Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mush room for improvement

So now, I'm out of a job again!


Mike's company did not get back to me by Friday evening, and I had to call Future Company before 5.30pm on Friday if I wanted to 'quit'. How do you 'quit' a job that you haven't even started? Maybe some call it chicken-ing out.

Future Company actually called me back on Thursday evening to say I could start this Monday after all, cos they managed to 'acquire' a work station for me.

But Ben advised me to just risk it and 'quit', even before getting a written offer and confirmation from Mike's company. I suppose just the whole issue about getting me a computer or not---not getting the software I require---pushing my start date back and forth---didn't seem professional. And if decision-making was already so kelam-kabut from an outsider's point of view now, imagine how much more teruk it might be once on the inside. The Dark Side beckons not.

As usual, scaredy me waited... till the time was right? Till I plucked up enough courage? Till I had enough caffeine in my bloodstream to carry out a conversation that might very likely explode into a bitter dispute.

I digress... and meet Shorbs in town for coffee. I ask her if she thinks I've changed a lot since getting married, or from the time she knew me back when we worked at The Club. A friend recently said that she feels I'm not the same bubbly person she knew before I was married. But I think, if I have changed, "bubbly" wouldn't be on the change list. I was thinking more of the confident, loud, outgoing, bold bits, which are no longer adjectives used to describe me.

Back in the day...... yup...

I used to be the daring and garang one in art school. Always on top of her game, always beating the boys, and always, always able to talk her way out of or into anything!

Now I'm the opposite.

It's not even marriage that has changed me. Shorbs says we're just more mellow as we get older. That may be true. But for me, I think it started right after art school. I told my parents I didn't wanna continue my studies overseas to get a degree. I didn't tell them that it was because I didn't want them to 'waste' money on me, but to save it for when my younger brother needed the money when it was time for him to pursue a degree or whatever.

And so it's been like that for me ever since. Always taking a back seat. I really don't know why! It started with letting others have the better opportunity or the bigger piece of the pie or even the final word. Then, to try to be the 'perfect' or obedient girlfriend or employee, I'd shut up when 'required', let The Man be Da Man, play dumb, play neutral, play stupid, so that The Man or The Boss could feel like he/she was Da Man or Da Boss. And eventually, it just made me weak, to a point where others could easily push me around.

So now I'm just mush. Mush around 'big' people. Mush around oppressive people. Even mush to the point of crying when faced with confrontational situations. I've gone soft! I guess those who see me as being weak might be the same people who'll use this 'weakness' to their advantage. But I still believe there's some good left in the world, and hopefully the nicer people out there don't see me so much as a weakling, but someone who's just gentle and kind.

I wonder if I'll ever find balance - to be gentle yet strong, kind yet stern, selfless yet able to stand up for myself. Because I know I'm not right now. And this is why I delay calling Future Company. Cos I hate being the 'nasty one' or the 'wrong one', and by always trying so hard to be the 'nice one', I let others walk over me or 'scare' me into doing something I'm not comfortable with. I'm the grin, bear it, later go home and cry type.

So finally, I call Future Company (FC).

B: Hi... blah blah niceties... blah blah I've been given another offer that I feel is more suitable for me right now, so I won't be joining Future Company on Monday after all.

FC: What! No but you signed the letter already.

B: I know, I'm really sorry to let you know only now -

FC: No there's a clause in the letter. I think. There's a clause - a penalty you have to pay or something. Let me check, I think there's something in the contract. I'll check and get back to you.

B: Ya of course. If there's a penalty or if I'm required to come in for a week, just let me know.
[I'm unusually cool about this only because I scanned through the contract thoroughly the night before, because I know of such a clause. Some companies require you to pay them a week's salary if you do not show up on the first day of work without a valid reason. But it wasn't in the Letter of Appointment that I signed with Future Company, so I can be cool.]

FC: But what - why - What position is this? Is it because of better pay? Why - uhm -

B: Well it's a Marcomm position that I feel is more suitable for me right now -

FC: No, let me just check the contract. I'll get back to you later.

Whoa. My hands are trembling after I hang up the phone. This is how weak I am lah. I get all gabra-zebra when dealing with angry situations or speaking to people of so-called authority or just those type of people who naturally command respect or fear. Fear is the path to The Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suff-fuh-riiiiiing....

Future Company calls me back a couple of hours later. FC is very curt throughout the conversation. Perhaps exasperated too, and I feel bad, and I hate to feel bad and rotten. But luckily Shorbs is there to remind me that I shouldn't. Cos this is the HR person whom I'm speaking to, and even if HR is gonna kena from Management because of my LMC, it's nothing personal. So I shouldn't get personal, and I shouldn't feel bad.

FC: [curt and upset] Ok, I checked. There used to be a clause about a penalty in the contract about this, but I don't know why we took it out. So you're not bound - But I just want to know why! Is it because of higher pay? I mean - You said it's a Marcomm position? Why didn't you say anything about this to us during the interview, that you want to do Marcomm.

B: [gabra-zebra-tremble-tremble] I did actually. During the interview you asked me, and also on the application form, you asked where I see myself or how I'd like to see myself grow within the company. And I said, I'd like to do designing but have always been leaning towards Marcomm, and I want to grow into a supervisory Marcomm position. I said it and it's also on the form I filled up.

FC: [very curt and upset] Ok fine. So this other offer, this position is what you want? Is it because of higher pay?

B: Overall yes. I get to design, but at the same time, I get to gain more experience in Marketing. I actually interviewed with them two months ago. But they decided not to expand at that time. So I thought it was 'case closed'. And I really was very interested and excited about joining Future Company. But then they, have decided to expand their company right now. And yes, the overall package they're offering is more suitable for me right now, and more suitable in terms of future growth.

FC: How much more?

B: Uhm... I'd say, 20% more.

FC: But I already got you your workstation you know!

B: Yes I know! I'm really sorry. I know you took the trouble and did all the paperwork and got the hardware all ready and everything, and I'm sorry.
[tremble-tremble... Lucky Shorbs is sitting in front of me right now or I might actually start to cry]

FC: [still upset but trying to be the bigger person here] Well, if this is what you want I can only wish you good luck. Thank you.
[Thank you?]

B: Yes, thank you.

Hands and even elbows looking like they belong to a poor soul with Parkinsons. I think I even have a face twitch right now. But phew! I'm out of a job, but I feel so relieved!

Later that night, Mike's Boss calls me about their job offer, discusses the job scope and what they "envision" for me.

So I have a job again. One that's much more challenging, but that I'm genuinely excited to start. One that I'm absolutely lacking in experience in, but they're willing to guide because I'm willing to learn. One that doesn't state in black & white that I have to work a MINIMUM of 10 hours a day, even though it's expected that there will be late nights, multiple projects and datelines all happening at the same time, and plenty targets to meet. But I'm excited. And "excited" is good.


Anonymous said...

hey Bern, good for you, glad you got a better offer! Always go with yuor gut feeling and whatever feels better. Have fun at the new job! :) - jamie

greengardn said...

Thanks babe!