Sunday, April 18, 2010

Blackberry Addiction

Have you got annoyed by someone you know keep checking their blackberry while spending time with you and talking to you?

Have picking a vacation destination without internet connection and mobile connection part of the requirement?

Blackberry gave me a lot of flexibility and convenience so I don't have to be glued to my desk and my computer all the time.  However, when it gets into your personal life too far and you don't know how to draw the line between your personal time and work, you got a huge issue.  Does blackberry enhance communication or impair communication?  Has it interfere with your personal life?

Why do you work such a long hour?

All day back-to-back meetings from 9-3.  Barely have time to inhale lunch during conference calls putting myself on mute.  Finally got to sit down in front of my computer, there's a long list of email waiting for me to reply.  By the time it's 5, I finally sort through all the "needed to reply" email but take home with me a list of to-dos that came out of the meetings the past few days.  

Sound familiar?

Chatting with a few friends who have worked for 3-5 years already now after college.  We found ourselves in the same situation.  The 8 hours work day is filled with communication, there's just no time to do real work to move projects forward.  What's going on?  Why can't we get all the work done at work?  

With remotely accessible computer to your work network, conference bridge, and blackberry, it makes it awfully easy to bring work home.  Because there's no time to get real work done, people bring it home to do it with all these technology that happens.  We all ended up working 3+ hours additional at home.  That's a 11+ hours day + commuting time.  This phenomenon resulted in employee burning out, higher divorce rate, more sick leave, and more stress in people in the workforce.  

Compare to my parents generation who are born in the 50s, before the internet and computer era, things are a little different.  The society is existing in a much slower speed.  Internet and computer enable the world to move along so much faster.  Before internet and computer, people can get things done faster than information is being transmitted or communicated.  Now, it is the other way around.  People cannot catch up to the speed of information is being distributed.  Since there's no longer the barrier of the availability of information, companies and consumers are expecting things to be done instantaneously.  

Everyone tries get things out of the door and have no sufficient time to think things through thoroughly, to evaluate and assess for the best solution, and to look back and learn from things that we do.  There's no time to take care of the people, and build relationship among co-worker.  Work became work, work and work.  There's no time to do other things.  

Internet and computer change the whole world.  It enhance communication and information distribution.  However, are we prepared for the aftermath?  Is faster and more really the better?



I got sunburned at a nude beach and can't wear clothes.
My buddies locked me in the trunk of an abandoned car after a weekend of drinking.
My mom said I was not allowed to go to work today.
I'm just not into it today.
I'm convinced my spouse is having an affair and I'm staying home to catch them.
I was injured chasing a seagull.
I woke up in Canada.

Source: 2009 survey of 7,884 U.S. workers and managers

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I'm who I'm.

May be I have lived in a bubble until now.  It is so important for people around me to all like me.  I care how people think of me.  

Recently realized this adds unnecessary pressure to myself of something I cannot control. There're so many things on my plate.  Having to satisfy and getting everyone to like me means I'm don't have my own thoughts.  Pleasing everyone means you are doing what everyone want you to do but not doing things you think you should do?

I'm learning "I'm who I'm.  It is too bad you don't like it".  That way, at the very least, I have my own point-of-view and have character.

Remember that Job is just a Trade

Relationship of employee and employer has changed 180 degree compare to my Grandpa's time.  It used to be the employer at certain level looking out for their employee.  Both ends are looking for a long term relationship and loyalty was the key to a good employer-and-employee relationship.

It is no longer that.  Number is the key to the employer.  Living through a few lay-offs at work, I witness that.  It is not good nor bad.  It is a change.  Unfortunately, I found this to be less human.  The human factor of a employee-and-employer relationship seems to diminished through the years.  Employment is just an exchange of benefit.  

Employer tries to put some level of humanness into this relationship by adding Engagement because people are people.  They need the human factor to motivate them in certain level.  Employer cannot offer it all, so they provided a discounted humanness instead to keep the relationship from falling apart.  However, the trust is no longer there.  

Employee asks, "Why is my team not engaged and motivated when I've already have done so much for them."  Is this what people are looking for?  May be to motivate is just as simple as behaving in a way to look out for your employee.  With action to show you care and appreciate their loyalty.  Trust needs to be built for engagement and motivation to harvest.  Short sighted decision in exchange for a temporary boost on the balance sheet is a costly price to pay.  

Remember, "What you pay is what you get."  

I grew a little older realizing this, haven't I?

Fears of Heading Toward 30s

I fear of.....

* Having babies over 35 and my baby have increased chance of Dawn Syndrome
* Still being clueless at work when I'm over 30s and people think I'm an idiot
* Loosing my friends due to sickness and accident
* My first grey hair
* My first wrinkle
* No one ask for my ID anymore
* Being too experienced and losing my ability to dream 
* Loosing my silliness and impulsiveness
* Work wearing me down
* Accepting the world is the way it is
* Reality wearing out hope

"You will understand when you grew up." is true!!!!

Sounds familiar?  At some point in your early life, someone must of told you that.  At least, a few people did to me.  It is true!

I thought there will be dramatic events or changes to me that would make me understand these things that made no sense to me when I was a child.  Nope.  Just one day, one minor thing happen, perhaps a cumulative of small events that had happened and this minor incident push me over the tipping point that I've all of a sudden get it.  That's it.  That's how it happen.

One day recently, I suddenly change.  I realize that I don't have the time of the world anymore like all children, teenagers and early 20s think they do.  Just like that.  Another sign of aging unfortunately or fortunately.  We'll see.

Post-80s Born Babies' Definition of Success vs. Baby Boomers

Being a 80s baby, I live and breath a constant struggle with what I've been taught as success versus what I have in mind.  

(I could very well an Asian thing).  "Adults" taught me since I was a child that success means getting a good education, finding a good paid/well respected job, own a house, and get a decent life style.  Grown up and lived/worked in Metropolitan cities like Hong Kong and Toronto, I witness countless people living up this belief of success and working day-after-day 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14....hours a day on weekday, may be weekends toward this goal of theirs.

Is getting a well paid/well respected job while giving up my personal life, social life, family life and may be health in exchange for money, and executive title means success to me?

In conversation with friends of mine who are post-80s babies, I found a number of us are struggling with this question.  

I notice a lot more people in their 20s really try to expose themselves internationally and acquire a wide variety of life experience.  If can afford, we are willing to take no pay leave for an extended time away travelling.  "What a luxury you kids living a spoiled life!" is not an uncommon comment I've heard from a few Baby Boomers I told of my travelling.

This kind of choice speaks of a characteristic of post-80s born babies.  We're in search of the meaning of success for our generation.  We question what we've been taught by our parents.  Does it apply to me?  If not, what is?

Success should encompass both personal and career.  There should be balance.  And personal and career goal can be an integrated goal.  Why not?

I'm excited to be part of a generation that is shifting from previous generation's mind set.  There's a new era ahead of us for sure.