Friday, January 15, 2010

Lalique Rice Bowls

Remember what my uncle once said about the civil service and the private sector? Rice bowls, he said. He likened the civil service to a sturdy wooden bowl, be it ever so humble, while the private sector was a fragile Lalique bowl, apt to shatter at the slightest vagaries of a fluctuating economy.

Well today I actually turned down the Lalique bowl.

Not that it wasn't terribly tempting to grab it with both hands. Finally Mister Fortune beckoned with promises of endless bounty and yet I firmly closed the door on him. After weighing my present options, I figured it wasn't worth the sacrifice.

Working hard for the money?

As usual I made my pro-con list.

Though I would have money enough to spare to purchase a magnificent Pemberley for Charming Calvin, it would be years before we could even consider settling down together. A long-distance relationship might last the occasional parting of ways but I wouldn't stretch it with a permanent physical separation. You see, the Lalique bowl comes with a painful caveat - a near-instant exile into a rural backwoods even more terrifyingly remote than the one I'm in right now.

Another reason I had to say no. I couldn't possibly leave my aging parents stranded back across the lil pond. The filial piety card still works for me. With my brother miles away in the Middle East, I'm their only go-to person around here. And though my mother insists that some time in the sticks would be good, I don't think she meant it as a permanent stint.

At least those are the more humanitarian reasons. I do have some selfish reasons of my own. Like ye Gods, did I mention it's far away in the boondocks? I couldn't possibly imagine myself living in terra incognita forever. A fucking Starbucks at the very least! Unfortunately the significant hike in salary isn't enough to compensate for the loss of a social life.

Finally let's face it, it's all about me. I want a regular hum-drum routine for a while. A short lazy break from the crazed hectic pace I've been setting for myself these past few years. Just wanna get up, get to work and go home. No lectures. No quizzes. No presentations. And definitely no exams.

At least not for the next little while. Maybe I'll wait for the next Lalique bowl - hopefully one with less strings attached. And if not, the wooden bowl's looking quite alright at the moment.


raulito said...

I know exactly the feeling...I once had the same dilemma; to live in the Dominican Republic where I had all the advantages of a very lofty life, I owned an apartment, rent free and the living expenses would have been insignificant.
I still regret that decision but now I am going on a six year, argument and crisis free relationship with my own wooden bowl.
America is expensive and it its hard to make ends meet on a Social Security check. Both my pensions are gone now after the Wall Street collapse. But we still manage.
great writing.

ShAKirA CHOONG said...

Do what is BEST and WISE for your self .
Have a great weekend.

William said...

Oh well, plenty more in the future... Daum perhaps?

conan_cat said...

hum, true true! if it's real damn far away i'd pass on the job too, it's not worth the cash if you don't have a life to spend em on :X

Perky said...

Well, if it doesn't feel right in your gut, then it's most probably a good call not to go for it :)

Ban said...

Heh. The lack of a social life being why I won't go back to Melaka.

Darren said...

Kudos for a good decision. It's always best to consider the pros and cons. =)

Legolas said...

Boo hoo hoo... My Pemberley...

Bravebear said...

What I want is what I've got! hahahaa...

Jason chan said...

i rejected a postgraduate offer because it was a in-campus training in kubang kerian plus some other personal problem la.. so it left me no choice but jump ship and joined private.. been almost 4years now.. if you ask me have i ever regret, a little lo... is the pasture really greener.. not really lo.. at least not so for a MO like me..

Rookee has this interesting take on it.. Scientifically, it IS true that the grass is greener on the other side! He says:

..something about the direct angle at which we view a neighbor’s yard that makes the light reflect in such a way that more green is shown on a lawn farther away than the one at your own feet. In short, the grass you're standing on always has just a bit more brown than the grass that you're looking at, aspiring to, or dreaming about without any basis for your conclusions.

So, the grass is only greener when you're on the opposite side of the fence, looking from the outside! It's all a matter of perception.

Personally, I think the grass is as green as we make it out to be.. and if it isn't, it's really up to me to grow my own grass. sigh.. only realized it after i hop over!

As for you, enjoy you pemangku HOD in Miri and be a good hamba kerajaan! Cheers!

Janvier said...

Stop waiting to get headhunted and look towards the private sector in KL!