Saturday, August 11, 2007

wake-up call:
They pay you for your opinion

Something really weird happened. Because there was still 9 minutes to the train at Oxford Circus (and the air inside the station was unbearable) I walked up the stairs and back onto the street. I was still kind of tipsy from the few drinks I had. Then I walked several stops towards Tottenham Court Road, and got onto the bus. Two really sleazy-looking, glassy-eyed older guys sat next to me and started talking. When they found out that I went to the LSE, they started asking me the kind of questions about the world economy that often my parents ask, questions they already know the answers to, they are just quizzing you. It reminded me of an internship interview where I stunned my interviewer with my deep ignorance. I mumbled about the credit troubles and mortgage crisis, found out that they are in "property business" and they "trade for themselves." Just making small talk, I mentioned the high housing prices, and they asked me how long I think high prices were going to last. I said I had no idea. At that point they had made up their mind that I'm pretty darn stupid. They gave me this small horrible lecture about how higher interest rates curb inflation and how Mervyn King is about to raise the rates (fittingly the bus was just passing by Bank.) Bernanke, on the other hand, is apparently not so keen on raising them because he's worried about slowing growth in the US. Earlier, at about St. Paul's, they had asked me what I wanted to do and I said I wanted to be a journalist.

They told me that at any kind of job people will pay me for my opinion and I should have my own opinion. That made me question what the point of my $160,000+GBP 20,000=5 years-education was. I felt like I'm genuinely wasting away, defying the whole purpose of all that I've done so far. And I have this expectation that whatever I do, it should be more than enough. In fact, what I do is far below par. I'm really just a lucky spoiled girl who always had it too easy, and expects it to continue being like that. I don't understand that I should bring something worthwhile to the table, and people have no obligation to listen to me, care about me or respect me if I don't.

Only today I called up this venture capitalist who funds clean tech companies and he was so passionate and confident about his work. I don't want to be the person who calls up people all the time. I want to be someone people call up. And I need to have my own opinion and brains for that.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"My mind seems to work and tick compulsively and as regularly as a clock, until it reaches brinking point and my thoughts are too full to be contained and have to be thrown up on paper.
Making sense of the world around you is easier when laid down on paper".

Ms L.

Anonymous said...

First you tell them what they want to hear and then other people will pay for your opinion.

Pratik Dattani said...

anon's comment above is pretty true. as i like to think of it: "when in doubt, conform". once you've conformed enough and everyone thanks you for it, THEN you have to power to, credibly and with force, project independent opinion.

i try not to live by this, but it's a pragmatic reality... :(