I asked. They answered. I wrote. – Sebastian Junger
It just happened recently, barely a week ago. The incident is still fresh although the news or let’s say the gossip circulating around the office has subsided a bit after my episode with my project manager (PM). Okay, let the truth be told and let this be a lesson to every worker in this planet. Please allow me to give an introduction so that you could fully understand why I reacted that way. So, the flashback starts now…
Today is the day I told myself that I will change for the good, for a ‘bit’ good to become better if not the best self that I could possibly imagine. I have gotten loads of e-mails and tasks in my inbox and that is normal. Then, I got an urgent task that said it should be submitted within three days. And, for this hell of a PM, he said it is normal. Just to give you a brief idea of what ‘normal’ is, normal means instant, fast, accurate, correct and I know you are guessing it right, toxic. Normal is toxic in his own context and this kind of normal is the state he is implementing to the rest of us here. As I do not want to sound too technical (I am not a technical person in the first place), the document that I am writing is not just a manual with workflows and some architecture in it, but also a marketing document to be submitted to the clients that will be used in their different branches.
I was like, what the hell am I in now? I know nothing about this since I only know basic information and my knowledge will not suffice or sustain the correct words and content that should go into the document. I told him right away that I need more time to do it. I do not mind wearing another hat and do a job outside my scope but I am hoping that I would be given an ample time and a reasonable deadline. At the back of my mind, I know I will do it since I will also be learning things along the way which would hone me and my craft. You might ask, did I complain and told him my concerns? Millions times over but in my case as an IT consultant and in my one-sided contract with many loopholes, the only option is to get things done as long as it has a correlation (as if there is!) with the tasks given on hand. Also, my main task was given to other colleagues which he did intentionally so that my plate is empty and that I could take on writing this whatever-type-of-shit document. And, what would happen if the clients did not like it? Who gets to be humiliated and crashed? And the name that they will curse every now and then if the document contained wrong information? You know the answer. So, I did what I could and told him that I am not done with the document. He still insisted that I have to submit a final document or else, the client would have the wrong impression if we do not deliver on time. Wow, I just heard the “we” word, as if we are a good team working together, which is exactly the complete opposite.
To summarize what have happened, the next day was a shouting spree, not a match because I did not join the asshole. My ear drums burst when PM shouted directly to my ear and my colleagues seated in front (near the elevator entrance, I am seated at the back) heard his loud voice which resonated back and forth within the office arena. I was also amused by my reaction since I did not utter any single word. I just gave him the what-the-hell-are-you-doing kind of look then I went back to writing the shit he asked me to write. I do not know what kind of air I have inhaled because I felt peace within me. Friends were also disgusted that I did not shout back at him or why I did not blurt a thing or two when that incident happened. I could have complained to the Ministry of Manpower but I am not in the mood so I let it pass.
Third day. This is the day he set to be the deadline of the useless document (since it is a draft) and he set a meeting with me. I told right away that I did not finish the document, he knows it anyway. How on earth and how the heck would I finish a document in three days if I am doing all these by myself: requirements gathering, talking to client and subject matter experts, learning and testing the system itself, some support on the side and a lot more ad hoc stuff that I was assigned to do. It is like I am wearing more hats and this is not even a fashion show. I only have one head and one body. I get the point where we should go the extra mile but this case was like, “Hey you, get to your rocket ship and go to Mars” and I am not even equipped. Since the program manager was also in the meeting, I was asked why I did not submit on time. My winning line is this: I am not a magician. I am just a writer doing more than what is expected. I really hate useless meetings because my time is being wasted. So, if you guys would excuse me for awhile? I would really appreciate that. I’d rather go back to work, please.
So much for my goal of being quiet and forgiving. I am abused. Call me naive, childish and unprofessional, I would accept it. Really. After all, we are entitled to our own democracies that we set ourselves into and we are deemed correct for what we fully believe in. If they think I am nuts, bullshit or dumb, they are right. In their own world and in their own eyes, they are right. And, if you are wondering why the hell I am still in this company, it is because of the bond stated in the contract. People here have been wanting to get out but they can’t. We are all swimming in the sea of uncertainty and hoping that we get a new ocean. People here knew what happened and asked me if I am afraid if I get terminated. Termination would be a blessing because if that happens, the contract will be void. 🙂
Further, I stood my ground and walked away politely (Hahaha, I said thanks). I am nice but I have learned to be firm. Regarding the document, I passed it on my selected date! I had a full week writing it with no disturbance from those nonsense people. I have learned that in the end, everything is up to us. You get affected if you allow others to affect you. If we let their negativity and bad aura into our system, we are doomed. We always have a choice whether or not the ball is inside our court. Are we going to let the crap in? I don’t and I won’t. Ever. Again.