Surrendering Freedom

The last time I don office clothes and left home to go to office was on the 21st April 2006 – a day after coming back from deploying artificial reefs in Tioman for DHL. I went in to pack my things, and so did 5 others. All of them returned to working in an office within the year whereas I chose to remain as a freelance, spending most of my time underwater, among other things.

Come Monday, I am returning to an office – working in the oil and gas sector. On that day, Wifey will also be going back to office, having been unemployed since 3rd September this year.

I am 42 going on 43. Working underwater has really made me feel my age, and healthwise I am no longer fit to spend long hours underwater at such depths. About a month after the divorce more than a year ago, I have contracted two other illnesses – namely Asthma and Hypertension (brought about by the stressful conditions of my previous marriage), the latter discovered only 3 weeks after I was given a clean bill of health after my biannual full medical check-up.

Yesterday, Wifey and I went out to hunt for office clothes for me. I had thrown or gave away almost all my office clothes back in 2006, keeping only 4 pairs of suits: the two pairs I made in Bangkok, a pair I had made in KL (emergency measures) and a pair of Zegna.

In this setup I will be joining on Monday, I will be handling 13 job scopes including things like providing technical expertise on all operational, oil and gas and marine issues, managing a fleet of work barges and other offshore support vessels for the oil and gas industry. The fact that a subsidiary is also involved in the construction of oil platforms, barges, work barges and support vessels – meaning they also work on Saturdays, means I will also have to work on Saturdays, limiting my dive weekends to only Tioman. Other places including Perhentian and Redang can only be accessed during long weekends: meaning I will only fly to those places as I hate to drive during long weekends. That also means having to stay dry for 24 hours after my last dive before catching a flight home.

This job will be a challenging one, nevertheless, but at 42, telling people that you freelance is not exactly cool. And having a 9-5 job means I no longer have that pressure of having to market myself although I will only be paid the equivalent of a full Admiral of the Royal Malaysian Navy’s starting pay.

Let’s hope my brain can still do office wonders…