Forming part of the world of work – a dream nurtured and cherished by so many of our youngsters today. After years of education and hard work, this dream finally blossoms into reality for well …a few ‘lucky’ ones… They get that job in corporate! Perhaps that will be the happiest part of their working career. God bless them!    
First of all, they will be groomed to fit into the much envied corporate culture. Their way of dressing, speaking, interacting or even laughing will have to match corporate standards. Hang on! What happened to individuality there?
For the next 40 years or so, those lucky ones are then going to head for office with a great sense of pride where they are going to ‘rule’ the world together with fellow co-workers, imbibed with expertise, ethics, professionalism and what not. Or, is it? Well, when get into the office, don’t be surprised if a few or most colleagues are reading papers or gossiping on who has worn what. After all life is stressful, and they have to let off the steam… except that some do this all day or throughout their working life. Their work simply consists of watching the clock tick until Friday afternoon comes… And you who thought that with your first class degrees coupled with excellent team spirit you were going to nail the corporate world!
How about the bosses then? Surely they are paid to come up with mind blowing visions and genius policies. Some get paid 100K salaries! That cannot not just for ‘la galerie’. Don’t be surprised if you come across bosses whose very existence is simply to drink the life out of their intellectually superior subordinates. People at the lower end of the hierarchy very often end up for example writing policy papers or writing goose bumps giving speeches – for their bosses. So what? At least your worth will be recognised.  Well, don’t be surprised if you are not even allowed to attend ‘high level’ conferences where your very own papers are going to be discussed or where your Boss is going to give that very speech you wrote for him! You are going to complain? Alas! There is no complaints procedure. Human resource officers are themselves at the beck and call of the bosses. You are in the corporate trap my friend.
For example, Mr. Konn Too has a few years of experience in sales in a company which does not have a good repute, enters as a mere assistant executive and ends up heading a department that deals with the economy, regulation and stability. How did he get there you’ll ask? Well, my friend if there is a Culture that rules the parastatals, then let me tell you that it’s the bootlicking culture. That is how people are promoted, how they get to travel, attend conferences, while the younger more qualified generation does the donkey’s work. Oh, let me tell you what Mr. Konn Too does not have. He does not have a vision, has no ethics, is not a professional, no ideas as to how to improve the sector, does not have interpersonal and communications skills. This is the kind of ‘Leader’ that the parastatal is proud to have.
So much complaining! Come on, there must be something good out of all this! I am happy to tell you that corporate people seem to fare quite well on the outside. They have nice houses and cars, and they take a happy, fun-filled family vacation every year. But, I have to break this to you. This is shortlived. Some of them are not happy on the inside. I can assure you. Many have family issues simply because they do get to spend enough time together. They have money issues because they fell for the false sense of security. They are unhealthy because Corporate Lifestyle culture supports an unhealthy lifestyle. Corporate Trap is making us fat. Back in college, most of us were fit. We had the freedom and motivation to workout. Once we start working, we are mentally drained from sitting all day and working on spreadsheets. There is simply no energy left for physical activity once back home.
After all, the corporate culture is all about moving up to get to the next level, trying to get the top. If you are not moving up, then you will quickly find yourself moving out. That creates an environment of greed and a mean-spirited attitude. People backstab and cheat others all with the hope of being viewed as a better performer. That’s the corporate culture in reality. But why should motivated and hardworking people be forced to move out in the first instance? Last time I checked we were living in a Democracy, where people have rights. I have as much the right to be where I am, the way I am, just like you. We cannot risk losing our standards, principles, and the values we got from our parents and teachers. Perhaps the best solution of all would be to remove life sucking bosses. How about that for a start? The country stands to benefit for sure! Hail democracy!
I fail to understand how we can aspire to be part of something that takes away our freedom, inspiration, creativity and our very life! I wish someone had warned me back when I was nurturing those false dreams. I wish someone would have warned. Something must be done and fast! Else, so many of our youngsters are soon going to find themselves in that deadly machinery called “Parastatal trap” laboring under the impression that they are going to rule corporate world oblivious of the fact that they are going to be ruled instead by… “office politics” or worst by ….”