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Tale Wagging The Dog

“Tearing away at the fabric which binds me is just one way I can lighten the load and find a clearing in the woods to lay down and do my work…unencumbered by the weight of my own fancied expectations and lies of the mind.”

Message in a Bottle

Now that's a hang dog expression Now that’s a hangdog expression

We all have them.

Those stories.  You know the ones – the little tales and fables that we create and tell ourselves over and over again.  And sometimes trumpet to others.  The stories that we act out on.  The ones we rehearse and perform and perfect and groom and preen and fuss over.  The ones that adorn us like glittering stones and sunset-coloured scarves.

The little white lies, the booming whoppers, the threads of delusion that shoot through our lives.  You know those ones.  And we stamp our lives with them like they are golden sheets of truth and hold up to the light of scrutiny.

It’s the things that we tell ourselves and believe them.  Things like:

  • I wasn’t meant to be happy
  • I was never a pretty child
  • Everyone I know is fake but me
  • Girls don’t like going for a guy like…

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Blog Post Monday, 18-Mar-2014: I’m still learning

Blog Post Monday, 18-Mar-2014: I’m still learning

But I’m making progress

As a matter of fact, I’ve been doing a lot of blog posts lately. I really wanted to see what the result would be when I create a new post, where the system would place it in my dashboard, the statistical information, what the available font features are, and so on.

Thus, essentially, I’m still in the learning stage to hone my blogging skills and to absorb all the possible experience into my psyche. Now I can visualize the great potential that blogging has for me, for anyone for that matter.

I can now see the big smile 😀 I have on my face because of blogging …

GIVE RESPECT TO EARN IT

I was reading a column in one of the leading newspapers where I reside written by Carole Spiers on June 27th. Her opening lines were “Treat others as you would want them to treat you! How many times do we hear this being said? We say it to our children and hope they will remember it for the rest of their lives. We all know that to earn respect, we must first give respect. Respect is one of the foundation stones of a healthy relationship but very often it is not recognized as being essential.”

Treat others as you would want them to treat you!

Carole Spiers writes her column in the Business Pages as one of the distinguished commentators and analysts of the paper. she is a BBC guest broadcaster and motivational speaker. She is CEO of an international stress management consultancy and her new book, ‘Show Stress Who’s Boss!’ is available at many good bookshops.

Her words are not new to me, I learned them at a very young age from another woman who brought me into this world and raised me singlehandedly till it was time for me to live in the real world with people who were raised in many different ways. She was a role model for me, she practiced what she preached. No doubt about it, she was a leader and she led by example. Back then I couldn’t figure out why she would even treat with respect people she had been arguing with at the office.

Admiration and respect of our peers.

Carole read four studies undertaken by the University of Berkeley which showed that the admiration and respect of our peers have a greater bearing on our overall happiness in life than our bank balance or the status of being rich. So, if we help someone feel valued and treat them with respect, then why don’t we? We all know the good feeling we experience when we feel respected.

Now back to why I’m writing this. It’s because my experience in the recent and far past has been the opposite when seen as the backdrop of my relationship with some of my superiors.  The last one I had always shakes my hand when we meet, greets me and asks how I’m doing, emails me with words like your efforts are appreciated when some achievement has been attained.

Is it different with superiors?

But I came to realize towards the end of my employment, he had actually been scheming to remove me from my post so he could appoint somebody else and revise the whole department. By then it was too late, I had taken him at face value. I was unprepared for the ‘massacre’ that ensued, he sacked in a space of four months seven people, one after the other. Eventually he didn’t own up to the sackings, it was conveniently attributed to a committee he formed.

All the admiration and the respect of the past four years were swept under the carpet as if they didn’t exist at all. Consequently, I’ve lost all the good feelings I had all these years especially when one considers many of the employees had families to support and their spouses were on the family way.

So the questions that I ask are

  • Are the University of Berkely and Carole wrong within this context
  • Did she write the article to include superiors
  • Were my ‘supeeriors’ my peers or were they my enemy
  • Is a young executive more likely to be a friendly enemy than an older one
  • To go up the corporate ladder, is it unimportant to be sincere with one’s words and actions
  • Is there any sense at being loyal to one’s employer and superiors
  • Would a confrontational style have been better
  • Is there any need to treat subordinates with dignity and mean it

Starting a new life

I now find myself starting a new life after having been fired from my last permanent regular office job working daily eight hours or more morning till night. Then in March, over three months ago, the notice was served by HR, I had only till June 3rd and that would be it, still with a family to provide and obligations to meet.

I started working when I was in my late teens, little jobs, part time work, struggled to find a permanent regular paying work. By that time I had already married my hometown girlfriend. We both went to the big city with a large widespread area, big and tall buildings, cars and vehicles of all kinds. It had its fair share of congestion, people and traffic, rising prices, etc.

It all started from there and I didn’t look back, work was always available and income was regular. Although in many cases it was minimal, but it was always there each month. And the company benefits too.  Till now, the concept of not working daily or receiving my salary and benefits wasn’t even in the equation.

I was numb, didn’t react except saying okay and shrugging my shoulders, looking down at my feet after reading the letter.  I found it “strange” that HR or human resources department would do what it just did despite knowing my personal situation, would fire me for one reason “restructuring”.

Is a company justified to fire its employees because it wanted to “restructure” the organization? Wasn’t I part of the organization having worked for many years? and if so, why was I left out in the hot sun and humid environment as if I were someone who was unable of correctly or exceptionally performing the function specified in the organization?

Okay, my department had only been earning small income ever since the 2008 financial crisis hit economies worldwide affecting its operations. But the other department was still making over 10 million annually. Our departments were part of the company overall.

Not only that, the company each year would take the tab for the annual picnics or excursion of the whole company, the staff and their respective families in resorts and hotels over the weekend spending thousands. The company wasn’t struggling at all.

The mental and emotional impact on my family and I was evident in all our faces, we lost sleep, couldn’t sleep, lost appetite, lost weight, darker shades around the eyes. I dug deep into my pockets searching for the reason that justified the firing, but they escaped through the holes of all my pockets.  And that left me still asking one word – why?