I had just spent the better part of an hour with a colleague raving and ranting about the inadequate hike that I had got and the "system" which was supposedly harming my career and how everything was going wrong and blah...blah...blah...
I turned back to my computer and angrily began to shut it down. I had decided to leave early as I felt that the organization that I worked for did not “value” my contribution enough. I heard a soft voice at the entrance to my cubicle ,
“Excuse me, Didi” . I turned around and saw one of our outsourced boys who did the low-end clerical work at the branch standing there. I rolled my eyes in anticipation of being hit by “problem” just as I was leaving.
He stepped in and placed a bag of lychees on my desk and then bent down and touched my feet and said , “ Thank you Didi, I have got a pay hike of 800 rupees a month and it means a lot to me and my family”. I guiltily sputtered some mumbo-jumbo of “ Well done and keep working hard etc, etc” and I felt tears pricking my eyes while I watched the young boy make his way back to his crowded desk.
I rushed to the washroom and I was ashamed of the person that I saw in the mirror looking back at me. A woman who had more than what most people who work so hard all their lives ever have. I thought about the young boy fresh out of college from a lower middle-class family who sat at a cramped desk and worked long hours, who valued the opportunity that life had given him by celebrating an amount as his monthly hike which I spent unthinkingly on trivial things month on month.
Wasn’t it time I stopped taking my privileges as my birthright and demanding more ? Wasn’t it time I was grateful that while people lost their homes and dreams to mortgage crisis, cyclones and earthquakes, I still had one to go back to; I had a job in one of the best companies; I had an independent identity; I had education and I had a family ….wasn’t it time I stopped complaining about things that I take for granted but which for other people remain as unfulfilled or broken dreams.
I stand repentant and humbled, with a promise to make the most of what I have been blessed with.