Thursday, 21 July 2011

Coz this is a late-night rant that I'll probably regret in the morning...

So it occurred to me that I'm surrounded by really nice people. Like really really nice, genuinely good people. Like my friend Lenah. She's a real angel, and I'm not saying that because her wispy blonde tresses have a tendency to blow in the wind like some kind of Scarlett O' Hara shit going on. She's genuinely one of the best people I know with a heart of gold. 

There's so many things I admire about Lenah. Her aura is amazing. She's one of those people that's so pleasant to be around, that just being with her makes me a better person. She doesn't have a malicious bone in her body. She never gossips about anyone. Everything that she says is always lovely and amazing and funny. 

I love that no matter what or where we are, she always makes time to go to church and pray - and that she makes it comfortable for me to go to the mosque and pray too, or pray in the room next to her while she turns down the volume of the TV. I love that nothing phases her. Nothing. She has such faith in God and such a strength about her that anything can happen - she can have a fight with the neighbour or she can lose her purse and it all just rolls off her back. She accepts things so easily, even when she doesn't like them - she accepts it with such grace and humility. 

I always look at her and wonder why can't I be more like her. Why is it so easy for her to just let it go and accept things and people for who they are. Why is it that she can speak so politely and earnestly to the sales lady even after she'd been rude, dismissive and disrespectful to her - while I'm thinking of ways to set the bitch on fire and make it look like an accident.   

Why do I always have to be the evil bitch? Why do I always have to be the one up in arms? Why do my eggs of life always have to be scrambled while hers are poached to perfection, ready to be photographed for Martha Steward's next publication.

There's a guy at work who is one of  a trio that head the company. And for some reason, every single time this guy has a bad day or he's peeved off at something or someone, he likes to take it out on me. The first time it happened, he was having an argument with his loser son over the telephone in the boardroom - loud enough for most of us to hear. I didn't even listen to the conversation, just went about my business, doing my work. 

A few minutes later, he stormed into my office and went off about how incompetent "we" are (referring to me and something I didn't do - and quite obviously projecting his feelings towards his son onto me). I just kept quiet, even though I really wanted to take a carving knife and peel the top layer of his skin off like a banana and rub a mixture of salt and lemon juice into his raw flesh, then tell him to fuck off with his shit-for-brains spawn. But knowing that he was upset, I didn't want to blow it out of proportion.

But, thing is, I have a one time policy. Which means that the first time an offence is committed, I let it go. After that, it's On like Donkey Kong biatch. I'm one of the few people in the world that is NOT afraid of confrontation which makes me the wrong bitch to mess with on any given day. 

The second time came about a few months ago when he asked me to do something specific for him - it was for one of our meetings - and wanting it to be accurate I asked him a few additional questions about the project. And of course, on this day he was in one of his horrific condescending, insulting moods and thinking he can just shit all over me, he proceeded to shout out incomprehensible instructions to me in front of the entire office... including the other two bosses. 

At this point I thought to myself... "you had to take it there"... time to unleash the dragon. And so I proceeded to explain to him in front of everyone, that it's not my problem if he cannot communicate in basic English, and that it's not my problem that he doesn't know what it means to be professional, and that it's not my problem that he's an incompetent bastard and that he carries on like a fucking child. Needless to say, my reaction shocked the shit out of him and he stormed off like the immature rat that he is, and the office was dead silent for a week. See, most people can't handle confrontation.

But it wasn't enough to get him to back off for good. Yesterday, he storms into the office, once again upset with something or someone. I had my earphones on, not wanting to be a part of the office politics and whatnot, and he asked me to have a look at his computer (concerning a technical problem that isn't a part of my job description and of which I have absolutely no knowledge of) - but I didn't hear him. 

When I did take the earphones off, he said rather loudly "when I call you, you leave whatever you're doing and you come over immediately"... 

I HATE being talked down to, insulted and yelled at like a dog. In fact, it makes me homicidal. And so I replied by saying "Ok, firstly, I didn't hear you"... Sensing the aggressive tone in my don't-fuck-with-me-today-old-man voice, he then said (and I love this part) "look it's not you, it's just that I'm having a bad day"... implying that it's not my fault that he's in a bad mood but that he's still going to drag me over the coals anyway... and so I replied, practically screaming in his face, "Oh really? Well I'm having a SHIT day!"

And once again my response took him by surprise and he then said that he'll "back off". I took one look at his computer and dismissively said I couldn't help him. The ENTIRE office. Deathly silent. The other two bosses don't even want to ask me for anything and usually send in their secretaries to do their bidding. 

And again, I sat there wondering why... why do I always have to be the bad one... because now everyone looks at me like I'm the crazy one! Like I'm the one that's an olive short of a martini. Like I'm the one going around, screaming like a fucking banshee in incomprehensible English. Like I'm the one that's rude and arrogant and condescending. 

And once again, I find myself wondering why can't I be more like Lenah, and just let it roll off my back and not bother me. Why can't I just keep my mouth shut and live in denial like all the other two-faced bitches in the place. Why can't I just play nice? And why do I always attract the fuckers who think they can just talk to me the way they want to and that I'll just sit there and smile. Do you think I like being rude to a man in his 60's? I wasn't brought up like that, I take no pleasure in it. But it's like they want to test me.

I'm not a good person. One of the worst actually.

I pointed this out to Lenah many times. And she always tells me that she wishes she could be more like me. And that people usually tramp all over her because she hates confrontation and that it's easier for her to ignore things because she doesn't want to deal with it. 

We are different people like that. I'm an emotionally deep person. I can be fearless at the best of times. I love and hate with a passion. I'm an expressive person... my words are the steam rising from the volcano... and shutting up will only make that volcano erupt.

But Lenah isn't someone who expresses her emotions. Maybe it's a German thing. She rarely ever talks about them and the one time she cried in my presence, I felt awkward even though I wrapped my arms around her, because she felt awkward over the fact that she couldn't control how she felt in that moment. 

She's still an angel though. And one of my best friends. 

Today I was sitting at my desk at work and I thought about how I've come to resent the corporate world. On days like these I wish I was a Marine Biologist or something like that. Today I realised that every single moment I sit behind that desk, in that office, I'm wasting my life - it's like a little part of me dies every day. I'm wasting time not doing something that feeds my soul. I'm very good at business... and once I thought that was what I wanted. Now, I can't even imagine what the fuck I'm going to do with an MBA because I'm just. not. interested. anymore. I spoke to my Professor and she concurred that even if I did stay in the corporate world, South Africa is just not the place for me to work the way I want to because most of the companies here still follow an antiquated autocratic hierarchy system.

When I love what I do, I'm a workaholic. I've been working since I was a kid - during school holidays and weekends. My parents haven't supported me financially since I was 19. I even paid for my own tuition at University while I worked and studied full-time (don't ask me how I pulled that off).

But when I hate my job, I spend most of my time procrastinating and having fantasies that involve Arson and Industrial Sabotage. Unhappy workers are VERY dangerous people.

I can't live like this anymore. I need to change my career. Now, where to start...


  1. Standing up to a bully is a necessary if unpleasant task. I bet a lot of people in your office were secretly cheering you on. As for your friend Lenah, different people have different roles in life.

  2. Maybe you should become clairvoyant? That might be a good job -- unless you ended up like Cassandra. Blessed to know the future and cursed such that nobody would believe you.

  3. You should not have to work in an environment where people treat others that way. It's unhealthy. I would venture a guess that if you did the same job you do now, with a boss who appreciated your work, and encouraged your growth that you might actually find joy in it. If that isn't the case and you truly hate your job hon, you need to find a way out.

    Lenah is your balance and you are hers. That's pretty damn special girl!

  4. hmmm... so sorry that you have had those sorta experiences with one of the bosses.

    I think it is grand that you are assertive and stand up for yourself. Many people, as you say already, do avoid confrontation. you stand up for yourself. imagine, if everyone in the world was exactly the same - what a boring place it would be!

  5. ooh. I don't have very many words to say, except that there's a small part of me that feels relieved that I'm not the only person with corporate violence sentiments. hurrah to us!

  6. Uurgh-what a douchebag of a boss. Sorry Azra. But I admire that you are assertive & can stand up to people.
    I can't. I get annoyed, rant to my family & maybe friends, but I just let things go. Not always good.

    I hope you find something you truly enjoy doing.

  7. I can so identify with this :) When i hated my job I felt like throttling people (even though I'm the non-confrontational type of person).. and deciding to change my career is one of the best decisions I've made in my life. Deciding on a new career - well that proved to be a lot harder than being stuck in a job that felt "safe".

  8. GB - I wish my role could be less aggressive but it's like people just don't hear or listen to me when I'm mild and meek.

    LL - I'd make a good Clairvoyant. But I'd rather work for Nutella :D

    Angie - In my entire employment history, I've gotten along really well with all my bosses. Except this fool. It's time to move on. & yeah, real friends are a gift from God :)

    Prixie - I don't mind standig up for myself but sometimes I wish I was more diplomatic and stern like my Mother. She never ever has to raise her voice when she's angry, all she does is speak in a hush monotone and her passive aggressiveness has people quivering in their boots. As a result, most people are deathly afraid of her and no one will ever DARE talk to her in that way.

    Irfaan - Hurrah indeed! Something gratifying about commiseration and comforting Nutella moments :) And this too shall pass. We were made for greater things you and I. Well you and your brilliance mostly.

    bb-Aisha - Thank you for your comforting words. I really hope I can find something I enjoy too. I have something in mind, but it's not going to be easy. No better time to pull it together and get my life sorted out though.

    nk - So nice to hear from you :) I remember all the agony you went through when changing your career! I really hope you're in a better place now! Mail me and let me know whats new.

  9. Hmm. I remember a comment you once left on my blog something about moderation. If we all lived a life of moderation, things would be so much easier. It seems like you and your friend are on the opposite ends of a see-saw.
    But I agree with Gorilla Bananas that most people would have been silently shouting Bravo and Hurray in their hearts.

  10. You're awesome. Telling people crap is an art, you could be plain mean or you could it with that calmness that leaves the person feeling scared afterwards. Your friend can't tell people off thats why she admires you.

    Can you imagine how difficult it would be for her if she was in the situation ? Plus once someone knows they can take advantage of someone than it won't stop, so the situation would be compounded for her. Be thankful for knowing how to be harsh

    Why do you work for someone when you could clearly run a business ?

  11. Oh wow. My heart really goes out to you, and I feel that I know EXACTLY how you feel. Though I admire you for being able to confront the situation - there have been few times I've done it and I'm sure you know how it goes - letting the wheels turn inside your head, thinking of oh-so-much-better responses you could have given.

    So...a career change eh? This sounds exciting and full of potential, and as cliche as it may sound, I'm pretty sure you'll stumble upon the road you're looking for when you least expect it. ;)

    Best of luck, and of course you don't have a heart of gold. You have a heart of delicious, rich and sweet Nutella!

  12. Nas - I do ardently believe in a life of moderation and I place a lot of value on that because its something I struggle with constantly. And that's why it irks me when I'm pushed to react in an unpleasant way. I'm not one to just keep quiet when someone is trying to humiliate me... I suppose its because I was bullied relentlessly as a child and I will never allow anyone to ever make me feel like that again.

    SS - I ask myself the same question every day. I always wanted to be a CEO - but as I grew up I decided it was too much responsibility. I want a life of Quality, not necessarily Quantity.
    My problem is that I tend to vacillate between extremes - when I'm nice I'm SUPER-NICE... I'll walk through Hell for the people I care about. But when people want to mess with me and treat me like a piece of trash, I can make Satan look like Mother Teresa :P

    Michi - I really don't like fighting but I'm very good at it ;P Like Mr. Miyagi said: "Fighting not goof. But if must fight, Win!" :D
    In all honesty, I really hope it all comes together easily and soon re: the career. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. I definitely want some great changes in my life and I'm striving for that.

  13. Ugh, forgive all the typos... it's late for "old" people me :)

  14. Can't you have Quality being a CEO ?

    Even that, I think the whole entreprenuer route is way cooler.

    Oh and yeah, could you please get anamanics for me ?

  15. Oh and The magic school bus as well ?

  16. SS - CEO's work ALL the time. There's too much responsibility for my liking. Some people like that, but it's not for me.
    Email me your address and I will ask my cousin to burn a disk for you re: Animaniacs.