It is 5:12 AM. It is funny that I think this is too late to go to the gym. I might not make it back in time before everyone awakes so I don’t go, but there is plenty of time to write in my journal.
I’m now 39 years old and 40 quickly approaches. This seems so strange to me; how could I possibly be this old already? They say that it is “midlife” but it seems to me not very many men are making it to 80 years old these days. Even if they did the second half of life should go at least twice as fast as the first half since time seems to speed up the older we get. When we’re young an hour is an eternity whereas now I could just close my eyes and two hours would pass in an instant. Therefore, given that my perception of time has greatly accelerated by at least a factor of two, I would only have what would seem like 20 years of ‘life experience’ left. But that is assuming I’ll make it to eighty years old. If that isn’t the case then my remaining 20 years decreases! I also just ate pizza and drank coke last night; perhaps I should partake more of the fruit bowls instead. Sad.
No matter, I plan on making it to 90 years old. At 90, I’ll have had enough life experience and be ready to move on. I say move on because I’ve thoroughly convinced myself this reality is just a small little drop in an infinite sea of the true, underlying reality. All we currently ‘think’ we know is that the universe began 13.7 billion years ago and it seems that it will continue expanding and cooling until all lights go out. To me, I like to think that the story of this universe is just one word in a thousand volumed encyclopedia sitting in an infinite library. The question then is if my consciousness transcend that word, encyclopedia, library and what exists outside the library?
When I was a child the priests would tell us that we would go on to live forever after death. This idea of living forever scared the crap out of me. I would contemplate that word ‘forever’ and come to a very deep understanding of its meaning and implications. To be conscious and for it to never, ever end is absolutely terrifying!
It seems I’ve wandered into a subject that I did not intend to write about this morning. I’d like to leave the thought of eternity and return to my thoughts today, on Saturday, June 4th, 2016 when I am 39 years old.
There have been a lot of changes recently. There is a saying that the only constant is change. Some change I like, especially if I’ve initiated it, but most large sudden changes usually do not seem to be positive ones. For example, my neighbor across the street lost his house. He remained in it for over a year but finally had to vacate and contractors have been there daily getting it ready for the new occupants. Here in California one does not know their neighbors well like we do in the midwest so I only said probably four words to him in five years but I could tell he was a nice guy. It makes me sad to think that he lost his home, the place he had occupied for much longer than I’ve occupied my own residence. Looking on the Trulia app I see many people whose homes have been foreclosed. Every single one would be a story of sadness most likely compounded by things like divorce, loss of jobs and so on. Every single one would require the persons or families to move to a small apartment or even out of the state entirely since rents are atrocious right now. Looking at these homes on Trulia one only sees a few cold details, not the incredibly sad story behind those numbers.
In other change the company I work for hired Bain Consulting and from their advice should most likely change their name to ‘Bane’ Consulting. From where I sit they just tell management to fire people and that is what has been happening. “Through our extensive, trademarked analysis based on two hour interviews with your employees we’ve found that if you fire all of these employees and make others do three times the work, you’ll save money approximately equal to everyone’s salary who you’ve fired.”
And so, people who have been with the company for decades suddenly find themselves out of work all thanks to these monkeys at ‘bane.’ Furthermore, people I rely on now find themselves with three times the load and customer service is starting to suffer.
I took a look at ‘bane’s’ website and found the usual business speak drivel.
Our highly customized teams bring each client a combination of deep industry knowledge and expert perspectives from other industries on the challenge at stake, to offer our clients fresh perspectives and breakthrough business insights.
Yea, bullshit. A few top leaders are screwing things up and so to save their own asses they hire a consulting firm to come in and ‘make things more efficient,’ ‘drive out cost,’ etc. What this means is to fire people while making those that remain do the work of those they fired.
In the background of the quote above there are a bunch of very serious looking professional people dressed in their suits and ties giving that typical business look with the furled eyebrows and look of concentration as they soak up new business knowledge. These are people who are certainly gaining ‘fresh perspectives and breakthrough business insights’ if I’ve ever seen it by golly.
If they were to completely realign the company, shake things up by giving new responsibilities while shedding the pointless, unnecessary, paper pushing aspects of the business then that would really be something. But no, management in most corporations are usually content just to fire a few people but do not have the balls to really make a big change. Management usually just want to hold on to their jobs and paychecks while making a minimal amount of change in order to show they are actually doing something.
And so, when I do go into the office it is a ghost town where places certain people occupied for decades now are empty. There is a continual message coming out of HR in every company that we should be excited and proud of the corporations we work for and many buy into this. The reality is one should do a good job but for themselves, build their personal brand and then use it to their advantage. Long gone are the days where you’d work for the same company for 40 years and then get a nice retirement dinner with a gold plated watch. The usual term these days are three years, then you move on to a better paying job at a different company. The corporation only cares about its workers so long as ‘caring’ increases profits in some way, this is what corporations do. And so the individual should only care about the corporation so long as it increases the knowledge and expertise of the individual which can then be used at other companies for better paying positions. In this way a perfect symbiotic relationship is created and harmony is restored.
HR will try to disrupt the harmony and make everyone believe we are a happy family, and the corporation is a caring entity looking after each one of its employees. HR is a disruptor of harmony. But the good news is nobody reads e-mail from HR anyway, so they can be ignored.
Well, I’m glad I’ve written this down. In twenty years I’ll look back and remember what what happening in a company that I’ve long forgotten and might not even be around anymore. After all, the consultants will keep consulting, companies and people will come and go and in the end all I’ll have are a collection of memories, many of which I’ve written down in this very journal.
It is Saturday and the time is now 6:13 AM. Saying that I’ve just remembered how the radio used to announce the time when I was a kid and that made me remember Paul Harvey and how I enjoyed listening to him on the radio. I cannot believe I’m 39 already, it has been a long time since I’ve heard the time announced on the radio or listened to Paul Harvey.
Now, I’m a dad and today I’ll take Kai to karate class and then Ren and I will go for a walk. After that we’ll eat at Santa Ramen, go shopping at Nijia, then come back home and play. Another day will pass, then weeks, then years sprinkled with changes both small and big and life will go on.