Things That Happened in January

I hadn’t been able to find the time to post about what happened in January this year. I would say though that it’s not something I’d like to think or talk about candidly because it’s one of my darkest days, and I am glad I’m over the entire episode.

So I had a crappy job last year. It only started getting crappy sometime in August 2019 because I switched bosses, and I started the job in March 2019. The crappiness came to a head sometime in January 2020. For my friends who were there for me or knew the story, I was probably a huge mess, but thanks for always being there.

My former boss (well, reporting officer would be a more appropriate term) yelled at me 7 times in a month, probably from December 2019 to January 2020. Each time she yelled I didn’t retaliate, and I mostly stayed quiet. It was not really out of fear that I did that, but I’ve never been too keen on being very dramatic in public, didn’t wanna start then, and I actually had never encountered such a situation at work so I didn’t really know how to manage.

After yelling at me for the 6th or 7th time (I would have to check my notes but frankly I’ve put most of these things to dust), I think she was summoned to the Deputy Director’s room to explain the situation. This happened the first week of January. The Deputy Director of the department I worked in is male, and after she left his room, he shot me a rather rude email about wanting to speak to me. Of course I asked what it was about. He said it’s just a follow up to some meeting we had in November 2019 (an appraisal of my work done between August and November). I’m not sure if it’s practised in the regular world, but to pit someone who’s been at a portfolio for three months against someone who’s been at the job between 1 to 5 years, I thought it was just the stupidest thing!

Promptly at 2pm the same afternoon I brought my computer and knocked on his door. He laughed nervously when he saw me with my computer, and I said in a no-nonsense tone, how else would I show evidence?

To cut a stupid story short, I explained what was wrong with my reporting officer, then things blew out of proportion after that, and the story became “Bonneka was being mean to her reporting officer”.

The head of department spoke to my reporting officer in the third week of January, and the latter exited the office after the conversation, and cried at the unfairness of it all, while I just sat there thinking “first you yelled at someone seven goddamned times, then now you cry foul??”

Contrary to what my face looks like most of the time (i.e. resting bitch face), I am not an angry person all the time. But this made me so angry! It made me so angry that I wanted to kill myself.

I wasn’t entirely honest with people. If I hadn’t off-ed myself that evening (Wednesday) I was sure I’d have come to work and murdered my reporting officer. Maybe if not murder, just beat her to a pulp? Those weren’t healthy thoughts, so I did the next best thing I could: I checked myself into the psych ward. I stayed for two days in the hospital and was given a 10-day hospitalisation leave.

The minute I stepped into the office in February 2020 after my hospitalisation leave, I sent in my resignation and was out by the following week because of all the vacation days I had.

Sometimes when I quit jobs I still feel a bit of sadness, but at this particular job I smiled from ear to ear the minute IT took away my computer. While I didn’t block anyone, I was and still am not really keen on contacting anyone from that awful workplace.

A week before I left, I made a comment to the Deputy Director regarding my successor (I did not willingly make the comment, but he forced my hand and I already could not give half a shit to be nice or professional anymore).

I told him if my reporting officer was not able to articulate properly in English (I could always see that she translated everything from Chinese to English in her head; in the first place she isn’t very bright), then they should really hire someone who could speak Chinese. Apparently my comment could qualify as a “racist” remark, so after all that crap about being methodical in my complaints, and remaining professional despite being abused at my workplace, the story concluded with “Bonneka being very controversial and confrontational”. I just smiled when someone told me that, and I told him he didn’t need to teach me how to behave in a workplace.

I have mental illness, and it so far has not impaired my judgment when it comes to work and being professional, although I must say I am still naïve and believe that everyone has good and bad.

I now understand we can’t throw caution to the wind about certain things, and if a person is a rotten apple and they have absolutely no redeeming qualities then so be it. No point debating or trying to reason!

This was frankly the only job I was overjoyed and too eager to leave, and I am glad I no longer work there. I’m not even interested in drama that comes after my departure, I don’t want to know anything, and I keep my interactions with my former colleagues to the minimum (of course I’d like to choose going NO CONTACT, but the industry is small, and so-and-so would always know some other so-and-sos).

Never in my life had I been so affected by work that I’d voluntarily check myself into the hospital, but there’s always a first for everything. Kind of like fisting and anal in sex.

That’s out of my system (woo-hoo!), and I’ll tell you more about my mental health in my next post.

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