Where will you be my darling? Where will you be when the dark is rising?
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Aye, like I said in my previous post, I'm resigning.
I've worked at Creative Thumbprint for almost 5 months now ( two months after my graduation exhibition, which I still brag about, and which I'm very proud of, has been used as an example to other colleges as a great success. In KL and in Singapore. And that adds more to the bragging. Lmao.) as a graphic designer, which seems incredible, as I've had a working life for close to half a year. Throughout these 5 months, I've done a lot of work, relatively few designs I'm extremely proud of, and also, a lot of mistakes. Of course, I've learned from them, but there's a few issues that have driven me to resign this early. My initial plan was to work until the end of December, and resign, unless I was extremely satisfied with the workplace, at which I'd work for one full year. Then I'd leave. That was always my plan. And then a few things started happening...
Firstly, the colleagues. Now, I'm not bitching about them. They are very friendly people, and because it's such a small company, there's no office politics, despite some friends of mine denying that's impossible. Yet it is. There's no tension between anyone, and everyone is generally friendly with each other. They're pleasant people. The thing that annoys me however, is that they aren't very smart. Yeah, it sounds shallow but try enduring retardedness for half a year.
There's a few things... like one time a colleague was showing us a website that claimed it could determine a person's gender by their birthdate and some other minor details. I called bullshit, as I knew it was just as stupid as zodiacs and horoscopes. She said it was true, and a few of us tried it for our birthdays. Every single one was wrong. And she still believed it, because there was a website on it.
Another time they talked about satay. Its a Malay word, and they were claiming satay was of Chinese origin; that it referred to three pieces of meat satay was traditionally known for. I was skeptical, and researched it. In the end I was right for doubting. Traditionally it was four pieces, which throws the 3-piece theory to hell.
One other time it was the Hungry Ghost Festival, and one of my colleagues was wearing red. Another colleague claimed wearing red would attract ghosts to you, and he actually got so scared he went back and changed his shirt. Seriously?
Another time we talked about religion. The bosses are all Christian. The rest of the colleagues are all Buddhists, with me as the exception. One of them is a baby Christian with very messed up theology and strong Buddhist beliefs. I threw a bit of philosophy of evil gods into the topic and no one could answer me. One tried, and failed horribly, claiming evil gods are of fake religions, and only good gods were true religions, with no arguments to back up her claim.
There's a lot of other stuff like this that continually happened, and I realized that they weren't very intelligent. Friendly? Yes, academically smart? Oh definitely. Talented? Sure. Intelligent? No. Philosophically-capable? Nada. All this stuff annoyed me 'cause I can't stand crap, and I get it all the time. It's not aimed towards me (apart from the occasional bitching of Christianity by the colleagues), but hearing it all the time is enough to get anyone annoyed. This was just a minor reason. They're still pleasant people overall.
Another reason is I don't click with them very well. Yes, I know it's a company and as colleagues our priority is not to make friends, but to work with one another. However, friendships are going to form regardless if people click well. And I don't. Yes, there's laughter, jokes, talks, discussions and all that but it's very shallow, very on the surface. Add to the fact that everyone there is a native Chinese-speaker (include the dialects) and pretty often there's nothing much to say unless the conversation suddenly turns to English. I may understand Cantonese and Mandarin, but there's a lot of information lost in translation as I'm not that fluent.
And one more thing that was the main force for me to resign early, and not wait longer. During my fourth month, I was evaluated for confirmation, and whether I passed my probation. It was supposed to be only three months, but they wanted to drag it to five months to evaluate me longer. Okay, their reasons? Firstly, they doubted whether I was passionate in design. Why? Because they said I wasn't very initiative (that word again! Used against me by a lot of people I know) and didn't seem very interested. Firstly, that hardly counts as a lack of passion. And just because someone's passionate about something, does that mean they won't slack at certain points? Especially when you're stuck in an office for 11-12 hours a day? Plus even in college, all the top students; they're passionate and skilled. Do you think they enjoy every single one of their assignments? I highly doubt so. They can take it as a lesson, or training, but I highly doubt that they will be passionate for every single assignment and give it 100% no matter what. Every single one? I don't think so. And for the corporate world, there's a lot of boring jobsheets. I can do them. Does that mean I'll be interested in it? No... I find it really hard to be passionate over a flyer that needs to look cheap and "Giant/Mydin-ish" promoting food for sale prices. I do it differently and I'm told there's no "feel" to it. Some jobs are much more interesting than others, and so I would argue with the so-called observation that I am not interested in work. Perhaps you only observe me when I do boring jobs, and not the more interesting ones. In addition, I freely admit there are days where I do my work slowly, to drag time. But they're not common, and I only do it when it's like Friday, or it's nearing 7pm or 8pm. Not in the middle of the day, when there's still plenty of hours left. Yet this counts as lack of passion. I don't see it equated, but apparently the bosses do.
The bosses also said that for certain jobs I took too long. They could only specify two. I'd been working for 4 months at the time and all they could come up with was two? I've done a lot more jobsheets than that. I think percentage-wise, I'm pretty reasonable. One took really, long, and fine, I admit that one took a while to do, because there were constant amendments, and I began slowing down after a while. Is that my fault? Okay, fine. My fault. The second, it was hardly my fault. I'm only supposed to do amendments when contact reports are made and I change it accordingly. I was accused of not doing this certain job and it took so many days to do one tiny amendment. First of all, only when I was given the contact report, did I make the change and it was within minutes. I was given the contact report late. It's not my fault is it? Why should I be blamed for being slow on that? And I challenged them to bring up a case where I did not do amendments when given contact reports on time. Nothing could be brought up.
One of the last complaints they had was that a certain business card mockup I did was of extremely poor quality and thus, unfit to show to a client. Okay, fine. But let me defend myself. Their complaint was that it was printed on simile paper, with two papers stuck together back to back. It looked flimsy and unpresentable. Eh, okay. I guess if it was supposed to be shown to the client, that would be pretty bad. But I didn't know it was supposed to be shown to the client. Every (yes, EVERY) single mockup I've done had been on simile paper. To show to who? I don't know, I'm just told to do it. The designers have nothing to do with meeting clients anyway, so it doesn't really concern me. Plus I've been doing mockups here and there for the four months I've been there, and there was never a complaint about simile paper. Every mockup, unless specifically specified, used simile paper and it's always been fine. Yet for the namecard, suddenly I'm told it was meant for the client (which was never told to me) and why did I use simile paper, and didn't ask? Well, maybe because it's been fine for a third of a year! No complaints, no nothing. I make one flimsy card, and suddenly I'm asked why am I not inquisitive enough for this, and why don't I question more. If I've been doing something the same way for 4 months, and it's acceptable, I hardly feel the need to question why this particular round would need to be questioned. Especially when the question of asking more was never brought up in previous mockups, and they were all accepted.
I defended myself in every case, and they didn't answer back very thoroughly. I brought up the fact that I avail myself to help out the other designers in things like mockups or Photoshopping stuff or what whenever I'm asked, which explained away their insistence on my lack of initiative. Plus, I challenged them to go ask everyone in the design studio who always asks for the next job the most often. It is me. When I finish my work, I listen to a song or two, refill my cup, rest for a few minutes, maybe load up a song or something on Youtube, and then ask for the next job. And I do this very often. Too often in fact, that I realize many of the other designers don't do this. Regardless of why, I still hold the the fact that I ask "What's the next job?" the most frequently, and I boldly challenged the bosses to ask anyone in the design studio to prove my claims. You know what's the worst part? They said something along the lines of "We weren't aware of that." Great.
A legitimate case they brought against me was the fact that I read articles throughout the day. After a period of hectic designing, or when I'm resting a bit, I'd tend to read news articles from Yahoo!, MSN or other sites. I refrained from checking out comics and that sort of stuff. I openly read articles in front of them, because it didn't ruin my productivity (to me anyway) and it was never "fun" stuff. However they had a problem with it and told me to stop. Okay, I can respect that. I'm wrong for reading articles during work, even if it didn't affect me. So I stopped. Another case they brought up was me arriving at work at 9:30am when I was supposed to be coming in at 9am. I said that everyone's reading newspapers or eating breakfast, and no one really does their work until 9:30am. So slowly I began to use that extra half an hour for sleep, and arrive just in time and start work immediately. Instead of slacking around for half an hour, and doing my work. However, I'm rightfully supposed to arrive at 9am anyway, and for that I'm wrong as well. Very well, I began arriving at 9am, or at least around there since then. A few mistakes I made in previous jobs was also brought up as a reminder, and I duly took note of them, as they were completely of my own fault, and I recognized them as such. This in turn led to comments on my observation, and attention for detail. Another criticism they leveled on me was I was poor at layouts, and interesting colour combinations, which I'd say is subjective, but is still something they have every right to bring up and I may be merely blind to their legitimate constructive criticisms.
So, their complaints were mainly I wasn't passionate and took too long. And they wanted to drag my probation up to 5 months. I wasn't going to stand for it. My pay is only RM1700. I was cut down from my requested amount of 1800, because it was to match a colleague of mine. I initially thought after the supposed 3-month probation that I would get increased pay, and leaving at the end of the year or one year later would be reasonable. But if I get confirmed now? I'll be leaving like in a month or two, right after confirmation. I would feel bad for doing that, so soon. But since my probation was still ongoing, and my pay was still the same, I decided to resign and mentioned it during the evaluation after hearing all they brought against me. If they aren't aware of the contributionss I've made, I might as well resign now than wait. I said it'd be easier. I get to take a break, rest, and re-evaluate myself, while they wouldn't need to worry about confirming me. After all, I lack passion to them right? Why would you want a passionateless guy in a design firm?
A bonus would be that I have working experience now, and can request for higher pay. Even if I'm cut down, it'll still be higher than what I earn now. Plus I'll get a new job, and it'll be something new. Something for better or for worse? I don't know. I'll let the future show me.
Now, I know this post seems like a hate post on the company. It is not. It's merely to explain why I resigned, and some details regarding why. I learned a lot of valuable skills and many minor details to look out for, that I never did back in college. I have no qualms with any of the colleagues. Like I said, they're all friendly. Not intelligent, but friendly, and helpful. If I need help, they'll help, or suggest things to do, for improvements on my designs. It's just hearing crap very often is annoying, and they're also pretty racist as well, which doesn't bode well with me, even though I'm never a victim of their racist remarks. Just hearing it is unpleasant. The last things that pushed me to resign are all mentioned there, with reasons. And so, my final week of work approaches.
Creative Thumbprint and Yellow Thumbprint has been a very interesting time, with much learned, minor friendships forged, income earned, and now, a path for somewhere else... hmmm.