Of looking good and sitting in an air-conditioned office as opposed to earning more


Image for illustration only


By YC Reader

I remember when I first started working back in 1995, my basic salary was RM725 per month.

Back then, it was enough for me to make my monthly motorcycle payments and lead a comfortable bachelor life.

My monthly payment for my Yamaha RXZ was only RM125 and my room was only RM75 per month in Seremban.

Also, I remember back then, we were not too picky about jobs and were willing to do just about anything to earn a decent living.

For my batch, those born in the 1970s, earning more money was much more important than being seen walking around with a tie and long sleeves.

We did not mind long hours under the sun as long as we got a decent pay packet at the end of the month.

The more we traveled and the longer we worked, the more we took home.

However, from my observation these days, things have taken a drastic change. It seems like this generation is more keen on dressing smartly, sitting in an air-conditioned office and being seen dining at fancy spots.

In my time, eating the most for the least amount of money was the most important thing.

However, now, it looks like paying more to eat less is the norm.

As I walk out of my office these days, I head to the nearest mixed rice shop, passing all the numerous other fancy restaurants which I notice are always full of youngsters.

Presuming you earn RM3,000 a month and after deductions, you probably take home about RM2,300.

Each meal at these fancy joints is nothing less than RM20 which adds up to RM100 a week and about RM400 a month.

Comparatively, my meal at the mixed rice shop is about RM7 with free water or Chinese tea which adds up to about RM35 a week and less than RM150 a month.

Also, after eating, I can always see a large bunch of youngsters gathered at the smoking zones puffing away.

With their meals and their cigarettes, I gather that they spend about RM600 a month, which leaves them only about RM1,700, from which I am sure they pay at least RM800 for their car.

So, at the end of the day, you are only taking home about RM1,000 just so you can look good in your tie and fancy shirt, look cool having lunch in a fancy restaurant and drive home in a cool car.

Is it all worth it in the end?

Why not opt for a less fancy job where you earn much more just to get your hands dirty?

From my observation, there are no shortage of jobs in the market, it is just that youngsters are simply too picky.

Jobs like lorry drivers, offshore work and many others easily pay more than RM3,000, but of course you have to work hard and certainly cannot walk around with a neck-tie!

But, I guess it is all about looking good and living a pretentious life these days that matters.