I Am Hentai

Recently, I realized there’s something odd about what makes me enjoy my work. I used to think a job that challenges me is exciting. Yes, that still holds true. If I feel I cannot learn anything at a job, I’ll have very low drive to perform.

But I recently noticed that when I discover that I have to do something at a job that I’m very weak at, no matter how minor a part it plays in my role, I get very excited about it. It can be as simple as having to make a cold call.

Back in university, during one of the summer holidays, I did part time work (it was more like a temporary full-time position) in what they call “list research department” of a company that runs investment seminars for C-level executives. It was basically a lead generation department. I initially joined to do simple data entry by digitizing all their customer data on print into their internal system. But little did they expect, I finished the 2-month job in a week and they decided to have me do lead generation as well.

The job entailed having to make phone calls after phone calls, all of which were cold calls I really disliked. I didn’t enjoy getting turned down but managed to last through the period for which I was due to work. That was a relief for me.

When I moved to Tokyo for the translation job, I met this lady K, regarding whom I’ve mentioned many times throughout my blog (but maybe with different initials). K is a very capable lady and made me the person I am today. I shan’t go into too much detail here but under her guidance, I grew to be a little hentai. Not in the sexual way, of course.

The company had this tendency to accept jobs with all kinds of ridiculous deadlines, and I was placed in charge of some of their biggest clients who frequently sent projects with ridiculous deadlines. After a couple of years, I grew tired of managing the deadlines and very coincidentally, a Japanese manufacturer reached out to me to ask me to join them since they were looking for a Singaporean. While I declined many times, they were persistent and altered their offer time and again and I eventually left to join them. When I left, I felt relieved I could finally take a breather from all the crazy deadlines, but I also realized that if I were given such deadlines as a freelancer right from the beginning, I probably would’ve turned down most of the jobs. This experience at the translation company made me realize how much a person is capable of doing if they only decide to do it. Because somehow, we always managed to meet the deadlines even if they seemed physically impossible.

The mantra is not whether something is possible or not, but how to make it possible.

Recently, for a job, I mainly sent out emails for a lot of correspondences because I realized I subconsciously prefer to avoid cold calls. But when many of the cold mails were not met with responses, I realized the other best option would be to make phone calls. While I didn’t consciously make the effort to avoid calling, I was seeking other possible options that I could take. That was when I consulted my brother-in-law who told me to just call. For some funny reason, his words made me feel excited about it. Not so much about making phone calls itself but it made me realize how much I actually disliked it and having to face it makes me excited. Even before I made the phone call, I could imagine myself growing to enjoy making them. And that led me to the realization that it sounds quite hentai.

I am hentai.

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