Friends who forget friends are arseholes. You know the kind that only remember you when they want something from you? And once they don’t need you anymore they dump you like yesterday’s trash? What is UP with friends like that. Also, why on earth would you put up pictures of it on Facebook? Do you not think I would see it? WTF! That’s not to say I’ve never committed a friendship sin but wow, it feels like I’ve been on the receiving end of bullshit much more than the giving end lately. It fucking blows.
Okay, so…the upheaval I mentioned a few posts ago – I’m ready to talk about it. I’ve had a little over a week to analyse it and process the aftermath through hours of discussion with various friends and I think I’m at peace with it now. Not completely; I’m sure I’ll carry a small part of the hurt with me forever, but I’m sure that this too is something I will get over and eventually learn to live with.
A little over a month ago, I gave my resignation at my job. I had been contemplating it for months. It hasn’t been the same since the COO joined. She made too many changes too fast. And because I was on her team (and the only one on her team) the changes affected me the most. Her management style, for one thing, is too different from what I was used to. I was used to autonomy and not adhering to any sort of checklists, whereas law and order is what she lives for. She also commanded respect rather than worked to earn it, not like my CEO who is very likeable and approachable.
Because of our differences in personality and work style, we ran into issues every day about every single thing. However, whenever I did try to adapt to her style, it was still wrong. Right from the beginning she’s had trust issues with me. She never believed me the first time I would say something. I could tell her a fact, like, “My hair is black,” and she would go, “No, it isn’t. What makes you think it’s black? It doesn’t look black to me. Go look in the mirror and tell me if it isn’t red.” I swear, my hair is black. But the arguing back and forth would wear me down until I get tired and concede defeat – “Yes, my hair is flaming red.”
It was very demoralising.
No one in the company likes her. Everyone finds her snobbish and condescending. One girl, whenever she would complain to me about the COO, would intersperse every second sentence with “that bitch”. It felt great knowing I wasn’t being a drama queen. The COO is a bitch. But while it was nice knowing I wasn’t alone and that I had the support of my lovely colleagues, at the end of the day they would all go back to their respective desks and I was still the only one who has to work with her. If she was snobbish and condescending to everyone else, she was a hundred times worse with me.
I tried to speak to my CEO a few times but he would come back with his nowadays-standard line, “She’s your direct manager so I will let her handle it.” I was very shocked by his cavalier attitude. I thought the fact that I’ve been there longer than she has and the fact that I’ve had his back all this time meant something to him. But receiving $7 million in funding changes you. You get greedy, you don’t care about your people. You just want to grow the business bigger and bigger and you don’t care who you mow down in the process.
Even on my second last day when he and I sat down to talk, he was telling me the same thing. He is aware of her terrible attitude. He even said, “I don’t blame you because I wouldn’t want to work under her either.” But…”I need her.” What he didn’t need to say was, “I need her much more than I need you.” He asked me what it would take for me to stay. I was very frank – “Fire her and tomorrow will not be my last day.” Not possible, he said. Alright then. Okay. Then tomorrow is my last day, I said.
I was very emotional during this conversation. Fuck not crying in front of your boss. I was devastated and I was going to cry about it. I wasn’t ready to go. I wasn’t ready for this chapter to end. One year ago when I joined the company I didn’t think I would leave one year later. It felt like I was leaving my family. My colleagues are all so wonderful. I am especially close to this South African guy (platonically). He gave me a cute nickname in my first week and now everyone calls me that instead of my real name. “Who is going to call me xxx now?” I tearfully pleaded with the CEO. He just looked at me with sad eyes.
I understand it from a business perspective, why he needs her. She is good at her job, and she will be able to steer the company in the direction any business owner would want for their company – that is, the direction of success and wealth. But from a personal perspective, it felt like a betrayal. If he himself would never want to work under her, then why is he letting me work under her? This is me we’re talking about. Me. She who he calls his ‘friend’.
On my last day the CEO had to leave early so he came to my desk to say goodbye. I couldn’t even look at him. I was starting to cry. He asked for a hug. I declined. Doing so would have unleashed an endless waterfall of tears. He touched me on my shoulder and said, “Thank you for having my back all this time,” and off he went. Yeah, sure, okay, but so much good that did for me, right?
For days afterwards I was paralysed in bed. I missed my colleagues something awful. Every few hours a different person would text me to say they missed me. I was liked there, goddamit. I was liked. This whole thing is just so, so unfortunate. But with every passing day I begin to realise…there was no other way. The CEO has to grow the company with the COO’s help; I couldn’t work with the COO so I had to go. Simple. This was just another lesson I had to learn.
I began job-searching a few months ago, which resulted in a job offer last week. I declined it though. I was honest with myself: It isn’t what I really want. I have a couple more interviews lined up but mainly I’ve been relaxing. In fact, in true TFC style, I’ve decided that instead of jumping into my next gig immediately, I’m going to take a few months off to do something I’ve been thinking of doing for a while now…
I’m going to work at a B&B via Workaway. It’s unpaid work, but I get full board. When I was in Scotland I stayed at a few B&Bs and I wondered what it would be like to own and operate one. And here is my chance to find out. And no, the B&B is not here, not even on the same continent. Faaar from it. No, it’s on the continent I’ve been steadily visiting every year since 2012. Yes, it’s Europe. Specifically, Ireland. Western Ireland. It was the next faraway country I was going to visit anyway. I’m entering a new decade (!!!) of life in four months. If I don’t do it now, I never will.
God-willing, I depart in a few short weeks. God-willing, I will stay in Ireland for a little over two months. I will spend my time off travelling around the area. Cliffs of Moher is just half an hour from the B&B. Be still my heart!
Before I get to the B&B though, I will be in Belfast, Northern Ireland, for a few days. Hozier – my Hozier – is performing at a music festival on the 24th of August. How could I miss him in his own motherland? And then on the 16th of September, you would not believe it, but Rachael Yamagata is performing in Dublin. I missed her concert in Singapore this year because I was in Glasgow catching Hozier in concert. Turns out I will get to see her this year after all – just far away from Singapore, that’s all. And I get to see Hozier twice this year. What luck!
If it sounds like I’m all chill about this, let it be known that I am PETRIFIED. I’ve got it all pretty much planned out and you know what they say about the best-laid plans. The longest I’ve been away from home is three weeks. Two months is a crazy long time to be away from home. What if I missed home? What if I missed my bed? What if I missed my friends? What if I missed… *cough* my father? I laugh about it now but it’s entirely possible and the thought of it is terrifying.
But I need this. My body needs this. My soul needs this. And maybe I will miss my father. But maybe I need that too.
So…that’s me. How’s your life going?