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Dr John Hawkins

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Cinderella didn't go to the ball, but was left to ponder the Four Noble Truths a bit

Posted on 2007/12/17 22:52:00 (December 2007).

[Wednesday 12th December]
Tonight was my company's Christmas party (the one for the whole office, as opposed to the one last week which had been just for the engineers). I ummed and arred right up to the last minute about whether I was going to go or not, but in the end I didn't. I was put off by a number of factors. Firstly it was being held in a nightclub (albeit one which was exclusively booked out for the purpose) so I suspect it wasn't really going to be my sort of thing. Secondly not many people on my team were going. Thirdly it was apparently fancy dress and as always I hadn't got my act together on that front. The final nail in the coffin was that Chie had arranged to go and play bingo (no, that isn't a joke, she really actually did). So I just thought sod it, and decided not to bother.

I stayed quite late at the office, and had a long chat over dinner with my manager about the future of the project, and so on. This turned out to be quite a good opportunity for us to have a one-on-one as he'd just got my annual raise letter and took this chance to hand it over to me. It was quite a good raise I suppose, but somehow I failed to get excited about the whole thing. What actual difference is it going to make? Day-to-day life is still going to be the same, just slightly more will go into a savings account which eventually one day will get suddenly vaporised as a deposit on a hideously overpriced pile of bricks somewhere.

I've noticed I've significantly more money driven over the past year or so, and yet at the same time the act of actually getting more of the stuff has become less fulfilling than ever before. This probably shouldn't be so surprising, there's undoubtedly a vicious circle as regards the acquisition of wealth, whereby the more one is desirous of it, the less one is satisfied by achieving it.

It's only a matter of time before I see through the madness of the modern human condition, and make a dramatic conversion to Buddhism.

After leaving the office I went home and spent the remainder of the evening working on my side project, particularly in light of the fact that the big boss of my main project would be over from the US the following day, and I wanted to have something flashy to show him.

Comment 1

Well at least they are telling you that they appreciate your job. In my present condition I cannot even dream of a pay rise, let it be a simple nod to tell me that I am doing good... :( You should be happy about it!

Posted by Lox at 2007/12/18 22:40:11.

Comment 2

Hmmm... I'm not questioning the fact that it is good in the context of a career etc, but more I am concerned that I'm really missing the point. The point being what life is all about etc. For the first time in my career I'm being paid well, my hard work is being recognised by my peers and superiors, and yet somehow I am still not satisfied. It makes me think that I'm looking to completely the wrong things for a sense of fulfilment. Perhaps it is never going to come from material gain. Perhaps it isn't even going to come from the respect of the people I work with.

I think I need to shave my head and wear more orange.

Posted by John at 2007/12/18 22:56:44.

Comment 3

Well it's a start at least, I think that you should focus more on what goes around you, rather than concentrating only on yourself. I have been a selfish little bastard for a long time, and probably I am still a selfish little bastard, but recently even if I got a massive pay cut to start this new job, and things are shite at the moment, I still consider myself not "so" bad, because there are people next to me that are in worst situations... That doesn't mean that I am not trying to make things better, but at least I (sometimes) enjoy the little that I have... What's wrong with being happy about the pay rise, work life being good and marital status being sorted and being back to your country, etc etc etc? Sit back and enjoy! :D

Posted by Lox at 2007/12/19 18:20:38.

Comment 4

I think you need a hobby, John, or to do some work for a voluntary organisation helping down-and-outs.

Posted by John's Mum at 2007/12/20 10:20:47.

Comment 5

I can help here... drink alcohol all the free time you got... get credit cards and run them up, using them for cash obviously... have kids, there're money hoovers... you should find eventually, after a lot of dedication to following these points, you'll appreciate the raise more!

Posted by Karl at 2007/12/22 03:05:31.

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