Today I present to you a different kind of text. It is an excerpt from the book of anders. The author of this book is Adam Fletcher. With Adam, I have worked seven to eight years ago together with Spreadshirt in Leipzig. Since then he has (also like me) made independently with all kinds of projects. Meanwhile Adam bestselling author. His greatest success book: How to be German.
In his first three books Adam described his view as an Englishman on us German – and very humorous. I laugh rarely reading, but Adams lyrics make me laugh! Wir können auch anders is now his first serious book (but it is very entertaining written). Here he writes about the modern world of work and how we can get out of us the best of her. I read the book a few days ago and find it highly recommended.
Here is an excerpt from the book. The chapter is called “Lifestyle Creep” and describes why a promotion and more money and do not make us happy. I hand over to Adam.
When I worked at Microsoft, I had an Australian colleague named Paul. Paul was a lovable, down to earth Kiwi. That he ended up in a high-pressure Group job at Microsoft, was probably more chance than planning. From his training, he was a marine biologist, and he gladly bragged that he had spent whole months in order to masturbate salmon or making Pavlovian experiments with goldfish (if you’re interested: Paul has proved that goldfish can learn the sound of a to associate Bell with pleasure or pain, depending on what follows). What I particularly liked about him was the fact that he took anything or anyone too seriously. It was really clear to everyone that he can one day the corporate world with their Excel spreadsheets and sales meetings behind him, buy a yacht and they would sink in a drunken state in any bay, then you would never hear from him again.
How did it happen that he was working for us, and why he was there, I can not say exactly. I think he thought that they would fire him at any time in any case (and probably me with him). Until then, he delighted in the payment of wages and waited there from. Not that he would not have been good at his job, on the contrary. He just was not this busy career people who loves Microsoft way. People sitting from morning till night at eight at eight at the desk and at the weekend to send emails. He was just this silly fish fan named Paul.
After working for almost a year with Microsoft, we were both surprised that they offered Paul to be the head of his team of data analysts. It meant that he should be responsible for a team of five people. The greater responsibility should naturally be remunerated in accordance with a salary increase of about EUR 12 000 per year. Before Paul was managing himself and considering on how many days he appeared too late, hungover or with a shot on the left shirt, he did not even particularly good. But he was good at his job. He provided the marketing department a lot of intelligent insights about which target groups should aim for, and spent the rest of the day to email me crazy fish porn.
Paul felt about the offer flattered, but was torn. A promotion is a promotion, of course, and he set out immediately thought about what he (before taxes of course) could do with an additional 1,000 euros per month. He did not need the money really. Microsoft paid well, and we lived in Reading, a low-cost (though very boring) town in southern England.
He slept for a night and then decided to take the job. We celebrated the event by we drank a couple of beers together after work, and the next day he presented me proudly the huge new Smart TV, which he had bought for 1,000 euros on the consolidated Shop. May be you know this response to an unexpected windfall familiar: Oh my God, I have money, what should I buy? This one? Yes, here. At best, I take four of them.
Shortly thereafter, I left the company (although I had not been fired!). Eight months later, I met with Paul in an Irish pub in London. It was as if I had met another man.
When he entered the bar, I almost did not recognize him. He had gained at least ten kilos, a paunch and an extra roll of fat gained around the neck. He looked tired and worn out. Had he previously had an irreverent and cheeky sense of humor, so now came barely a joke on his lips, and he looked remarkably often at the clock. I asked him about his new job, and he said that had increased immensely shortly after his promotion to the pressure. Could he previously muddle still in front of him and work through things that you told him to, it was now expected that he was “proactively” act. That he was acting on his own initiative. That he defined the roles of other and monitored, while at the same time even as much work as before. On top of that he was no longer responsible only for themselves but for the whole team.
“Personnel Management. It’s terrible, “he said, shaking his head and sipped his beer.
“Really? I would have expected that you like it, if you have a couple of mini Pauls that you can boss around. ”
“Yes, first already. For about three minutes. But then they wanted something. Council leadership, holiday. You have problems. Individually they’re great, but together, as a team? They argue and complain about. People have taken nothing but problem generating machine basically. “