Do this if you should get fired: A lifehack exclusive (3/3)

Wednesday 1 February 2012, 9.50pm HKT

From Part 2

(This finale is a bit late because of being held up by work.)

When you’re fiftysomething like Råtta, losing your job is no joke, especially in a raw capitalist toilet city like Hong Kong.

We give you two final protips and then we’ll take questions.

* * *


When you’re on the chopping block, so to speak, develop an ability to “have it inside you” to “have it in for them” to save your skin.

They’re hosing you down* and giving you the finger**, and that ain’t a shower and a massage.

An alternative 'finger'

* In the American journalistic meaning of ‘to try to stop people from believing in something that may cause problems,’ of course. But you’re free to interpret the phrase according to its more ‘usual’ meaning, namsayin’?

** Meaning a finger pointing at the exit door, but you’re free to interpret the word in its ‘usual’ meaning.

You get one life, and one life is all you got. Why should other people get away with your bad behaviour that you are too gormless to carry out?

Yours truly here is actually a Type A personality, though you probably wouldn’t think so looking at the way I mostly carry on. Many crap situations just aren’t worth the firepower, and not worth ‘the stretch’ in the brig to take things to the next level. I’ve learnt from a young age that polite aggro hurts a helluva lot more than brute-force hacking.

I just lurve seeing people with either faces that have gone pale or clenched fists with white knuckles. Heaven knows others have caused me to have both plenty of times.

But if you let crap people tread all over you (or anyone else), the our gods/Jesus/Buddha/name your favourite deity died for nothing.

Nothing personal, it’s just karma.



Youthfulness is always desirable, especially in old age. (English adage)

Another thing  are you good for your age? There’s an old saying that you should keep yourself in tiptop form even at 60 because you’ll never know when you’ll have to crank up firepower in competition with the young’uns. If you’re a bleeding physical wreck, then life’s gonna rough you up.

Develop an ability to make yourself youthful — even if it’s just doing small tricks to your overall looks. Look smart and lively. I don’t even remember how many times I’ve said this.

It's not that hard, you know

To make yourself look a few years younger isn’t trying to ‘flash’ or ‘glam’ or about some crazy psychological hankering for one’s lost youth.

Honestly speaking, at age 50 or more, you’d probably have forgotten nearly everything about your own youth.

We’re living in the 21st century now. You’re not in Kansas anymore. Looking more youthful is a practical equaliser. I’m telling you, man, ‘old’ is denigrated as society’s flotsam. Oldies are practically and instantaneously replaceable by all manners of young cattle now overpopulating our sordid little world.

Try these for size (from easiest to hardest to carry out):

  1. Change (or merely adjust) your overall wardrobe (easiest)
  2. Have gorgeous locks (depends if you have hair left)
  3. Dye your hair 50% closer to ‘natural’ colour (or blondify it if all grey)
  4. Eat for a beautiful smile
  5. Protect your body from sun damage
  6. Form healthier habits
  7. Keep your brain sharp: play anti-ageing brain games
  8. Learn new technology, even if you hate and detest it
  9. Learn expert makeup (and makeover) tips
  10. Understand health news and shift through the BS about anti-ageing
  11. Create your own anti-ageing product arsenal
  12. Love your heart (hardest)

Average lifespan worldwide keeps rising. Company retirement age constantly lowering. The government keeps jacking up the social security retirement age. Ageism more and more pronounced by the year. Prices rising, incomes falling, jobs disappearing. Ad infinitum, ad flamin’ nauseum.

The worldwide average births-to-deaths ratio is 100 to 1.2 — just how are YOU going to feed, clothe and house your 50-year-old self over the next 15 to 40 years when there’s 100 babies born for every one person + one leg dying, huh?

What else, what bloody else, I ask you, could anybody do other than try and look a bit more sprightly?

Nothing personal, it’s just me.

I said ‘younger,’ not brain-damaged…

* * *


What the hell are you so worked up about, man?

Are you 50-ish, with a mortgage still to run for 15 years, with a miseducated kid who’s too old to spend little but too young to work? If not, then you can’t even imagine Råtta’s predicament.

‘You would rapidly change your mind if it happened to you.’
(English maxim)

But businesses are not in the charity business. Businesses must have freedom to hire and fire as they see fit.

Are you asking a question or just stating the obvious, Captain Kangaroo?

This isn’t about freedom to hire and fire, nitwit. It’s about how to face immediate termination of employment.

Get a job yourself! You’ve obviously never worked before.

Why the advice for causing unpleasantness? They said they’re going to pay her entitlements. You’re teaching people to cause trouble.

My father once wrote in his book, “Hong Kong is the American Dream that America had always wanted.”

Translated, it means Hong Kong is 10 times more capitalist (and capitalistic) than the good ole’ USA. Employers are legally free to cause and watch you squirm, writhe in pain, rot and die.

Employer's finger

Our esteemed government compounds the harshness by invariably siding with employers at the expense of employees on the excuse that employers are ‘investors in the economy.’

Translated, that means everybody else is just fodder or flotsam. (That’s insulting, srsly.) And then ‘they’ complain why people are no longer obedient and submissive or ‘know their place.’

The Labour Department issues various guidebooks on employment matters, but they’re mostly useless. They lift big chunks of the law word for word so unless you’re legally trained, you don’t know what you’re reading.

Our phantasmagorical Labour Tribunal actually bars the use of the phrase ‘non-payment of wages’ (an internationally used term) and instead invents the more innocuous phrase ‘delayed wage payment.’ I actually know people who’ve had wages ‘delayed’ for literally 10 years. Our statute of limitations on civil claims is six years — Sayonara! to those ‘delayed’ wages, baby!

If something simple like that happens, what kind of help can we expect?

Unless you live here, you pseudo-liberal-leaning neoconservative fascist commie, you know fo’shiz jackass about being out of work here.

Wot now with Råtta?

I hate to be blunt, but when you hit 50, life ain’t worth living, job-wise speaking.

Råtta’s 50-something and highly unlikely to find another job that pays HK$14,000 a month (US$1,805 or £1,150).

(See what I mean? These people just don’t make an impact on any kind of bottom line, not even after factoring in that holier-than-holy costs of employment excuse concept.)

Cost of employment … costlier than the
golden parachutes 
for your managers?

Did she know this was coming?

Since the company closed the downtown office last year, Råtta said she felt things wouldn’t be turning out right for her. Hard to explain. The bosses didn’t speak to her in their usual manner. Job duties became odder and odder. The ‘feel’ at work was all wrong, she said.

Truth be told, I had this bizarre dream three or four nights ago about myself getting the pink slip — a job I had in real life 15 years ago. My hunch: the dream was about Råtta’s job instead.

(Yes, I sometimes dream about other people and their goings-on, even when some of these other people aren’t necessarily close to me. Peculiar that, isn’t it?)

Who’s taking over her place?

Gunga Din for all we care.

Råtta’s company is profitable, but the holding company up top is bleeding like an over-menstruating woman on blood thinners.

(So profits are for corporate menstruation…)

Seems like Queenie (a new hire) will be shoehorned into Råtta’s job. But Råtta said Queenie’s getting on in years (nearing 50) and probably won’t be able to handle the ever-increasing (and essentially pointless) workload generated by the four infighting brand and sales managers. The Old Man doesn’t give a toss because he’s way past retirement (70-something) and planning to live the sweet life someplace else.

Methinks the same fate will befall on Queenie, and that too ain’t nice.

* * *


If anyone is interested in hiring Råtta, contact me on this blog
and I’ll send you her details.

* * *

Thank you

Please leave comments for Råtta’s sake.


© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012.

Images: Dislike button via Digital Trends ♦ White Knuckles (modified) via XyFace ♦ Looking younger via Garmahis ♦ Employer’s finger via NITP ♦ Tips via The Independent ♦ Pink slip via Homeowners Insurance.

4 Responses to “Do this if you should get fired: A lifehack exclusive (3/3)”

  1. Ed Hurst said

    There was a time when employers and management took pride in making transitions easier. Even on a purely profit basis, there can be no good motive for firing without advance notice. Nor can I envision a legal basis for it. This was clearly something meant to be nasty and painful at some level.


  2. SkyddsDrake said

    I should have kept reading before commenting on the last blog in this grouping, huh? =/ I haven’t yet gotten to a point where I’ve dealt with ageism in the workplace. I know it happens. I’ve witnessed it. I just don’t think that’s the same as experiencing it. Shuffling off someone who sounds like a diligent worker is just… Gnagh. I’m sorry. I have no good words. I hope someone contacted you and inquired about Råtta. If something works out, and it’s okay with her, will you please update us? (Perhaps you already have. I’m reading a bit behind.)


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