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  1. #1
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Does goobers need to be slapped? (long)

    Apologies in advance for the excessive length

    My life right now is pretty good. I've got a decent-paying job with stupidly low taxes and good health insurance. This allows me to live in a nice apartment and have a cleaning lady come a few times a week. It has let me go on two big trips this year, to North Korea and Canada, and made it possible to buy my new Jamis. I'm also in a strong position to get a decent raise in near future.

    But I've never felt more disconnected from a city and life in general than I do in Shanghai. I work long hours, and in the last few months have put in a bunch of weekends, too. By the time I get out of work, I'm too tired to enjoy my main hobbies: riding my bike, playing my guitar, and singing in a choir. Talking to my parents on Skype yesterday, they mentioned they hadn't heard me sound so low and stressed out in a long time (and I thought I was actually feeling OK when I was talking to them).

    I feel disconnected from the people here, too. As a foreigner in China, this is inevitable, but it's worse here than Beijing, and it's really starting to get to me. At the same time, I find it difficult to relate to many of the foreigners I've met here, who are frequently obsessed with drinking, careers, money, and finding hot Chinese girlfriends. Not to say there's anything wrong with those, but everything in moderation. When expat social life revolves around over-priced and over-hip bars, moderation is hard to come by.

    As for that good-paying job, it's starting to come apart at the seams. We've had a series of management shuffles, and many people I liked working with have left. I'm finding my work frustrating and unrewarding... it seems that my skills are well-suited to the job, but that I am not. In November, I will have been working here one year -- a decent length of time in the PR industry in China. Many of my co-workers have been working in their current positions for less than two years.

    I've been thinking about a change, but part of me is reluctant. Taking up another job in Shanghai would mean staying in this city for at least another year, and I'm not sure I want to do that. In addition, none of the jobs I've found so far are as good (financially and for "career development") as the one I have now. Staying in my current job would provide financial security for the forseeable future. Moving somewhere else opens up a whole other can of worms, but is sounding pretty good right now. I wouldn't do it to run away, but rather to return: to Beijing or to Hong Kong, where I have a number of very good friends.

    I do know that I don't want to be in PR for the rest of my life -- a former co-worker and friend of mine told me that he had never met anyone less suited to the PR business (in a good way, I think).

    I think what I'm trying to say is: should I just shut up and be happy with what I have? Is it too much to expect a job to be interesting and fun? Should I just stick it out for another year to save up some money? No matter what, I'll be staying at this job at least through to the end of November and will look for another job if I leave.

    The only long-term plans I have are attending a friend's wedding in Asia next September, and riding across Canada in Summer '09. Also, I'd like to go to grad school somewhere along the line. What would you/Foo do?

    Also, if any Foosters are hiring, let me know . Portland is looking pretty nice right now .

  2. #2
    Senior Member John Wilke's Avatar
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    Sounds like you've got a lot going for yourself and you're not alone in your feelings.

    I've been an ICU nurse in a major hospital for the past 10 years. Overall, I enjoy the job, I'm paid pretty well (not what I'm worth I tell 'ya!), own my own home, and work with great people. But it gets tiring caring for people that are sicker than you can imagine, that have tubes comming out of holes that shouldn't be there, and are hooked up to machines that you've never heard of. SHould they be? Do they have a future? What's the point? Would they want it if they knew? I can't imagine myself doing this 5 more years yet alone 20 and I certainly don't want to go back to school or get into management. Yet, I've got some other interests that I enjoy and maybe will open some doors for me in the future.

    Make the most of everyday and keep looking to the future.

    My latest motto is: Winners make things happen, loosers let things happen.

    Good luck !!

  3. #3
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Wilke View Post
    Sounds like you've got a lot going for yourself and you're not alone in your feelings.

    I've been an ICU nurse in a major hospital for the past 10 years. Overall, I enjoy the job, I'm paid pretty well (not what I'm worth I tell 'ya!), own my own home, and work with great people. But it gets tiring caring for people that are sicker than you can imagine, that have tubes comming out of holes that shouldn't be there, and are hooked up to machines that you've never heard of. SHould they be? Do they have a future? What's the point? Would they want it if they knew? I can't imagine myself doing this 5 more years yet alone 20 and I certainly don't want to go back to school or get into management. Yet, I've got some other interests that I enjoy and maybe will open some doors for me in the future.

    Make the most of everyday and keep looking to the future.

    My latest motto is: Winners make things happen, loosers let things happen.

    Good luck !!
    Thanks, John. Your motto makes sense and reminds me that there are some things I've been putting on the backburner for a long time. Your job sounds very stressful, and it makes mine seem kind of pointless. That's actually one of the things that annoys me about this job: I don't feel like I'm making a difference (good or bad) in anyone's life, and I can't point to any solid "product" at the end of the day. Ten years seems like a long time, though... how long do you realistically see yourself being there?

  4. #4
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbcb View Post
    Also, if any Foosters are hiring, let me know . Portland is looking pretty nice right now .
    If I come across adverts, what are the key words that should make me forward it along to you for perusal?
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  5. #5
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Hey...BikeFriday is hiring !!
    Really !
    Check thier website !


    After wasting sooooooo much time and missing so many opportunities
    because I 'had to'(??), my new matra is 'Quality of Life'. If something
    doesnt make me happy I dont have time for it. I wish I adopted this
    attitude 20 years ago.
    -ADVOCACY-☜ Radical VC = Car people on bikes. Just say "NO"

  6. #6
    Banned. timmyquest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -=Łem in Pa=- View Post
    Hey...BikeFriday is hiring !!
    Really !
    Check thier website !


    After wasting sooooooo much time and missing so many opportunities
    because I 'had to'(??), my new matra is 'Quality of Life'. If something
    doesnt make me happy I dont have time for it. I wish I adopted this
    attitude 20 years ago.
    Seriously...what of the things in life that make you mad or sad but have no control over them.

    Oh, and lem...you've posted more double posts in the past week to last you a year.

  7. #7
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    I dont know why I keep dbl posting.
    There is a looooooong delay getting a post to fly even
    though Im hitting like, 4 bars on my signal strength....
    I dunno .....between BF wackiness and the infuriatingly
    annoying active pointer on this MacBook I cant seem to
    control my postage

    But to answer your question....
    There are always things that are going to make you mad that
    seem like you have no control over them...a few of them you
    ~really~ might have no control over...But, thats life. It then
    becomes a question of how long and with how much intensity
    you , yourself choose to give this undesirable thought or situation
    free rent inside your head. With time you learn to evict the
    bad tenent before it does too much damage to your psychi....
    You would be surprised how much stuff you do have control over
    but dont think so. I really, truly believe stuff happens for a reason
    and there are things no science or religion can explain. As I age
    I have learned in my stomach which of these things to try to
    manipulate and which ones to let take thier course. Having a
    child hones this skill, as an example. I wanted to kill myself in
    Vermont, so I moved....no waiting that out. That was a situation
    I had a say in. Your recent situation is something you cant
    control on one level, but can he other. If I am still here a year
    from now you will be joking about this because you will have moved
    on. That was controlable to you even thought you think it wasnt, currently.
    To address the OP, he sort of answers his own question. Sometimes money
    isnt worth the cost of it, if that makes sense......
    -ADVOCACY-☜ Radical VC = Car people on bikes. Just say "NO"

  8. #8
    Banned. timmyquest's Avatar
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    Your recent situation is something you cant
    control on one level, but can he other.
    Well, i actually wasn't referring to my recent situation. At least not the one that you folks know about...

  9. #9
    Pretty Hate Machine Weeks's Avatar
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    Well hey man, just from what little I saw of Shanghai, I definitely could see why HK would preferable. It was cool and everything, but the expat crowd did seem kinda shallow. I had a better time in HK

  10. #10
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    I bet if you got a hawt Chinese girlfriend it would turn your frown upside down real quick.

  11. #11
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    goobs, a bit of culture shock setting in? It sneaks up on ya, you know
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  12. #12
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Wilke View Post
    My latest motto is: Winners make things happen, loosers let things happen.
    That would be losers, at any rate.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  13. #13
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Hmm... I don't know if it's culture shock -- I'm feeling more of a sense of resignation. As for Kris's comment, we'll see .

    Donna, part of the problem is I'm not sure what kind of job I would look for. As I said in my post, I'm working in PR, but am a bit tired of it. My sister had a really cool job working in a think tank in Hong Kong -- she did a lot of work looking into urban and environmental policies, public participation in government, and wrote a chapter in a book about international reactions to SARS. A bit of everything. Only problem was, it paid next to nothing -- she was living at home at the time and could afford it, but I would have to support myself.

    Lem, thanks for the BikeFriday tip -- they're only advertising a mechanic position (which I don't think I would really get into full time), but I might contact them to see what else they have to offer. I've toyed with the idea of working at a bike company, but I'm not sure what sorts of positions my specific skills -- or lack thereof -- would be useful for. Hmmm.... sourcing parts in China, based out of Hong Kong...?

  14. #14
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    What about Vancouver, BC instead of Portland?

    Same weather, more ocean. My grapevine says they're hiring like mad due to 2010 Olympics. Large Chinese community. CANADA.
    They told me to wear more lycra, and I said "no, no, no."

  15. #15
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbcb View Post
    Hmm... I don't know if it's culture shock -- I'm feeling more of a sense of resignation. As for Kris's comment, we'll see .

    Donna, part of the problem is I'm not sure what kind of job I would look for. As I said in my post, I'm working in PR, but am a bit tired of it. My sister had a really cool job working in a think tank in Hong Kong -- she did a lot of work looking into urban and environmental policies, public participation in government, and wrote a chapter in a book about international reactions to SARS. A bit of everything. Only problem was, it paid next to nothing -- she was living at home at the time and could afford it, but I would have to support myself.

    Lem, thanks for the BikeFriday tip -- they're only advertising a mechanic position (which I don't think I would really get into full time), but I might contact them to see what else they have to offer. I've toyed with the idea of working at a bike company, but I'm not sure what sorts of positions my specific skills -- or lack thereof -- would be useful for. Hmmm.... sourcing parts in China, based out of Hong Kong...?
    It's too bad you're not going to Interbike. Something tells me your skills could be useful in the bike industry, but I'm just not sure where. Meantime, bookmark this link.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  16. #16
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krink View Post
    What about Vancouver, BC instead of Portland?

    Same weather, more ocean. My grapevine says they're hiring like mad due to 2010 Olympics. Large Chinese community. CANADA.
    Excellent idea.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  17. #17
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Yup, Vancouver's definitely on the map. I actually grew up there (age 4-12), and will have family there (i.e. temporary free rent) as of next July when my parents move back from Singapore. And Siu, that's exactly what I've been thinking... it's just, from a purely practical point of view, everything is so convenient now... inertia is hard to overcome.

    Thanks for the link, Donna. I've also got the feeling that I could do *something* in bicycles, but I'm not sure what!

  18. #18
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Well, there are plenty of BF members who will be going to Interbike very soon. They'll come back with their heads stuffed full of bike thoughts and then you can grill 'em.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbcb View Post
    Yup, Vancouver's definitely on the map. I actually grew up there (age 4-12), and will have family there (i.e. temporary free rent) as of next July when my parents move back from Singapore.
    !
    Oh great! In that case, can I get free rent too? I'm really no trouble at all, you'll hardly know I'm there. I prefer a private bath of course, and a king size bed, and real breakfast not cereal. Your parents needn't put themselves out. Will they have cable?
    They told me to wear more lycra, and I said "no, no, no."

  20. #20
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krink View Post
    Oh great! In that case, can I get free rent too? I'm really no trouble at all, you'll hardly know I'm there. I prefer a private bath of course, and a king size bed, and real breakfast not cereal. Your parents needn't put themselves out. Will they have cable?
    I'll tell them to prepare your suite.

  21. #21
    J3L 2404 gbcb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
    Well, there are plenty of BF members who will be going to Interbike very soon. They'll come back with their heads stuffed full of bike thoughts and then you can grill 'em.
    Cool... Thanks, Donna!
    Now that I think of it, there should be a bike show happening in Shanghai some time soon. Hmm...

    Edit: Scratch that -- it was in May

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