, this wasn’t the dream job your MBA had promised, this isn’t even half the job your Bachelors had lead you to believe you’d be entitled to. That is the whole issue here, the entitlement belief system..

So Kiddo, take it from a pro, these are the shadows lurking in the closet of the eternal work force and the corporation you are yearning to join. Please take a moment to evaluate this advice, you have a choice, even if you have obligations to meet and monies to return. You are freer than you think, that’s one thing I can assure you. You are free, because you believe you are, not because you think you aren’t.

So Kid, lets evaluate this, you are in your 20s, there is no spouse in the equation, and no one to please, hopefully there are no kids to feed (unless you are really really st*p*d and you had kids while you were in college and you got married too). At this stage in your life, there isn’t literally any thing that should hold you back or tie you down, (except maybe your parents and the token elder in the family demanding you to find proper employment, but you know what…just let it slide). Go define your own proper.

BTW, you don’t need to be in same gali, muhallah, area, street, town, city for that matter country. Don’t stick around your home town just because the girl who you’ve been sending the easy loads lives across the street or the guys who have chai with are the same guys you always knew..

The surest of way death is doing the same obscure shi* over and over again for the rest of your life. What you need to do is find some thing else, any thing, just not the stuff you are supposed to be doing, like getting a desk job. Time for you to figure it out, go to nathia gali if you have to. Clear your mind.

Its this kind of craziness in your 20s that helps you in the long run. You will absorb skills you didn’t think you had or needed, you will see cool stuff happening around you, meet new people, not at work, far from it, but under normal human interaction, within normally driven circumstances, not a dam* meeting in a 5X12 room.

Locate the last person who told you, you need to network, evaluate where their career is in relation to their job, do they see Richard Bransons reflection in the mirror in the morning when they comb their hair, if the answer is no, you don’t need their god damn advice.

Jump off a cliff, if you have a linked in profile in your twenties. Do you meet people like this, in sterility? That is the antithesis of networking, its border line corporate stalking and like the mafias lower cadres, organized harassment. Some random Joe wont help you find a damn job when you may potentially need one in your thirties. You know who will, the strange guy you met in Urdu Bazaar, who you had a political disagreement with and then later met to fix his uncles 1989 Honda Accord, that guy will help you eventually. If you’d like to be ignored by people who in your minds eye you are trying to impress then go the social media route and give them a reason to block you out. Don’t get me wrong, the internet is awesome for a lot of stuff. Just not what you think.

Every shi**y nigh spent trying to hitch a ride or loosing your bearings at a train station or airport, every single thing you experience from this point forth is useful, you just don’t know it yet. All this the soul food, you need it and it will help you. Every iota of negativity that you experience, you are likely to now have a higher probability of having a shared experience with others around you. Stuff others can relate to and so can you. Congrats you just upgraded the lenses on your world view, you now have one, your own. It’s all useful later on. You now have an identity and a story to tell. That’s it. Go tell the world.

This is the zero point in your journey, time to be selfish, have a go at terrible relationships, think about taking some mood enhancers, but please get it over with already. Learn the stuff every moro* your age has to learn. But for gods sake don’t be a god damn paper pusher at some Multi national because they have good looking peers. Imagine how much better you can do when you have your own money? Not borrowed money to count, report on and deposit on behalf of your slave drivers foreign ethics infused balance sheet.
Start doing some thing for your self, it will be way more meaningful than doing shit for others. The economy will always be terrible, the drawing room politics will always start with “bhai aap kay khiyal main haalth kiss taraf jaa rahay hain” your parents will always think less of you should you practice a profession outside of the family approved lineage or background. But be that as may, push comes to shove if you really falter in the end, and need a job, you will find one. You are over estimating your peers and your competition, just don’t text during an interview and you’ll get the job ahead of the m*ron who did.

Please stop associating with people who want you to have a plan, who want you to get a job, who are wondering what you are doing. You don’t need them in your life. Trust me it’s far better to have no plan, a plan will emerge . Consider it a badge of honor if you are the guy whose drifting along and people say “whose this person, what the F are they doing with their life”. You are now on to a remarkable journey. A journey of self belief .

I once met a guy in Ukraine, he was Pakistani. He came to pick me up in a company provided limo(note to self, the limo/the cars, the Mercs, are always company provided, don’t ever consider them yours). I was intrigued, because I was on the phone with my wife and as I switched off to say hello to him, he didn’t look any thing that would lead me to believe he was Pakistani. He turned around and said “bhai jaan sab khair hay ghar pay, bhabi theek hain?”. I could have sworn the guy was Ukrainian. Mazhar who I know to this day, was in Ukraine since 1970, he came to Russia on a Merchant Navvy Ship, he was exploring the local market when the vessel docked, it was the 70s, he got lost and in a rush to meet up with his crew, he fell down breaking his ankle and passing out. He woke up later in a hospital in a country, where he didn’t understand a word of what people were saying around him. He told me he made some shi**y choices early on, but then he started showing up at Junkyard, because he had no place to go, no place to sleep, but during the time he started tinkering with stuff, helping the guys fix things. He became a legend with his mechanical skills, he first learnt how to speak Russian, then he learnt how to write it, then he went to college in Russia and became a mechanical engineer, he was a ship hand on the ship that brought him there, he was 19 when he came. He then started fixing odds and ends and became the handy man of choice, he was the trusted foreigner who was becoming a local, he figured out a way to legalize his stay in Russia in an amnesty that was granted there. He helped a local engineer repair old cars and eventually ended up marrying his daughter. Fast forward some years, I meet Mazhar in Ukraine, he owns a fleet of over 200 Cars and trucks in a transport company he now owns. Mazhar came to pick me up because the service ticket had a Pakistani name, and he was a few drivers short on this bitter cold morning in Kiev . I was blown away with Mazhars story. It’s a true story it took him over 30 years of trials and life experiences but he made it by every stretch of the imagination. Mazhar will probably be amused when he reads it. But this is the spirit we need. This is the happenstance we must be willing to accept if we don’t want to die fat and stupid at a desk.

The likelihood that this will all happen for you is razor thin. But it is there, you wont know till you try it. There is no guarantee . The averages say it can’t be so. But that’s a success defined strictly by having lots of cash and having a big FU house with a car park supporting some double cabins per say loaded by armed personnel. That’s how society, the environment , the ecosystem of people around us , colleges and banks and the media think of success. Disposable , visible , available items that make up the cesspool that defines success. My dear 20 some thing year old, or perhaps 30 or 40 year old, that’s the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist, all this is a con, every one thinks they are far removed from it, but every body plays to this bastar*ized, hosed down view of what success really is. It’s a dream created by spending millions of dollars and investment of hours classical conditioning of epic proportions so that you have the same blue print like the other zombies out there.

Do you self a favor, don’t be a numberless victim in this life pageant , designed by corporations, fuelled by capitalists, preached by media, endorsed by governments and glorified by pundits, all for morons like you to drink the corporate kool-aid.

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