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November 5, 2008

Posted by ash in Uncategorized.
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I need a break.

I haven’t been feeling well since the end of the press conference last week, I think countless late nights and running around has led my body to protest. Throat inflammation, cough and the recurring attacks of UTI has made me uptight and unhappy. Fever struck finally yesterday and between shivering and breaking into cold sweat, I tried to get a few hours of sleep. I decided to not to go to work today, texted my boss this morning and informed him of my situation. Nevertheless, he doesn’t seem convinced (maybe because I left work at 5.30 pm sharp yesterday) and texted me to call him. Didn’t manage to talk to him though, he was engaged in a meeting and told me to call again. I wonder what kind of work instructions he is going to give me given the fact that I am at home, with no VPN access and no office laptop.

That day we did my MBO evaluation. His comments for me was “You have no opinion”. I didn’t know what to say. He said my rival always has an opinion, and that she always makes an effort to collect other peoples’ opinions and on top of that adds her own. “You Singaporeans are so straight. Whatever instructions you receive, you do it immediately and too fast. Sure, that’s efficiency but sometimes I think, if you can stop for a minute and think how you can organize your work,  you would be able to do work with more depth.” Then he tells me “Don’t be a messenger” . You see, I really don’t know what to say or do anymore to a boss who repeatedly emphasises that “I am the one who makes the decision”, “who said you could do this?”, and replies to your “opinions” with answers like “I think you have a point, BUT blah blah blah (and ends up doing his own)”.

Then he adds the crushing blow. “You (and her) will be compared. It’s inevitable” “Whatever I give you, I have to give her too.” And as though it’s a consolation, he proceeds to say that “At least she is not a fellow Singaporean, I think it would be worse if the both of you are of the same nationality” I personally think that’s the most shallow comment I have ever heard. It’s shallow not because it is, it’s shallow because of what he said before that. Saying that we Singaporeans are straight blah blah blah, does that mean that in this case you Japanese and a Filipino with an american accent are not?

To my defense, it’s not that I have no opinions. It’s that your command of English language is limited. My opinions are sometimes incorporated into the email messages. I think my boss thinks that all personal opinions must start with “I think” or “I feel”. If A says something which I agree with, sometimes I would just say “A thinks we should do this, what do you think?” To me, my affirmation is included in that line. If I disagreed I would have said “A thinks we should do this, I don’t think so. It would be better if …” I guess he just doesn’t get it.

My disadvantage? I don’t work smart. Hours spent in the studio in Indonesia has not won me any recognition of hard work. That day he went to a local studio with her, when he came back at 6 pm, she wasn’t with him. I assumed she had gone home directly from the studio, so I asked him “where is (she)?” His reply? “She’s still at the studio, she’s really working hard”.

I want to say you suck at managing your staff. I spent 18 hours in the studio in Indonesia, past midnight. It was only 6 pm in the studio and you call that working hard? And don’t say I am being petty, I wouldn’t think he is comparing if not for the fact that he really always does. I tell you, she doesn’t work late hours, but everytime she does, it just so happens that he sees it. The worst thing is, when I asked her what time she went back from the studio the next morning, she said she went back at 5.30 pm, together with my boss. He back to the office, and she to the MRT station. I don’t understand why my boss lied to me.

In the recent 2 months, my confidence has gone down down down. I feel incompetent and unappreciated. With each tactless comment he makes, I react by working harder. I push myself and push myself, but I don’t think it is paying off. Everytime I see her doing only the minimum and getting praised, I feel terrible. I don’t know what is wrong with me. Everyone says I am not working smart, but I don’t know how to work smart. My working style has always been like this. I don’t know how to smile and look sweet and be pleasant, that’s why no one is fawning on me calling me the next sweet thing. I hate to be living in their shadows. I want to break out of this.

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