<<  Byron Bay / Slovakia, 21-Dec-2013  >>

Story of 3 guys from Slovakia

Lesson of the universe onÖ onÖ I don't know what on. It's not a lesson. It's summary of what can happen when you work in IT consulting in Slovakia and then te universe kicks in

In span of just few days I received 2 news about my ex-colleagues from Slovakia.
The first one was actually not a news, as I was informed it had happened long time ago, I simply did not know it, because Iíve been away all the time. The second one was a real news.

News #1:
My friend and ex-colleague from Accenture and later from ZUNO, who joined Accenture very shortly after me, with whom I worked on my (and his) first project in Prague (and more projects later), who was promoted in Accenture at the same time as me and with whom I shared a similar career path, basically someone like my career-brother, became a chief marketing officer of ZUNO bank. The bank that I helped to establish, because I was a project manager for the establishment of the bank, and this role was a clear highlight of my previous career. In other words, he became a BFB (big fucking boss, thatís a formal position) :-) in the bank. One of other ex-colleagues became a chief information officer in that bank, thatís another BFB position. Both of them are now in the top management of that bank. Good for them, they both worked hard and deserve this great success! God only knows, but I assume that if instead of all my trips around USA, Asia, Pacific and now around the world, I would focus on my career and worked and worked and worked, I could maybe be in their shoes now. Or at least somewhere near. Instead of it Iím washing the dishes :-) Now I got what I wanted! :-) This ex-colleague of mine is coming to Australia for a business trip and I was imagining how hilarious it would be if he came to our restaurant I would have to wash his dishes. After hearing this news I did a lot of thinking and imagining of parallel universes and where I could be if I had been bit more normal. But Iím not and so I am where I am and I feel great. But anyway this news made me think. Itís not envy, I left because I couldnít stand my then-current life in Slovakia and I wanted to travel the world, and in no way I would like to hold their positions now. Not for me anymore, I have given up my ambitions of becoming a BFB and traded it for months and years of freedom. I sincerely prefer to the dishes here for a while than doing what they have to do (I know how hard and stressful their jobs actually are), but itís true that when I was younger, just few years ago, maybe just 2 years ago, when I was climbing the corporate ladder, I had dreamed about reaching those positions. They achieved them. Iím working in an apron. Dealing with the old dreams again, the dreams that are no longer your dreams anymore, but they used to be your dreams and the trace of them remainsÖ Interesting stuff this type of contemplation. I like it.

I was still contemplating the parallel universes and thinking about my choices when I received the news #2:
I received a Facebook message from one of my ex-colleagues from my very last project. The beginning of the message appeared on my iPhone screen and said: ďHi Marcel, do you remember XYZ from the project? ÖĒ And I thought that the rest of the message would be ďHe is coming to Australia so you can meet himĒ. Instead of it, the rest of the message was this: ďYesterday was his funeral. He lost his fight with cancerĒ. I was as shocked as one can get. This guy, while not being a close of friend of mine, was one of my favorite people on the project. He was super smart, nice, he did his job excellently. He was my age. I think he had a child last year. I remember him exactly, in full health and strength when I said good bye to him on the project. When I saw him he was guy like me, same age, same project. Now heís in a coffin. I find it unimaginable, that some whom you remember so alive, is now dead. And especially from cancer, in our age. He was diagnosed in May, he died in December. Thatís incredibly sad, and so fucking SCARY! I felt very very sad for him and his family, and it took me few days to process the news.

So hereís the wrap-up.
Marcel and ABC where born in the same year, in the same country, graduated from the same university, worked for the same company, had the same salary, were promoted together, then both left Accenture and later worked again together on an important positions for ZUNO bank.
ABC stayed in Slovakia and focused on his career, wife and child and soon became one of the directors of the bank.
Marcel left Slovakia (multiple times), focused on traveling, zen and other bullshit and ended up washing the dishes in Australia.
XYZ did the same as ABC and died in 12 months.

Iím not sure what it is that the universe is trying to teach us.
(Actually thatís a lie, I do know. As always, universe is not trying to teach us anything. Everything is product of unimaginable randomness and obscurity of the universe, and even that what we consider as free will and determination is nothing but product of our deterministic brains that are product of the same random obscurity, starting with quantum field, madness of particle physics, all the way through mockingly weird path of evolution to the chaos of our lives. And then we die. Thatís it.)

In memory of my friend from project in VUB banka. Rest is peace.

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     MARCEL STRBAK | www.strbak.com | www.facebook.com/marcel.strbak