Sunday, 26 July 2020

22. Relationships at Work---Burning your bridges and shame

27 Jul 2020 

RELATIONSHIPS AT WORK - BURNING YOUR BRIDGES

"I need a job to support my son in school," Mr Zou pleaded. "My wife was retrenched for some months. I cannot find a job nowadays." Mr Zou, in his late 50s, went to his former work place to get back his old job, despite being ignored in his numerous short text messages to his ex-boss. 




So he just walked into the old office to seek a job. 

The ex-accountant was fortunate in that he was paid $9,000 monthly after he was let go by another company. Companies do retrench senior accountants as a younger one will be less expensive.

This man had worked for less than 6 months in this new company. He started a shouting match with the General Manager again over some work issues.  

But this was a job so near his home and his religious premises as compared. In his previous job, had to commute for over two hours to and fro his home and worked long hours. "Count your blessings," when you have so much in your favour. Office politics exist as long as there are employees---a reality of life. But this newcomer could not manage his anger over needling by one or two senior personnel.   

The boss heard the shoutings of the two men. She had tolerated the office politics earlier. Now she fired the accountant by paying him together with a month's salary. 

Mr Zou left the office with the cheque. He took his boss to the Ministry of Manpower for "unfair dismissal" to get compensation. There was a hearing. He lost his case. 

Covid-19 pandemic came into Singapore and there was a lockdown from April 2020. His working wife lost her job. His older son in the U.S was retrenched and there was no income for some months as he had resigned before Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020. He had a family to support.

As an employee, one has to work with various people in the office. There will be office politics. Sometimes, there will be a senior officer who will put you down and let others know you are no good in your job. That person will needle you every day, passing comments such as a "zero-brained man" (see my other story in the blog) in order to provoke you and cause you to resign. 

As long as the boss appreciates your contributions, you will need to control your anger. In the case of Mr Zou, there was a nasty obnoxious old man who passed remarks on his work performance, almost daily. He bottled up his tensions. One day, he just couldn't keep quiet anymore and swore at the General Manager. 

By bringing the company to court for unfair dismissal, he had burnt his bridges. He said he would accept a lower salary. No boss who will re-employ a person who had sued him in the court of employment. 
 
In his situation, he ought to count his blessings as many accountants are jobless, even before Covid-19 pandemic struck. He ought to have a sense of shame and be realistic. But this ex-employee did not feel shameful to ask for a job again. He was not given any offer.   




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