On a whim yesterday, I cabbed down to Wing On Center, shelling out HKD 790 for Hong Kong Securities Institute’s Overview of Legal & Regulatory Framework for Securities and Futures Industry 2-day course that began that very evening. It had to do with a sudden wish to chalk up the requisite 5 CPT (Continuous Professional Training) points that go toward maintaining my HKSI Type 1 licensing.
Why would I do that? Wasn’t I sure about staying home to raise rockstar?
Returning a few hours later to the HKSI training center (having bathed and checked Rockstar's dinner), I found myself listening intently to what would ordinarily have been a snoresome course for me had I still been working. I hold speaker Eugene Lee partly responsible, “Please switch off your mobile phones. We wouldn’t want to accidentally wake someone.” You have to understand, he’s a Head of Legal & Compliance. I don’t know that many with a sense of humor.
Back when I worked, guys like Mr Lee would sometimes have been seen as the enemy. People get pushed for budgets, other people get pushed to keep the people with the budgets from regulatory breach, thereby sending everything everyone has worked for down the toilet, both sides are adversarial, hopefully everyone meets reasonably somewhere in the middle.
On and off during the course, I felt pangs. I can be such a hopeless idealist. Which is even sadder when you realize the career I had was in, of all things, banking. It embarrasses me to admit that it took several months away from work irritations to look at the regulators and feel someone was actually trying to make things better.
At a time when cynicism is cool and making fun of watchdogs is cooler, this feeling is horrible and I hope it goes away soon. I was in 3 mergers in my career, accounting for at least half a dozen banks on my 10-year CV. That should be cynicism enough. And that’s not counting all the management coups de tat where you don’t have an actual legal merging of the two entity names. (For eg, Big Boss leaves. New Big Boss comes in. New Big Boss brings host of Little Bosses from his old shop.)
Mergers bring out the best and worst in people. And so I believe. I believe in an inherent goodness in people, the kind of thinking that could get me run over by Hong Kong’s famous taxi drivers. (How many people in Tung Lo Wan Causeway Bay was it they bump into every week? I get taken for a literal ride round Hong Kong not infrequently – I find myself paying a lot more taxi fare because of my accented and dubious Cantonese.)
So ok, to not sound so psycho, let’s make that some people. I believe in the inherent goodness in some people. Each time there was a merger I clung to this belief. And I daresay I was rewarded by a friend or two. (Most of whom, sadly don’t read blogs regularly. But this one’s for them anyway – and I guy named Randall who gave me some of the best blogging advice: “Be Yourself. And write what you know” – it’s giving me the guts to write stuff even when I think I am so getting scoffed at.)
And so here I am, safely away from mergers, hoping still for a chance to meetInherent Goodness. Hi there. I missed you so. Guess that means I do miss my job. This scares me. Gweipo talked, among other things, about the perils of rejoining the HK workforce, as has Joyce and myself briefly in our comments. What happens when Rockstar is grown and has his own life? What Next, indeed.
Here’s why I’m still fine: Every decision is a package. Every job, every friend, every person we date, whoever we choose to spend our lives with – everything we ever choose, all the big ones, will be a package. We can never take the good without the bad, it seems like such a trite thing to say, I know, but most people I speak to seem to see this, but not really see this.
I have a list. What’s most important to me. What I can’t live with. Then I choose the option that has the most of what’s important to me and the least of what I can’t live with. In moments of self-doubt, I review the list to see if anything on it has changed:
Most important to me: Bringing up my son right.
What I can’t live with: Bitterness.
The sweeter the idealist, the more bitter the cynic upon disillusionment. In current market conditions it’s just too easy to become disillusioned. Being bitter I believe is a terrible way to raise a young mind. It will affect everything you say and do with the child. I've had some experience. This belief supersedes even my fear of not being able to return to the workforce someday.
So I’m staying housewife. But I’m keeping my CPT records.
Hello, CPT points.