I read with amusement the front page of a certain Sunday newspaper blaring to the whole Malaysian public (and opportunists alike!) about a windfall that all teachers (to all civil servants actually, but why focus on teachers?) can soon expect. I say that I read in amusement because the windfall that is promised (or about time actually!) comes with two pitfalls or three and that all these just like some kind of domino effect!
The first of the pitfall that comes with the windfall is that the windfall is not a windfall after all. Long before announcements about this happy (really?) news is announced, all shop owners from retailers to small sundry shop owners have silently but surely started hiking prices of their goods. You really feel the pinch when the same amount of money you use to bring to the grocers a month of two ago, does not seem to get you the same amount of goods. In fact you realize that the things you are able to purchase with that amount of money is getting relatively less.
The second pitfall that comes with the windfall (one pitfall can be expected, but two or more is a careful and strategic planning on the part of the people providing the windfall!) is the increase of work load. You tend to realize the work you do is increasing (not proportionate to the windfall!) and that you seem to be going home later in the day. You realize that the 'work' that is added to your long (read : looooooong!) list of work has no direct link to the profession you are holding! Blurred and dazed, you bulldoze ahead!
And the third pitfall (definitely not the last, I assure you!) is you seem to pay for more things! Whether you realize it or not, things that you didn't have to pay before this windfall, now require some kind of payment. Services that were once never taxed, now require you to pay some kind of tax! Parking your vehicles which used to be free, now requires you to pay for some kind of coupon or token!
On the plus side (yes, fortunately there is a plus side!), the windfall inadvertently teaches me, personally, to be a thrifty person. In order to save more of the windfall that is given, I feel that I have to be aware of my expenditure (children's education is no exception, however!) If we continue to spend the way we used to, the windfall which has its pitfalls, will turn into everyone's downfall!