Fleet of thoughts from consumerism

by zee

Ever since I started working in this current company, I’ve been noticing a lot of spending-money-like-water and brand-worshipping. Actually, to put it more precise, I was aware of it for a while but could never pinpoint what actually it is that made me feel slightly uncomfortable. It seems like most of the experienced workers in the office drive foreign cars (be it Japanese, Korean or German), knows a whole lot of things to buying branded goods and fancy tech gadgets, eats out very often (and not cheap for everyday meal). Coincidentally 2 friends shared briefly about capitalism on Facebook and it was then that a lightbulb light up on top of my head. Ah-hah, perhaps “capitalism” is the word! Few weeks more passed, I came across this zenhabits article on consumerism and finally I knew I got the term wrong, haha.

I don’t understand what capitalism is, I’ll look up Wikipedia later. But I do know that I felt out of place working in a large MNC. Yeah, yeah, I am only a temporary staff and only into my first month; but there is always this gnawing feeling that tells me I have to leave ASAP.

Despite it being a hugeass MNC, the office here (for our division) is surprisingly small, comprising of only 20-30 people. There were no real separation to the departments, and we can see everyone just with one glance across (unless the managers shut their office doors). The sales department racks the most hype – these are the most outgoing personalities with the most interesting stories (or just eager to share/talk) to tell.

Everyday in the office I hear these reps talking on the phone – to “customers”, or leaving the office to visit their “customers”. In my head it was them trying their best to wrap up the highest amount of sales, the whole lump sum commission they will get at the end of quarter & year, the overseas training & meetings & company trips. I imagine their increasing sales target, the more selling they have to do, the more people will “buy”.

I don’t like the term ‘customers’ or ‘sell’. It objectifies these persons, make them into a cash-printing machine.

My division does not sell consumer goods, but the act of ‘selling’ on behalf of a bigass corporate just doesn’t sound appealing to me. At the end of the day, no matter for what purpose these products are used for, the company is still reaping the largest amount of profit. Money.

You spend money, use it to grow more money. You talk about properties and cars and tech gadgets and cosmetic/skin care products and good food and entertainment. And then there’s raising your kids, taking care of your parents, preparing for your own wedding.

Nobody talks about books or music or adventures or philosophy. What about the act of creation & good will & service? Did we (temporarily) lose our heart & brain and just live with our senses?

All these prompts me to think a teeny bit deeper about myself & my future:

If possible, I don’t want to work in the corporate sector. There are a few reason to this, but mainly because I don’t want to earn bigass loads of money on behalf of something that I don’t truly believe in. I don’t like the idea of selling people things they don’t necessarily need, I actually think it’s a sin (which I always fall FML). It is a freaking waste of natural resources as well. You need trees to print money too yeah? I don’t believe in corporate social responsibility as well, no matter their intentions. It’s an unfair blanket opinion la but the main purpose of existence of these entities is to earn money anyway.

Besides that, I really, really do want to help in whatever form I can. With my professional knowledge (eleh, not a good pharmacy student also haha) I want to provide good healthcare service to those who can’t afford expensive private healthcare. I want to educate them about the importance of health because these people are worth their years & existence.

Private healthcare also focuses on earning money. To me that is a sin, making money out of a necessity.

Not that I disagree with the existence of the corporate sector or how they operate, these people have different passions & life philosophies + they do need to make a living as well. We still love our toys, lol #firstworldproblem It’s just that at this time and space, the middle class is booming and the rich is getting richer, and consumerism will find a way to creep into people’s lives no matter what.

I want to strip off whatever that is not needed in my life, but it is definitely not an easy feat. The most difficult part I feel is not about parting ways with the lifestyle you’re so used to; but of not falling into the trap of marketing. Oh such hypocrisy.