“You gave me a life I never chose”

2010 Memories – IEP

It wasn’t one of those things which you would’ve dreamed of doing. Nothing that stemmed from an ambition, or a childhood dream. How it happened was more like an opportunity that fell in my lap; an opportunity given by a friend, after much persuasion and convincing on her part. On much afterthought, I would say it might have been a call of deception, but I guess things back then weren’t as bad, or political, as they are now.

As a fresh graduate, one could only dream of starting out from the bottom of a corporate ladder. Having worked only in the service industry before, and as an intern in a Human Resources department in a US Hotel chain, I was used to being lead through my daily routines, rather than being the leader and being independent. IEP was never easy, right from the beginning. Even with a team of relatively young colleagues, we were thrown into the pool of working life from day 3 of the job. Out of survival, we undertook the task of learning the ropes of the job independently, something that we all had grumbled about and thought was unfair, but now that I can look at it from a rational point of view (having gone through the whole jazz of it), the whole experience was something I could never find in any other establishment, given my lack of credentials and proper experience in the working world. All that trust and responsibilities heaved onto me… I like to think there are always two sides of the coin – the bad part of it being the suffering through it all, and the good part of it being the knowledge and skills one acquires in the length of time that one stays with IEP.

It may not have been my career path, but when you’re gravelling in the mud for anything that gives you a chance to prove yourself to everyone, not to mention to keep some form of income coming in, anything just goes. And “anything”, in this case, just happened to be IEP. All corporate politics aside, the bonds I had forged during my seven months in this establishment proved to be relationships which I know I can keep for years into the future. Even now, unemployed and adamant on not returning to the life of an overworked, underpaid and victimized lamb of the events industry, I find myself being drawn back to the familiar hallways of that small office. Not because I miss the working life per se, but more of the place, and the people. People whom I know I can count on, both in work and personal matters. People who I look up to, and who I consider to be part of my extended family. People who do not hold any clouds of judgment; who I can feel so comfortable with.

Maybe leaving was a rash decision made on my part; sacrificing my own emotions and sanity for the sake of financial stability of some sort seems like the rational decision to make now, but at that point three months ago, it just wasn’t in the cards.

I consider IEP to be a part of my bag of 2010 memories, but maybe it doesn’t just have to be in that particular bag alone. I’m not ruling out any options at this point, despite my hesitance (and possibly, my ego) of going back to the place, but when push comes to shove… who knows what the future holds for me, hey?

Till then, thank you IEP. My time there has made me a stronger person, someone more wise and mature when it comes to making decisions, and it definitely proved to be a stepping stone for me to take me wherever I need to go from tomorrow onwards.

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