*As told to Kally from someone who wishes to be anonymous
I came from nothing. My father is a failed farmer and a drunkard. My mother passed away after giving birth to my third sister. We were lucky enough to have a rich relative that saw through all of our education but I was the only one who got myself a degree and migrates to the United States. The moment I set foot in this country, I tell myself to forget the past, forget my roots and make a new life for myself. But it is hard as the past always catches up with you.
I was treated unfairly and unequally due to my country origins and my skin colour. I was never the first choice to hire nor even consider for the promotion. But I was young and I had determination so I pushed myself hard to climb as far as I can. I don’t want to die one day with regrets.
I must say I have done some nasty things during my climb to my success. I am now semi-retired. I will never retire, maybe only after I made my deathbed.
During my first few years in the US, I was always hired with a lowly wage even though my peers are highly paid than I was.
I hate the inequality and I refused to accept it.
Young and hotblooded I was, I kept getting into trouble. Until I met Lisa. Lisa is the perfect American next door sweetheart. She is young, sweet and naive. And she’s the boss’s only child. She fell in love with me and foolishly, I made use of that to my advantage.
When she was pregnant, her father made an offer to me: leave her and he will write me a cheque. But I didn’t leave her. Not because I love her but because the offer was too low. I made up for being a good father as I wasn’t a good husband. I doted my son. When Lisa’s father passed on, I took over the company. I did a few unspeakable things to bring the company into international. Things that I won’t speak of, not even here. Things that I’ll carry over to the other side when I die.
Let’s just say, I caused more than one heart attack in the family when I brought the company to be publicly listed.
My point to this is that I must admit that I was obsessed with climbing the corporate ladder to become someone respectable. It’s a hard and cruel way to be on top. It is survival game in the cruel business world where there is no room for emotions. If I wasn’t the one taking advantage, someone will.
Could I have avoided it by being nice?
I don’t think so. Nor would I advise anyone to do what I did. I strongly believe I did what I could to win at the top. I do have one regret – I wish I hadn’t been so blinded by success. I thought success and happiness come hand in hand but look at me now, I’m a lonely old man, just waiting for my number is up.
My only son has a privilege life. He has more than he needs to get a kickstart in life. I wouldn’t want him to go through life the way I did. He hates the way I treated his mother and will never forgive me. He didn’t even invite me to his wedding. I have nobody to love and no one I will love but myself. I am surrounded everyday by corporate sharks just circling around me for my blood, for one day that I will falter and fall.
Yes, I have written my own legacy. But oh, a lonely disastrous path to reach where I am. Take it as a wistful thinking of an old man. Maybe if I was ordinary. Maybe if I wasn’t so obsessed. I wouldn’t spend the rest of my life alone.
Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.