Just when you thought you're done with the bullies you met in school, you realize
that bullies also exist at work.
A sad reality: Bullying happens everywhere. It can happen among kids, teenagers, and even among adults. They say maturity comes with age but it doesn't apply for everyone. They say maturity comes with experience but it also doesn't apply for everyone. Sometimes, people who are older than you, people who are more experienced than you, people whom you expect to teach and lead you are the ones who bully you.
The past three weeks (which is also my first three weeks at work) has been an emotional roller coaster ride. Seriously, it felt like three months already. Every day I wake up thinking of what will happen. Will my immediate supervisor talk to me in a loud voice again (to the point of scolding)? Will he point my mistakes over and over again? Or will I be spared from his moody personality for even just one day? It's difficult to live in a situation like that. Anxiety is my constant companion.
My immediate supervisor is a fellow Filipino who has studied and lived in different countries. He's way older than me, twice my age plus add a few more years. He always says he has 25 years of experience. Yes, I know he's intelligent and all. He's very outspoken and direct to the point. But the problem is, his outspokenness lead to the point of being arrogant and intimidating. He's like the Mr. Know-It-All. I remember during my second day at work, he asked me what I did in Korea and I told him what my experiments were about and then he asked about the softwares I used. I said I haven't really used a software but I just compared the sequences using BLAST. He then told me that even elementary students know how to use it (in a loud voice). To be honest, I was insulted of what he said. It's like saying that I know nothing, and even kids can do what I've been doing. Out of respect, I just didn't say a word. I just fell silent. Several instances like that happened. He's always the one who has a say. He's always the one who's correct. He wanted me to do exactly what he's been doing. And for him, the other people in the lab are not doing their job well. He's always the one who's superior and I and the other labmates are the inferior beings. But during all those moments I just keep my cool. I try to avoid answering back at him out of respect. But there were nights when I feel that I should have defended myself and my labmates, that I should have told him that what he's doing is wrong, that putting other people down and regarding himself highly is not a quality of a good leader. A good leader encourages others to do well. A good leader uplifts others.
A week ago, after discussing some work matters, I told him what I felt. I told him that I'm nervous, that I'm fearful, that I feel small when I'm with him. I even got teary-eyed. He asked me why and I told him he's very outspoken and intimidating. It was kind of a long conversation but in the end he said that he will not change himself because that's what he is. He even told me he'll give me his bio data so that I'll know him more. A bio data, seriously? What an arrogant human being! Deep inside me, I wanted to tell him this, "Why do all the people around you always need to be the ones to adjust to your attitude, why can't you make an effort to change?" He's really testing my patience.
Last Friday, I couldn't take it anymore. I talked to my labmate and he advised me that it would be better to talk to our boss about it. I told my boss everything and she told me she also wanted to talk to me because apparently my immediate supervisor told her that I am not willing to learn. Omg, so he has easily judged me as someone who's not willing to learn! What he's doing is really unfair and I have to say I'm not happy anymore. Sure, he knows a lot of things but being with him is not emotionally healthy for me already. It's been too stressful.
Tomorrow, my boss will talk to him and after that the three of us would sit together. I really don't know what will happen but I am determined not to be silent anymore. I will stand up and fight for my right!