A purely personal blog, with purely personal opinions, about life, the universe and everything.

Sep 5, 2010

"Be yourself" is the biggest lie you've ever heard.

I haven't written for a long while, because I didn't have much to say actually  (I wonder how all these people on Twitter manage it, but oh wait, they actually don't! :-P)

In any case, what got me to it, was an e-mail I got from a world-class job-searching web-site I had subscribed to in the past. This particular e-mail was about "5 Common mistakes people do in a work interview". And there really were 5 advices about 5 really common mistakes after the click. All 5 were about how you should act, what you should say, how you should present yourself, etc. In the end, there was the "BONUS 6th" advice:

Be yourself.

Did it sink in? Nice. 

So, I was actually thinking that after getting so much of this particular, and so obviously fail, advice when I was a teenager I wouldn't have to be given to it again as an adult. Yet, here we are once more. 

Maybe I should be a bit more clear on that:
As a teenager in the early '90s (I guess it doesn't happen anymore to the information-overloaded angst-ridden sex-savy teenagers of '10s), people used to tell you that in order "to get love" you have to "Be yourself", but forgot to tell you that they actually meant THAT OTHER self, which you were obviously not.

Fifteen years later, people come back and tell you that to get a job you have once more to "Be yourself", but once more they mean THAT OTHER self, which you are obviously not. That self, which will form from following the advices given above and some more, that were not actually written anywhere.

I could give some more examples about the "Be Yourself" paradigm from my lifetime, but I think these two are the most important ones. 

To keep it short, after 29 years, I can offer only one small piece of wisdom: 
"When someone tells you to 'Be YOURself', either 'Be THATself' that they want you to be or ignore them and really be who you are". (and no, I don't mean "be who you really are")

Because when it all comes down to it, "Be Yourself" is the biggest lie you have ever heard. 

May 26, 2010

Adventures at the Tax Service Office in Greece.

Recently I had to stop my personal bussiness/1-man company. So, I went to the Tax Office, thinking: "Well it can't be that hard to stop it, can it?".

It turns out to be a little bit of an adventure. The process I had to follow was more or less (please bear in mind that many days have passed since then and writing this blog post now) what follows:
  1. Going to the 5th floor and get assigned a Check Officer from the Head Check Officer
  2. Going to another office at the 5th floor to meet the Check Officer (he signed on a document)
  3. Going to the 4th floor, VAT Office (they pressed a button on the computer, and signed that I was OK)
  4. Going to the 4th floor, Book-Keeping Office (they pressed a button on the computer, and signed that I was OK)
  5. Going to the 3rd floor, Registry Office (they pressed a button on the computer, and signed that I was OK, are you starting to see a pattern here?) 
  6. Going back  to the 5th floor, at the Check Officer, who after checked that everyone had signed I was OK, signed once more
  7. Going back to the 5th floor, Head Check Officer,  who after checked that everyone had signed I was OK, signed too
  8. Going to the 5th floor, vice-director office, who after checked that everyone had signed I was OK, signed too (yet another pattern).
  9. Going to the 4th floor, Book-Keeping Office again, who after cheked that everyone else had signed, invalidated my receipt-book.
I have only one very stupid question to make: WHY SO MUCH BUREAUCRACY?? I went to three offices (in different floors) whose job was to check on the computer wether I was OK or not. Couldn't that have been done, with ONE button press, from ONE public clerk? I guess, someone could say "but hey, what if something was NOT ok??". To which i reply "ONLY THEN should I have been sent to the appropriate office for further checks and guidelines".

My silly guess is that when you hire lots and lots of people at the public sector, you just HAVE to give them something to do, to excuse yourself for doing it. And then, the country is going bankrupt before you notice it. But this is just silly me....