"I am large. I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Where Do You Draw the Lines?

Do you ever wonder when exactly is it that you take that significant step that changes where you stand and seemingly who you are?

When do you cross that line between overweight and obese? When does sadness become depression? When do you stop being one of us to being one of them?

When do you cease being one and start becoming the other?

I wonder about that because in these past few weeks, a number of staff (in our office and in other offices of our company around the world) were let go. Part of my job is answering questions from the media about the lay-offs. So I am - for all intents and purposes - the spokesperson for the company.

I don't mind the role - I've been in this line of work for a while now and it comes with the territory. I don't savor it, but I do it because every job entails something you can do but don't like to do. And this is it for me.

Then two incongruous incidents took place today that made me think about crossing imaginary demarcation lines.

Firstly, I had a meeting with my Singapore-based boss after weeks of facing the media and she asked if I was doing ok. I said yes. And it was the truth. I am ok. I was, to be honest, feeling hideously flabby for not having exercised for months, but it wasn't the sort of thing she was intimating was bothering me anyways.

Secondly, a colleague of mine who's not part of our team sat beside me on the bus and asked me a lot of questions. Why did the company do this? And many other questions along that strain. I found myself explaining best I could where the company was coming from.

Which made me pause.

When did I cross the line from being an employee to being part of management? Because I so can see where the company stands on things and in some ways, understand the reasons.

It's not to say that it doesn't affect me when people lose their jobs. I am bothered, of course. It just hit me today that it bothers me less than previous years. Thus, I find myself peculiarly bothered that I am not bothered as much as I would like or expect myself to be.

And I am left thinking that it's either because I've become adaptable to change - or at least keeping my head steady in the midst of the changes. Or I've grown cold and blase. Or worse, uncaring, cynical and hard.

And it made me sad today to think that I was going that way.

No comments:

Blog Archive