The Highs And Lows Part 2; I Ramble: 12 December 2020

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

While last Monday was a good day, last Tuesday was okay.

It was my first day of work. I really was dreading it. Luckily, my husband could drive me to work. Traffic was bad since we were heading into the city, where my workplace is. However, it didn’t take as long as what my husband thought. He was convinced it would take us more than an hour to get there but I was pretty adamant that it wouldn’t be too bad. I left the house at 9am and reached the workplace at 9.32am. I really didn’t want to arrive too early but oh wells. I was greeted by a thank-you card and a packet of goodies in my locker given by two different individuals.

I really appreciate the gestures. The context for the thank-you card was that I had been taking up the task of conducting orientation for new staff, which were supposed to be done by managers but they kept dodging it. I find that orientation is the best time to induct your new staff, to get to know them, and form a bond with them. I don’t know why these managers don’t leap at the chance to forge that bond, which I find to be important in fostering a good working environment and culture. Orientation is also the best time for a manager to share expectations and assess the new staff’s attitude and aptitude. Oh wells. The bright side is that I see myself differently now. I now believe that one of the strengths of my leadership is that I am able to find opportunities in seemingly menial tasks. Another skill I was able to hone when conducting orientation is my presentation skills. I don’t feel uncomfortable speaking to a group of people. I also find that I’m able to reorganise the program based on the learning needs of the new staff instead of insisting on my pace. But now, I found out, they decided not to let stores conduct the orientation. HQ members will be doing that instead. Personally, I feel, it removes a great opportunity for the managers’ professional development but unfortunately, they are just glad to not have to do it. Sighs.

My weakness as a leader is not having the business skills and acumen but at least I have decent soft skills, which makes me versatile enough to survive in the real world. I shall continue to better myself in those areas.

So besides orientation, I also helped in unpacking of clothes in preparation for a special collection launch. I actually worked from 10am until late like close to 10.30pm for two days just to finish up unpacking every single item. At the end of it, I really wanted to vomit from unpacking everything from the collection at levels 2 and 3. I’m pretty sure that if my mum knows about this, she’ll be like, “You went to university just to end up unpacking boxes?!” To be honest, I do enjoy it. Gives me a nice mental break from the other headaches posed to my team on a daily basis. But the volume was just too crazy. So yeah. That’s the context of the card. So that made me feel valued.

As for the goodies, that was pretty random so I regarded it as a back-to-work survival pack. Hahaha!

So back to a pretty much non-eventful Tuesday. I was chugging at a pace of 40% efficiency, which I’m quite ashamed of but it couldn’t be helped since I had been away for about three weeks and my burns were itching up the whole day at work, which was unlike my experience on Monday. I usually put in a 150% at work but on not-so-good days, just my 100%. Extended for about half an hour just to get my tasks done before I could feel comfortable to head home.

Then came Wednesday. What a day.

It was the day that I realised how truly neglected my team was and how lowly we were treated by these so-called managers.

It all started with one person’s inability to address my team respectfully and I ended up saying something that sparked the person’s outrage further. It was something as dumb as that person using an accusatory tone to say we didn’t do our jobs instead of him checking on the matter himself. Remember, I just came back from my medical leave and apparently the matter was supposed to be reported a week ago. So being brutally honest, I said I’ll add it to our backlog. Because, remember again, before I got burnt, we sacrificed completing our tasks in order to support the unpacking. The launch was on a Friday but after I suffered the burn on Thursday, of course I couldn’t work on that Friday onwards. Yet, they insisted on my team to help out on the launch-related tasks. Throughout my absence as well, they kept hammering on my team to do their shit despite them knowing that there would be only one person working on some days. My team is just a three-person team. Yet we are always expected to do everything. So by the time I’m back, the backlog is absolutely mammoth. So to me, my team has other priorities. You want me to settle it? Fine, get in line then.

So back to that stupid incident. It subsequently turned into a let-us-sit-down-and-discuss-this-shit.

Absolute waste of time and we accomplished nothing. What I got out of it was that the person needed to hide behind our deputy manager instead of being straight with us. As though he wanted to say, look, DM, these girls are not doing their work and look at the direspectful way they are talking to me.

Additionally, the person was trying to say shit like my team gotta ask for support when we need it and support them back in return because it is trust blahblahblah.

Tell me, right now, where was the support when I needed it? I remember having to handle a customer complaint but none of them really stepped up to help me out. I even had to beg for help. The worst of them all was this person. Told me he would handle it. Told me not to call the customer yet. Do you know what happened? When I checked on him, he said he had clocked out and I should get another manager to handle it. With absolutely no remorse. And now he’s saying my team doesn’t show remorse for supposedly failing to carry out a task that he wanted us to do? Pendejo!

And I don’t know, man, all those times we have quietly supported them and even taking initiative to support them, do that all not matter? Did we not do exactly just that?

Some people are only good in listening to their own voice.

Regardless of that bullshit, I will still put in the shift that I need to. Just that I would scale it down to 100% instead of 150%.

So I know what to do now.

And Allah knows best. – MM

Author: Baeda

Born 1989. Female. Metropolitan Muslimah. Songstress. Teacher in the Early Childhood Care and Education sector in Singapore. Gooner since the signing of Mesut Özil on 2 September 2013. We won two back-to-back FA Cups since. Made my first trip to the Emirates on 10 May 2015 followed by my first home game against Swansea City on 11 May 2015, which we lost 0-1.

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