The manpower jinx in my department continues.
A week ago, one of my colleagues suddenly fell very ill. He had to be sent to hospital. A CT scan revealed a serious problem. It was literally a life-&-death matter. He had to undergo emergency brain surgery. The surgery went well, and he is out of Intensive Care, but he is still in hospital. He won't be back at work for several weeks.
Meanwhile, yesterday, it was announced that another colleague had resigned. Not even bothering to stick around to collect the bonus for 2010. Mr Foreign Talent, who came to sunny little Singapore 4 years ago, with wife and kids in tow, is now packing up and going back to his home country. He hasn't found a new job. He just doesn't want to work here anymore.
Throughout 2010, people have been quitting and most of them have not been replaced. The office has so many empty desks now that it's depressing.
Last night was also my department's Christmas party. All these years, I've always made it a point to go to the Christmas party. This time, I didn't go. I would have liked to. But I had too much work. So instead I was in the office working till slightly past midnight. As I worked, new emails continued to arrive into my inbox - from London and New York. These are the perils of working in a global investment bank - the sun never sets, and the work never ends.
I've been told that I'm well on track for promotion. Barring any unexpected circumstances,m the promotion should happen in February next year. I suppose this is a good thing. I suppose that I should feel happy or excited. On the other hand, I cannot honestly say that I feel happy and excited. Right now, nothing about working here feels happy or exciting to me.
Part of me is angry with myself, because I know that I am responsible for maintaining my own work/life balance. I know that I am at liberty to just walk out at 6 or 7 pm and that no one would say anything about it. What compels me to stay later and later in the office - as the overall manpower shrinks and my own workload grows heavier and heavier - is my own sense of responsibility and professionalism. It's my own warped drive and determination to get my work done, with a certain degree of quality and care.
I was discussing this with another colleague yesterday - he consistently works late too, in fact, later than me. I know that like me, he still tries his best. What did I tell him yesterday? I said that one day, if he notices that I'm regularly leaving home at 6 pm, then this means I don't care anymore and I've given up on this place.
As of today, I haven't given up. Yet.