On work

Tonight, although I feel flustered and lethargic because of the great task ahead of me tomorrow, I chose to prepare my lectures and presentations instead of indulging in my usual self-defeating thoughts and routine procrastination. If this is a mark that I am crossing the fence to maturity, I am definitely not liking it.

Tomorrow, I’ll start working on another job. Currently, I hold three jobs, this one I am preparing for right now is going to be my fourth. By any standards, this is suicide. At the end of this month, I’d be more than happy to conclude my weekend classes, which will give me a two-day breather to smell the flower. Still, I have three jobs until October which is tantamount to slashing my throat with a rusty knife. If I do not die of hemorrhage, I will of tetanus or infection. If not from any or both, I’ll die of exhaustion from attempting to slit my windpipe with a dull knife. I should just hang myself then, but even finding time to hang myself is a luxury.


Is it about the money? Partly. I have to pay for food, transportation, laundry, rent (good thing this has been waived, but definitely is retroactive in nature), and stuff that give me an illusion that I am living a balanced life (movie tickets, books, play tickets, coffee, etc.).

Is it about the advancement of my career? Laughable. My resume will not leave a Makati CEO running for his cash. Besides, I have no intention of becoming a corporate slave. I can be any kind of slave, save a corporate boot licker, and never in Makati.

Is it about experience and seeing the kaleidoscopic world using the spectacle of an un-bespectacled over-worked-underpaid, cash-strapped, twenty-something worker? Melodramatically no. If I want to experience life, it’s not going to be through these means.

It’s hard to give a definitive response to the question why I am working or why I am working this hard.

We romanticize work and make it appear like a moral imperative, that it makes us more confident of ourselves and that we deserve to live because after all work is the foundation of civilizations, and because we work, ergo, it is on us that the whole concept of humanity rests, we are made to believe.

However, upon scrutiny and thorough philosophizing, we come to a grim conclusion that our reason for working is as mundane as escaping boredom or as banal as finding something ‘meaningful’ to do while we pass time. When our fleetingness finally comes to a halt and stop being fleeting, then finally we have truly freed ourselves from the thought that working ourselves to death is working to live.

We begin to live.


8 thoughts on “On work”

  1. Whoa, that’s really hard. I don’t know how you could handle three -going to four- jobs. I’m still in college, so I don’t really know the idea. But I’m in my senior year, so I suppose I’ll have to work, too, in the future. Reading your post makes me want to cringe in horror when thinking about the prospect of the my future.

    Anyways, I always read your blog, and I think it’s really awesome, Sir. Aja!! :)))

    1. paola marie,

      it was never my intention to scare you. for some people i know, working did not pose any problem. they work for a company, get paid, and that’s it. but it’s different if you seek for more. i am of this kind. i seem not to find satisfaction on almost anything. and for most twenty-something, this is the case.

      i am happy to know that you browse the pages of this blog. all the best.

  2. Sir! The “slashing my throat with a rusty knife” is so graphic and morbid hehe. It’s been a long time since I dropped by your blog…damo na ko na miss hehe…back in Manila? Will catch up on your other entries 🙂

    Good luck with the 4 jobs hehe 🙂

    1. hey doc ava. i also feel the same. yes i am back here, but i must be moving soon. i do not know. i visited your blog, it seems that you’ve been through a lot of reflections quite recently.

      i’m happy you made a brief stop here. cheers.

  3. I have just one job and it’s already killing me. What more if I had another? My job demands a lot of my time and the few hiligaynon words I know. Haha! Ga ka brain drain na ko. Maybe I need to adjust pa gd. And LEARN more Hilgaynon words and how to string them properly. Hai. Good luck with your fourth job Sir Fev. I hope you survive. Hehe 🙂

    1. you will soon get a more confident grasp of the language. and if you do, things will be easy. you should be thankful that your job still poses a challenge. for some people everything about their job has gone very predictable that going to work is not anymore as exciting and fulfilling.

      good luck, charmie.

  4. I know the feeling, I had three or four jobs all through my twenties, even now I have two jobs (though one is on summer hiatus, funnily enough, I don’t get any more done at the other job during this).

    I really regret having spent my twenties and early thirties working so hard. I’m not sure the money was worth it. Sometimes when you work to earn money for something, it’s not there any more when you have the money to pay for it.

    Is it really necessary for you to work so hard? I wouldn’t like you to make the same mistake I did and wake up a few years in the future to find that you have measured away your youth, not in coffee spoons, but in pay packets.

    Plus, you’re probably paying most of it on tax.

    1. it’s good to hear people sharing my experience. i am writing them now because someday, when i am too old to complain, i’ll have to relinquish all my rights to whine.

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