(From Aidan Directors Blog, 12 March 2009)
To achieve anything worthwhile, you have to work hard. Try to think about a single achievement that you can achieve without any hard work. I can come up with only one: winning the lottery. Since the odds of winning a lottery is miniscule, not to mention playing the lottery is haram, we can discard this one out. Every achievement, however small, requires hard work.
There is no substitute to hard work. You may have gotten a degree from a top university (that itself require hard work), but if you slack off in real life, you will not achieve anything great. Maybe you’ll become a corporate drone or a career bureaucrat; respectable, but not great. You may have inherited millions from your parents, and enjoy all the money, without working a single day in your life. In ten years, you would have used up all the trust fund money and you would be forced to work for a living. That’s why rich spoiled brats always end up in mediocrity, unlike their parents. You may be a talented person – in music, in sports, in arts – but without hard work, you will never end up like Nicol David, but rather like the national football team.
Working hard is the sign of growing up. Children and teenagers don’t like to work hard because it is not considered cool to study all the time. Even top students try their best to hide the fact that they study a lot, so they would be considered a “slacker genius” by their friends. Being a “slacker genius” is a social asset among schoolkids, while being a “nerd” is so not cool. That is the work ethics for children and teenagers, and that’s why they are not in charge of anything important.
Unfortunately, some people bring that kind of work ethic to their workplace. They want to appear to be competent, without actually working hard. So, the only alternative is to bullshit their way around the office. When the paperwork is not done on time, it’s because “we’re still enumerating all the possible plans of actions, and until we have weighed all the relevant considerations, we will not commit in black and white our deliverables for your further review”. This kind of bullshit talk is prevalent in corporate setting by stupid people who can’t get a simple job done without feeling like doing hard labor in Soviet gulag. Business jargons are often used to mask incompetence and laziness. It amuses me that some people who never worked at a corporate office are fond of business jargons. People who know better understand that business jargons are bullshit.
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Some people, in lieu of hard work, use their political skills to get ahead in the workplace. I do not have a problem with this group because 1) politics is hard work in itself; 2) compared to the bullshitters, political animals are actually competent people. I love when I see political animals in action. They can be very skillful and manipulative – talking to people softly, building alliance, creating drama, dishing dirt on their enemies, stabbing people at the back, and flirting with the boss. Short of fucking your boss to get a promotion, I think office politics are fair game.
But I digress.
I am pissed off by people with mediocre work ethics. There is a difference between not doing your job well because you hated it, and not doing your job well because you are lazy. The first group made a bad choice and have to live with the consequences. The second group is simply irredeemable. Lazy people pisses me off to no end. Incidentally, these are the people who complain the loudest about the “economy”, about how “the government is doing nothing”, and about how the boss is an asshole. No, you are the problem. Your work is shit and you are a liability to your employer. Mark my word, you will not get anywhere in life with that attitude. I will not be surprised to see you at the same desk after ten years, still bitter about being yelled at by the Boss who makes more in a month than you make in a year.
Stupid people who don’t like to work are leeches of society. Fortunately, there are no unemployment welfare system in Malaysia, unlike in the US. During the last general election, some political parties wanted to make Malaysia a welfare state. I’m glad they lost. Yes, by all means help the poor and the downtrodden, but do not give money to people who don’t want to work. Cradle-to-grave social security will bankrupt the country.
The same stupid people are those who swallow totally the promise of quick riches so they don’t have to work anymore. Pamphlets for “skim cepat kaya” often include testimonials like this:
Dulu saya kerja dispatch sahaja. Gaji sebulan tak sampai RM700. Hidup saya sengsara, duit cukup-cukup je untuk bayar makan dan sewa. Semenjak saya mengikuti program Cepat Kaya ini, saya mendapat RM1000 setiap hari. Kalau tak percaya, tengok penyata bank saya di bawah ni. Sekarang saya goyang kaki sahaja di rumah, tak perlu penat-penat bekerja, pun duit masuk. Umpama duit datang dari langit.
I will not comment on the get-rich-quick scheme and how destructive it is, because many people have written about it. I just want to point out is that this man, who started off with an honest job as a dispatch, actually thinks that “goyang kaki di rumah” while waiting for “duit datang dari langit” is something to aspire to. How screwed up is our society when people think that not working while waiting for illegal money is something to strive for? Doesn’t work ethic means anything to people anymore? And they think that waiting at home and “goyang kaki” is better than earning a honest living? People are morons.