“Are You Part of the Cargo or Member of the Crew?” (From Accountancy to TEFL #5)

"Are You Part of the Cargo or Member of the Crew" (From Accountancy to TEFL #5)

About the ACC to TEFL Series: In this series, I recount my journey, logic and reasoning behind making the shift from accountancy in Reno, NV to TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) in Bangkok, Thailand.


And So It Begins…

After a brief holiday recess with family in San Francisco, I headed back to Reno, NV to start my life in the working world. It felt isolating when I moved into my apartment which was a big empty space. It was different because I had lost the support network of a university There was no front desk of a dorm that I could go to for help nor clubs I could join and neither was there classmates I could befriend.

That’s the reality after college and a lesson that has stood me well since as I’ve moved from more then just one city to another, but across continents since then.

Nonetheless after getting set up in an apartment I was setting a pace as an accountant in the workplace. The work they had me do was tedious and menial. Which I can’t complain, when you’re young you gotta pay your dues.

Fear of Rejection and Loss

The problem I did have though was that there was not enough work to keep me occupied. I asked around a few times for more tasks and came up with nill. The rejection hurt even when there was no ill intention. The more pressing concern I had though was I was afraid I would get fired because there was not enough work to go around.

So I stayed my wallflower self trying to look busy and I woke up mornings with a sense of dread, “what am I going to do at work today?”

Of course this lack of productivity caught up to me. I was hauled into the office of the Vice President and asked to explain myself. Luckily I wasn’t fired and I based it on luck alone. They found me more work.

This fear I felt could have easily been averted if I had understood a simple truth espoused by Earl Nightingale.

The Ship, The Crew And The Cargo

Think of a company as a ship. When things are smooth sailing in good (economic) weather. The ship’s people develop a finer taste for luxuries and accessories. That is, things that are nice to have but not necessary.

But when (not if) things take a turn for the worst those nice silks and succulent mangoes get tossed overboard. The ship is sinking. Gotta trim the fat.

Now how about the crew, would they get tossed? Of course not, they are needed to keep the ship (company) in good working order.

Take that analogy and apply it to people. Those who are deemed essential services will always stay on as long as the ship is afloat. But those that are an extra pair of hands to make the lies of those on the ship easier are inessential.

The former are crew members while the later is cargo.

So if you are an employee in whatever field you gotta ask yourself; are you essential or inessential?

Are you a part of the cargo or a member of the crew?


Those deemed essential will always stay on while those seen as disposable are tossed overboard.

Previous Posts:

“Going Practical” (From Accountancy to TEFL #1)

“Caught in a Rat Race” (From Accountancy to TEFL #2)

“Plan But Leave Room For Adjustments” (From Accountancy to TEFL #3)

“A Wrong Does Not Right A Wrong” (From Accountancy to TEFL #4)


9 thoughts on ““Are You Part of the Cargo or Member of the Crew?” (From Accountancy to TEFL #5)

  1. Pingback: “Travel Hacking: How I Live Without An Income” (From Accountancy to TEFL #6) – Kingston S. Lim

  2. Pingback: “The Heart of Loneliness” (From Accountancy to TEFL #7) – Kingston S. Lim

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