Life is unfair

We often hear the phrase ‘life is unfair’.

I had a conversation with someone I know (there are too many of them anyway) about certain things that she said it’s unfair. I will just be going to give an overview of why she said it’s unfair. I work in the same company for already 10 years and the struggle to have a salary increase is always the biggest problem I encounter. We lost a lot of employees because of salary. I tried to talk and send proposals to our management and I just don’t understand why they always rejected them. Last year, I started staying away from interfering with management decisions. It was also last year that I wanted to leave my job because of the conflict between me and my bosses on how they handle the needs of the company and the needs of the employees during the lockdown. But I do understand that we need to think of the future of the company to stay intact and to survive. That’s why I am still here because I do understand my responsibility and the struggle of the company to remain solid for the employees to still have a job as there are a lot of companies around the world that have to close down their businesses because of the impact of the pandemic. 

But some will never understand and will think of it as unfair. Working in a Japanese company is not the same as what others think of it. They think it’s like their favorite anime. Yes, Japan is a beautiful country. Japanese people are some of the kindest and humble people in the world. They are the most disciplined people I’ve ever met. But seeing and experiencing working in a Japanese company is not like anime or dramas or movies. Japan’s overworked culture is a well-known culture. Some employees are overworked as well as earning too little amount of salary that cannot support them. As we are an extension of a Japanese company being a BPO, we follow the rules and work ethics of a Japanese company. New employees will always be excited to work in a Japanese company but that will fade away once they started seeing the not-so-good side, the reality of working as a professional is not the same as what they read in Manga. In Japan, the total leave of an employee is 20 days annual leave (I hope I am correct), but we only have 10 days of paid leaves and it’s hard to even ask for approval for a vacation leave. Other international companies have more than 10 days of annual leave and the number of leave days is increasing every year until it reaches their maximum leave days. We tried to propose the same annual leave but as we predicted, it was rejected. Some will say it’s unfair, but I always say not to compare our situation to others because it will only disappoint us and will only increase our feelings of ‘unfair’ treatment. The thought of having a paid leave is already enough for me to be thankful even though I wanted to have more vacation leaves.

Every year, some employees who excel or have progress and reach the department goals will have a salary increase. But this increase is not what others think of, it’s only just more or less than 10% of their basic pay. The other increase is just 5%. And this increase doesn’t have a big impact on employees who needs more to help their family or employees who want to start their family. The increase is only meant for single people who don’t have any other family responsibility but living in a big city, the increase of salary will still not enough to accommodate the needs and finances. Hey! Urban areas have a higher cost of living.

When I was still an ordinary employee, even though it’s just a small increase but I was still happy and grateful about it. I don’t know why, but I never think of how much I earned. I focus on the thought that I had an increase even though that increase will not support my expenses. During that time, I was helping my parents with their expenses and my sister’s college allowance. Until now, I am still helping my parents and paying some bills. The thought of being appreciated by the company was all I think of, even though I spend a lot of hours working in the office than staying in my house and being paid a lesser amount of salary than an employee of other BPO’s that only stayed for 8 hours a day for five days. I also don’t have overtime pay. If others will be in my position, they will think of it as unfair. I think of it as work. Other people have worst situations than me and they are still thankful for having a job. The only regret I have at that time and until now, I never have saved money for my future because I can’t until now and because my salary can only help me with my everyday finances and my family’s bills. But I never complain about it (hypocrite! Of course, I complain about it too, but I accepted it). I just appreciate that I still have a job. I don’t want to make my life more complicated because it is already complicated. I cannot represent others because everyone has a different approach in life. Others have difficult life than me. I was and will always be grateful that even though I only had and have a small increase, but the thought of having an increase was and will always make me forget about the unfair situation I have. Comparing will only make it more difficult because it will create a stain of hatred. Though I wanted to have changes in the way our management is dealing with employees’ concerns, it will take a lot of years before the management sees and follow the trend. Along the way, in my 10 years working in the company, I saw some changes even though others still don’t know how to appreciate little things. We have conflicts and misunderstandings but if we have goals and knows how to appreciate small things, the ‘life is unfair’ phrase will eventually be just the same words of how life can be difficult, but we can still be happy.    

Life is unfair. Yes! It is always unfair because it was and will never be fair. A story doesn’t always have a happy ending if the writer doesn’t want to end it that way. It is at the discretion of the writer to make it a happy or sad ending. It is always our choice whether we want to continue living the life we have now or wanted more. I can choose to work in a different field or will fulfill one of my dreams of owning a construction firm, but I choose my current job even though recently I started building a different road to walk. I started making my other goals work like having my blogs, writing stories, and slowly removing my lazy habits of sleeping 24 hours a day.

But still, life is never fair. Because if it’s fair, as a Christian, I will never ask God. I will never be going to talk to God. I will never be going to know God. As a person, if life is fair, I will never know pain. I will never know failure, learn from it and get up to start my day. I will never know how to survive, work hard, or have goals to fulfill. Hey! Life is not exciting if it is fair. We can always complain, rant about our disappointments, blame other people because of our failures, compare our lives to those who have more than we can afford, but it will not change the fact that it is our choices how we live our lives and our decision whether we want to just sit, compare and complain about life for the rest of our lives or do something to make our lives better and the way we wanted it or the way we lead our lives. Not because we are good people, we expect that life should be fair for us. No! That’s not how the world revolves. It is how we handle the different situations of our lives. Some want to have a simple life. Some wanted more. Others are happy despite they could only eat once a day. Others will never be satisfied with the food they have even though they have more than they can think of. Some are born rich. Some are born poor. Some work hard to fulfill their goals. Others sleep and just continue dreaming of their nightmares. It is always our decision to live our lives. And if we could continue to say life is unfair, we just keep on increasing our hatred and remember, we only have one life. We can’t just sit and say ‘Life is unfair’ while comparing ourselves to our neighbors, friends, relatives, or strangers.     

Get up, say Good morning, and start your day. Thank the Lord God, for another day. If you don’t believe in God, thank yourself for getting up. Make your life worth it because it’s the only way you can say you have a beautiful life even though life is always unfair.

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