Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dream Job

In the year of 1996, soon after I finished my S-1 degree majoring on Civil Engineering, I got a job. It was in a Japanese company named Penta Ocean, in the field of civil construction. Almost all of my friends turned green with envy because they thought it was a good opportunity for a fresh graduate like me who was still green about work. 

As a n employee of the company, I got a very good salary, and health benefits. Beside that, I got job experience and of course opportunity to deal with people from other countries such as Japanese, Philippines, Canadian and American. The situation became a dilemma for me when I got married in 1998. 

I had to quit from my job because the condition on the field did not support me to have a baby. The field was far away from the hospital, and full day working hour made me too tired to have a baby. After having a baby through the sectio caesar, I felt in the pink for a couple of months. I enjoyed being a mother and housewife. But then I started to get stressed. My ego said that I deserved to get more. I needed a job so I could get back my self existence and pride.

At the beginning, every day I noticed many advertisements about job opportunities on newspapers. Once in the blue moon, I browsed the internet café nearby. I made application letters and sent them away. I was so happy after a couple of weeks waiting for the replies, out of the blue, I got 3 job interviews. I prepared my self well, especially my performance, because I wanted them to see me as a professional.

The first interview was for a Quantity Engineer position. The office was small and dirty. It made me lose my mood. In the cubical rooms, I actually caught some employees red-handed yelling to each other with the rude words that should be red-penciled. They were staring at me when I walked into the meeting room for the interview. The interviewer was an old lady with thick eyeglasses and wearing a blouse which I didn’t know exactly what the color was because it looked blurred. After some questions she explained about the salary. I wasn’t surprised when she mentioned an amount which was too small even to buy milk for my baby in one month. After telling her a white lie that I enjoyed the interview, I walked out from the room.

On the next day, I received a phone call for the second interview. The woman on the line said that her company would provide a driver who would pick me up to the office. I got my spirit back because I thought it might be a bona fide company. 

When the day came, I was picked up by a jeep driven by a young man. I asked him where the office was located and he mentioned the name of a place which I ‘d never heard before. The driver took me to the riverside, or a small harbor where a speedboat was waiting for me. I was scared and began to be depressed, because I couldn’t swim and there was no life vest on the boat. But I didn’t want to let them think that I had a yellow streak so I decided to continue. 

I jumped to the conclusion that the company didn’t put safety in the first priority. After 45 minutes sailing, we arrived on another port. We had to continue the journey by another car until finally there was the office. The interview ran smoothly but then I decided to refuse the job. The salary was bigger but still imbalanced and I didn’t want to risk my life for this job.

There came the third interview. The office was on a new building which looked representative. The interviewer seemed professional and dressed well. It made my hope grow once again. I gave the best I could when I underwent that smooth interview. I enjoyed it. When the interviewer gave me the chance to ask him anything about the job, I said I needed his explanation about my job description. The vacant post was for the Procurement Engineer, the same position with my previous job. 

His explanation showed me that the job was overlapped with other position. Besides doing the procurement tasks I should accompany the manager to attend meeting, to type letters which should be done by a secretary, and also to receive every phone call which should be done by a telephone operator. 

What made me more disappointed was he couldn’t give a fixed schedule for working hour. So if I became the employee I might work like a workaholic, doing the job overtime and should be willing to go everywhere to other cities without the fixed schedule to go home. He said that the salary would be negotiable, but it couldn’t white wash the situation. It didn’t make sense for me. Those whole things really made me blue in the face. I couldn’t find any job that met my expectation.

When I told my husband, he started to laugh at me. He stopped laughing when I was seeing red. He told me to calm down and asked me to see from other perspective.

Every cloud has a silver lining. Why don’t you change your point of view? Do not try to find your dream job, because it has already been on your hands.” He said.

 “ I don’t understand. I am jobless, aren’t I?” I said. Then he began to explain that I had already got a job. 

He said I was a financial manager of the family. I got all the money he earned and it was my authority to manage it well. I was also a chief educator for our kid. I was the one who knew our kid better than anyone so I was the one who deserved to choose which school was appropriate for the kid and what kind of education could be applied for the kid. He added that I would get all the facilities. 

He would buy a car so I could go anywhere, he would let me do anything I liked, such as shopping, going to the gym, going to beauty parlor, or anything, as long as I kept my responsibility to our family. 

I said that it was not enough for me. I didn’t want to become a stupid woman because being a pure housewife didn’t force me to use my brain. I didn’t want to stagnate and ended up green about technology and the latest news.

I finally felt satisfied when he said that he would allow me to learn anything I wanted and an internet access would be provided to support me to learn.

So, here I am now, a pure housewife. I can’t imagine another dream job that gives me responsibility, pride, happiness and pleasure at the same time. I learn something from this experience. Changing my perspective about something can turn the stress into happiness. It simple but teaches me much.