Monday, June 17, 2013

New Job

I have been at my new job for a month now. Similar to the support role in Singapore but in a wider arena - more people, more requests, more applications and more developers. Technically it is not a difficult job but the volume and scale requires one to be organized, disciplined and unhesitating. It is a job that requires instant action or one will be left behind.  Not only is the assignment new but I have to keep working on my current project as an analyst plus the other assignments given me: on obsolescence and coordination with the China project – a contributor role that is not big but pressured because of China; the name itself giving import and priority above all else. But the local office has its own priorities and agenda which make the gathering of resources difficult. So ones needs to be shrewd like King Rat, where one learns to scrap by, looking for any lead or opportunity or advantage that will one can get by with, the barest minimum to claim a passing score if not all out success.

Frankly, I like the job and the effort would be easy if it was the only thing I did but one still goes about his own agenda, continuing to clutter one’s mind with endless input that one cannot help it. The situation reminds me of Nam June Paik’s exhibit at the National Gallery in Washington, DC where one long wall in an immense room is filled with television or computer screens displaying images all over the world while a small section entitled Matrix goes about its own set of images and not coordinated with the other screens. It was the first time that I appreciated modern electronic art and that was the first time I realized what Paik wanted to say, with his modern exhibits of television screens amidst a garden, robots and more television screen which seem to portray the digital age and its dizzying complexity and confusion. It was the first time I felt that art could indeed guide the world by providing insight to ordinary people. I sat down and watch the images unfold in the multitude of screen, each telling its own story then coming together to tell the same story like river collapsing into an ocean, the images constantly changing and merging together.

I had never appreciated avant garde art before and did not quite understand Paik’s work but I understood immediately the disorientation due to technology that he wanted to express, as I compared my job with its constant email alerts from automated programs, where people across the organization create tickets which zap through the ether into my inbox and which I need to undertake a sequence of actions corresponding to the message. I miss the old days when one meets people and talks to them and work through a problem, although that does not go away but one has to schedule meetings, book rooms create agendas before one could have a simple conversation with the aggrieved user like in the past. The job is bewildering, where one accelerates intake of stimuli which I rather like and one of my strengths so I am in an area of advantage. This allows to one have extracurricular activities like continuing my reading in history, art, finance economics and investment. It’s funny that one finds himself in fruitful circumstances where one has opportunities to invest in real estate and stocks which also produce stress with the desire to participate in the boom.

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