The Workaholic

He had always been to me – to a certain extent – the epitome of success at work. But though excellent at what he did – often earning top honours – he never appeared satisfied or genuinely happy with what he had. A smart strategist, he always chose his environment carefully, opting for where competition was less intense. I think this allowed him to consistently perform above his peers wherever he went; even if he always claimed he didn’t care much for it, you could see it in his eyes that he did.

I recalled the times I’d occasionally see that he really wished he didn’t care for it so much. He’d tell me that “this was it”, that he was going to let go of his strivings and finally relax for once. I’d sense the jaded man in him disappear. His eyes would light up, and he’d have this infectious, sincere smile as if all was well and good with the world. And I’d smile and think “finally!” along with him. It was unfortunate, however, that these episodes didn’t last long. Like a baby’s need for love, without his striving for success at work he never looked comfortable. And before long he’d return to it, often with a renewed fervour, perhaps making up for lost time spent letting go.

Leaving Something on the Table

Today was a landmark day: today I sold my very first item on eBay — actually, it was my very first item sold anywhere. I had always wanted to know what it felt like to be on the merchant’s side of commerce; and today I had the chance to find out.

It was pretty unexpected stuff. I had only put up the listing for an hour before receiving a call from a potential buyer, who would after just three hours become the proud owner of what was my mom’s Sony Ericsson W902 mobile phone.

I had put considerable thought into my eBay listing. I researched what others were selling similar phones for (e.g. same phone model in a similar condition and with the same or similar accessories), figured out the minimum price it was being sold for, took $12 off this minimum and used that as my selling price. It was my way of “leaving something on the table“, something I learned from Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad, Poor Dad fame.

With the $12 you save from buying from me instead of my closest competitors, I wrote, you may treat yourself and/or your loved one to a decent meal, donate the money to charity, or do whatever else you might want with it. The buyer thought it was funny; I certainly thought so too.