Different Value System

“It seems that their days are too easy, go find some jobs for them.” This is what I heard this morning from one of the colleagues, when I was struggling with my assembly code assignment. And, the synonym “they” in the sentence included me.

Doing my substitute military service in a government office is actually a big hate for me as I found that I have a different value system from the government officers fundamentally. Sadly, this job is mandatory in our country. Even though there’s no real need in having that much manpower, our government still takes the freedom away from every man in our country for one year long.

Different Definition in Personal Achievement

Working for the government is a very safe career path in our country as the country offers long-life job for these people. And, the only thing these people have to concern is not to get into any trouble, and make good impression to the bosses. Under this situation, they define the personal achievement in how much fun they can have, or how less work they can do but still being safe from losing the job.

As for me, I always believe there’s a big dream I should work on. And, only by understanding the society and the real human need, I can then bring something helpful to the people. So, I spend time working on my own projects, or studying. While the conflicts between the officers and I happened when we talked randomly about the goal of life. I may feel disappointed that not much thing I can do here, while they may feel happy since it’s a place that couldn’t go wrong.

Different Understanding in Meaningful Job

By reading an elementary book in Management, like “The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement”, we can know that giving out a job that is not helping current situation is making the whole system worse. It’s actually a pretty intuitive concept. Let’s say there’s a person who can do a work which generates $40 value per hour, then his stupid manager ask him to do a work that generates $5 product per hour, everyone will get harm in this system eventually. That is, the person lost $40 opportunity cost, and the manager can actually hire someone else who can do the $5/hr job more reluctantly. Moreover, in most of the cases, the $5 product isn’t critical at all, and they became the inventory cost which will never bring the revenue. The whole system lost $45 in total because of the stupid job assignment.

The concept described here has been happening frequently during the past year. When I was trying to build the ducky robot — a psychotherapist that listens to people’s mental problems, I was occupied by a job for typing a printed Microsoft Word document back to the digital file because the boss didn’t want to share the original file. When I was working on the binary reversing assignment of 15–513, my CMU summer online course, they told me that “there’s a course about learning how to use Google Calendar you might be interested in.”

Different Attitude in Making The Change

“This is how the system works, fit yourself into it since you’re not going to change it.”

This is another phrase I heard a lot here. Although everyone complains about multiple things everyday here, but I rarely see anyone trying to fix it or figure out the root problem. I wasn’t comfortable about this at first, and was pretty upset. However, I then understand it’s caused by the different value systems. For them, making the change isn’t the thing that they care; on the contrast, keeping a safe life is, and a secure life brings happiness.

Respect is the King

When I started to understand all of these are caused by having different value systems, I then started to respect. The world is diverse and beautiful because that we all have different opinions on different things, and we all are different from each other. The conflicts appear when people trying to ask others to believe in the same thing they believe. That is, we all get offended when people ask you to do what they want without caring about your feelings. Therefore, respect is the king.


Originally published at cmu.heron.me, May 30, 2016.