Friday, May 05, 2006


Due to the option that I took, I have to give up one of the thing that I like the most: my 325i. Yup, it’s BMW 2002 model with 2.5L engine that can bring me 0 to 100 km/h in 7 seconds. Sunroof and navigation system. Pretty white chick.

I knew it since beginning that the 3rd option would not be easy. It is the red pill that Neo had to take in order to know what the meaning of The Matrix is. Well, it may not be that hard, but it is still not a straight trough highway where I can see the end of the road. Again, the power of uncertainty is something that can really make our life so dynamic, and so painful at the same time.

Anyway, when I sold my car last week and started driving a rental Toyota Corolla, my friend told me that I would lose something that he called BMW Respect.
What the heck is that? It is a respect that other car owners give you in the street, he replied. Everytime you try to change your lane with you BMW or any expensive cars, people tend to give you more room.
That’s silly, I though, there is no such thing.

So here I was, driving my Toyota happily in one of Dubai busy streets. Okay, I was in the slow lane and I wanted to increase my speed. It was time for me to change my lane.
What the…???!!! This guy almost hit my car! He didn’t reduce his speed at all to give me some room to enter the lane.
What’s your problem, dude? Maniac.

I started thinking about my friend’s respect. Nah, it’s just a coincidence. There’s always speedy maniac everywhere.

I kept trying to convince myself until I got the same experience over and over again. Everytime I tried to change the lane, I really had to fight for it. I never faced this issue with my previous car.
What’s wrong with Toyota, guys?
So that kind of respect really exists?

In another day, I went to one store in shopping mall to buy something. I noticed that I was left alone for quite some time, none of the store attendants tried to approach me to ask what I want or offer me services.
Were all of them busy? Not really. That guy was standing in the corner and did nothing other than watching the whole store. What? There was a couple who wore decent clothes and the guy went to them with a big smile and offered his favor.

Okay, I was wearing only normal shirt and jeans. But does it mean I’m not a potential buyer? In fact I was ready to spend my money but the story ended up by me walking out the store due to the way its employee treated me.

My thought about this respect started bugging me. Yesterday I drove my car to my office which is located in one of five star hotels in Sheik Zayed Road, Dubai’s main road.
Normally everytime I drive through the hotel atrium with my BMW, there’s always one hotel officer who offers me valet parking.
Hey, what happens today? Where’s the valet parking guy?
With my company policy I can’t use hotel valet service anyway, but it’s still good to see at least those guys try to show me some respect.

Wait. Did I say respect?
So is my friend definition about respect really true?

Why does such standard exist?
So people must drive expensive car to get respect?
So people must wear decent clothing to get service?

Suddenly I feel vulnerable. I feel insecure.
Not because of my Toyota looks like made from the cheap material just like normal Coke can and it makes me feel really insecure if I ever get into even a small accident.
I feel vulnerable about my life. About the way some people treat other people with their own definition of respect.

I feel insecure about my job.
Is this the reason why even I have been with my current company for 4 years now and never get any raise? Even I believe I have delivered some of my company largest project successfully but as a person I'm still not within the standard to get my respect?

And is this the reason why I still can’t join Cisco ME until now?
No way. Cisco Systems is an Equal Opportunity Employer. At least that’s what written in the website.
And isn’t it clear from the last Gulf partner summit that they would not hire people from partner? But wait. Isn’t one of my CCIE colleagues who used to work with my company joining Cisco recently?
Is it because he has more experience and expertise than me or because some other reasons?

Another hopeless thought.

I just want to work in a place where people respect me only because of my expertise and performance in delivering the job.
And nothing else.
Please let me know if such place exists.

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