I had a boss who really liked saying this line. I was a relatively new employee then, and I would often overhear her say it to most of the staff. I would stop and think about what it really meant, more so, wonder why she would actually say it in reference to a particular person.
In the office, we have our own work assignments like everyone else. Some loads would overlap, perhaps, but we have our share of specific responsibilities. Most would often try to do good in their assigned work. A few may have not be able to turn in excellent outputs, but still, everyone would just be doing his share.
But in any workplace, people come and go. There are those who would choose a different employer, but with the same nature of job. Some people would opt to follow a different course. Others could have various reasons ranging from monetary to very personal ones. While it is true that others choose to stay in a particular job for years, I believe that many do not stay put for a very long time.
With the few jobs that I have had, I would say, I became quite attached to two, mainly because of the fulfillment I had gained. With the first one, I stayed there for 3 years, and in my last one, I did stay for 6 beautiful years. And together with my personal reasons for leaving these jobs, I would often find myself struggling to answer two things: “Did I make the right decision?” and “Is nobody really indispensable?”
To the first question, I think that I have answered it somehow. I am a strong believer of the saying that “Nothing happens by chance”. This makes me feel rather confident that my handling out my resignation letters had brought about new and fruitful things in my life. Although it doesn’t erase the fact that merely drafting such letters was quite painful because of the love I have given to these jobs.
Prior to leaving my jobs, I did find myself realizing that soon after I leave, people in the office would miss the kind of hard work I had given to my post. Those who liked me would look into the direction of my soon-to-be empty desk and feel sad. Perhaps a maximum of one week. And yes, when they are having their coffee breaks, they would say that they miss me, my funny remarks and anecdotes. Then they would turn their backs against each other to go back to work in their respective worlds, and forget that they even had such discussion! And, of course, yes, they would definitely hire someone to take my position. They could be lucky to take hold of one who is admiringly efficient, highly organized and a true pro. Or be doomed to hire a person who would be irresponsible, disorganized and even needs a seminar on hygiene.
The truth is, I believe, that in this career-crazy world, one is basically measured by, first and foremost, the output you give in reference to your job description. If we consider this, yes, we could easily say: “Yup, you are NOT indispensable. There’s someone out there more creative, more diligent, more intelligent than you. Therefore, as a member of the work force, you are NOT absolutely necessary and essential, if I may borrow Webster’s exact terms in defining the word.
So, what now? Do I sob over this conclusion that I have reached? Would I let this harsh reality crush my sensitive heart? When after all this time, I thought that I was really important, a vital part! I was, after all, replaced, in every sense of the word! True, yet sad. It is hard to admit, but even if after you have cleaned up all corners of your desk in that cubicle of yours, after you have turned over the important files, after you have taken one last look at that cozy, little world of yours….sadly, you know in the recesses of your heart, their lives would go on without you!
But let me share this to you. This this not break my soul, nah, not even for a second. You know why? My life went on too…knowing that aside from being just a part of that work force, I became a friend, a sister even to many of them. I just recently spent time with them, and I know we have not cut the ties. Mind you, we have never really lost touch. I have realized that these people look at me beyond the time I have done a wonderful report or the grammatical slips I have done. I know that to them, I am more than the effort I have exerted which earned us a good word from the boss. I am more than my moods and my impatience. I am more than that. Life is more important than that.
I think it is far more necessary to be considered important because of how people feel about you, not because of the kind of work that you have submitted to your boss. It is more beautiful to know that you have spent time touching a sad friend’s shoulder, rather than having earned points ahead of the rest, just to be employee of the month.
It’s true, in this mobile phone-mp3 kind of a world, some things just come and go. When it comes to people’s lives, you may not be absolutely necessary. But you can become an essential part of his or her wholeness. We’ll all go on with our own lives, sure…but we’ll bring a part of each other wherever we go.