Monday, December 31, 2007
Yoi Otoshi Wo

An hour and a half to go until the year ends on this side of the world, and there is only one resolution I can stand by, which is to blog more often. The problem is that by the day's end, I'm too drained to wring out any coherent thoughts from my dried-up mind. In fact, it's been so long since I've sat down and put the feelings I've accumulated into written form. To think that I sort of prided myself for being able phrase things in ways that some find impressive. Oh well...that is the reason for this post anyway, to get back on the old horse. Lyn (who is fast asleep) and I decided to skip the traditional countdown to the new year and just kick back and relax for now. We can always drink our wine some other day. So here I am, finding a rare window of opportunity to post.

As for work, there is no other better way to explain how I feel other than just coming out with it. This was not what we came here for. We were told that we were to be management trainees yet all we do is just work for the sake of it. It was impressed upon us that our current duties would lead up to a certain career path, but we have slowly realized that this is just a job, and nothing more after the year is over. We have emailed our manager about our concerns, but his half-hearted ambigious answers offer me little reassurance on their long-term plans for us.

If I wanted to work, I would have stayed back home because what we're getting now is almost the same as I was earning before we came here. I could get paid the same and not have to be away from my son for so long. Technically though, we aren't compensated as employees since we're trainees on allowance. They led us to think that our difficult "training" now would result in a better position and of course better pay in the future. After all, nothing worthwhile in the long run is attained so quickly. That is why I agreed to supposedly train here (and earn the same for now) so that my hard work now would result in greener pastures later on. Yet, they just left us to our own devices to do the same thing over and over under the guise of training. I don't believe that it's culture behind this puzzling lack of guidance on their part. Any company around the world would at least set certain goals and a timetable for their trainees. As for us, we don't even have a single tangible piece of documentation to let us know what the hell is going to happen to us after (let alone a verbal explanation). Painful as it is to say, I traded one dead end for another.

But as Lyn has told me, it is really up to us to make the most our stay here so that our time away from Dan will be worth it. Even if the company truly has no plans to make us managers after this, our tenure here will still translate to weighty credentials for our resumes later on. Since immersion is the best kind of learning, our increased language proficiency is another asset that we'll inevitably have when our contract ends. Honestly, staying positive is an uphill battle, but it's getting easier with each passing day, even I might get burned out occasionally.

There many other insights and observations I've had about some of the people I work with and with my experience here in general, but that can wait for tomorrow. I just wanted to get back into the motions of writing again and knock something loose in the old noggin to get the juices flowing again, so to speak.

May you all have a happy new year, and I wish that 2008 will turn the tide for all of us. Next up, thoughts on snow (it just started yesterday), work and foodblogging :)