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A Rant for No One to Read




Workplace trauma is quite a thing. And very often, it leads to a complete derailment of one’s career or confidence to say the least. We are a generation marred with severe stress, COVID19, worst pollution and whatnot. Along with that, the topping of a toxic work environment can potentially make one’s life just hollow. 

I have been meaning to write about this for a while now. The fact that I had to take a break for years to even get started about documenting it says a lot about the impact a bad workplace can have on you and the shame, that accompanies, makes it even harder for us to admit. 

There is humiliation, and then there is shame. And third, there is anger for the humiliation that you enabled and the shame to admit it in public. I have passed through all of it. Of course, the last stage is acceptance, but trust me when I say this, acceptance isn’t the end of it. 

Under-confidence and anxiety are some of the most used words in our vocabulary set. Yet, when I am asked why I sound hyper when I speak or take to something official, it is ever so complicated for me to explain where it originates. 

Some say that the dastor of life is to overcome challenges and try to build on the mistakes or shortcomings in your life. But it’s easier said than done. Such a cliché, isn’t it?

It’s easy for me today to call out the person(s) and shame them for what they did. But there will always be another perspective as to what we allowed them to do and why all of it is not entirely their fault. But the real reason as to why I would not call them out is because I ain’t them. Again, a cliché, Haha!

Another cliché in the business is the line, ‘I hate bullies.’ And there in a workspace where I worked, had a management lead, who was proud of the fact that ‘it was a bully’. I am referring to this management lead as ‘it’ because, in my mind, it’s not a person, it’s just an object that I am glad I got rid of. Pretty vindictive right? Buddha would have hated me, but I ain’t living in a saint’s world. So, who cares! 

When someone assumes leadership, employees working under that person else become the leader’s responsibility. And if your leader constantly reminds you of everything that s/he has done for you, that’s the first red flag to notice. 

So, our management believed that loyalty was the most key thing in its line of business, and as such, everyone who worked under it had to show their loyalty by constantly showing gratitude to it for giving us jobs. No doubt employees are hired based on their skills and expertise. But that alone did not suffice as another condition that needed to be fulfilled was that one needed to constantly thank the big boss and regularly praise its supremacy. 

This leader knew exactly how to break one’s confidence and demoralize one’s existence. And this probably happened because it rose from shit to lead a pseudo-glamorous life. It was hard for the leader to lead a loveless, friendless and familyless life, all probably because of its own fault. So, instead of choosing therapy, it decided to ruin others' lives. This is probably what is the psyche of those who join the sleeper cells. 

Nevertheless, in the number of times I served in this place, I was being harassed in a personal relationship and simultaneously being traumatized in my work life. And in the middle of deciding which one to prioritize, I turned to our leader for help (without knowing its true colour). Our great leader believed in making fun of the personal life in front of others and made this confidential information a joke in a group call during the peak pandemic.

We also had a few in the office, who would empathise with you and support you, behind the leader's back. But in front of the leader, they are all sugary and use the leader’s compulsive gossip habit to their own benefit to belittle others. And that’s how they rose the ladder, up the food chain, broke free even of the leader and doing exceedingly well in life. To their credit, they are exceptionally talented too. But the fact that they did not call out what was wrong and played along for some of it, to their own benefit, is probably what is called office politics. And I surely was the Rahul Gandhi of that game. 

For years, I battled with weak mental health, with physical injuries. Constant demotivation, critique of work, backstabbing, loneliness, lack of growth, insecurity, impulsiveness and agony. Yet, when questioned about why I have anxiety, I fail to give a justification. Also, I am a man, right, that itself is such a burden when it comes to accepting physical and emotional weakness right? 

When you deliver quality work, work exceedingly well under pressure, and come up with innovation as and when required. Yet you are deprived of what you deserve and systematically brought down by highlighting what is only wrong, you start losing your confidence naturally. 

My personal life too wasn’t great either. And that’s a tale for later. Today, it was about this leader. Despite being in their mid-40s, who acts like a 13-year-old teenager, was made the leader of an institution designed to create history. Even to think about it is laughable. There was turmoil, controllable and uncontrollable, as a leader you navigate us through it. That’s your job and it isn’t a favor that you did to us. It is what you are paid for. And if only I could say that to your face when you constantly bombarded us with demands for gratefulness. 

1000 words ain’t enough for what we went through. While most of us recovered and did exceeding well to pull things off, some still remain traumatized by what happened and probably will take ages to recover or fill the gaps that life has created for them. As such, I would not ask you to rot in hell, because even hell deserves some peace. 

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