My boss waited for ever before I was ready to publish a piece. Don’t get me wrong though, I obsess over my articles. A lot. I love them with every bone in me, like you would love a baby. I enjoy every moment of going to my innumerable notebooks, looking at bite size passages that were left incomplete, piecing them together and throwing in a few new words here and there that I think you guys might find interesting. Every part of it is stimulating. I almost want to say that writing is an art, but I know the photography guys beat me to it.
About two months ago, a friend of mine updated his status and it piqued my interest. He was commenting about writing. “It is only fun for amateurs,’’ he said. “Old whores don’t do much giggling. Nothing is fun when you have to do it.”
“I hope I never have to write,’’ I wrote in response.
Any of you remember my article on writing; WRITING – A REAL DESCRIPTION OF LOVE.
I dread having to write articles because I have to. They turn out lacking luster. Malnutritional even! And it sucks guys, looking at an article long after it went up and realizing that you could have done better. I never want to be the whore who looks up to the ceiling, sighs and wonders what exactly it is she is doing with her life. I want to remain bubbly and excited about writing. To feel the butterfly effect in my tummy every time I see the cursor blink.
Recently however, I experienced a burn out that had me sitting up my bed, looking at my PC and making pacts with God at four in the AM. (I have always wanted to say that, 4 in the AM. It almost sounds like something Wabosha Maxine would say.) I tried to wring content out of my brain but the chap was in recess. Probably ignoring my SOS calls and sipping on a mocktail in the beach with a tad too much sunscreen.
It did not help at all that I had looming deadlines. My boss was on my neck. Well, up until I told him that I was facing what was probably the biggest writers’ block in the history of writing. He was quite understanding. The cool as cucumber chap moved my dates further and slotted other bloggers to fill in for me. He also told me to read more. He is a wonderful boss.
I have had worse experiences with bosses though. This is how the cookie crumbles.
He asks you out for coffee. You know well that coffee is never just coffee. On top of that, he never seems to brush his teeth, despite the fact that Pepsodent now offer a package that comes with two huge toothpastes at a really low price. He also does not know how deodorants work or he just assumes the myriad Nivea adverts on TV. Oh, and he is like fifty! That is about the age of your father. So, it’s a no. A clearly cut out no that leaves no room for discussion.
You would think that a man his age would have known how to deal with rejection like a gentleman should, you know, probably get pain killers or make himself some lemonade. He proves you wrong because the next day during the work meeting, he gives you a pretty good hiding for a mistake you did the previous month. He furthermore tells the other staff not to be like you because you are prone to making ‘small’ mistakes when the company cannot afford to be making ‘small’ mistakes. You try so hard not to cry because you are a big girl, and big girls don’t cry. So, they say.
Some other day, you go to work with much zeal and hope to leave mirth on everything you touch. Just as you are standing by the printer, he comes into back office with eyes red as hell. At the top of his voice, he comments about your dressing. Says it is not appropriate for work. You feel a wave of emotion pass through the whole of you, photocopies in hand. It is 9am, which explains why a lot of colleagues are taking tea. They sip as they watch the drama. Your ears grow hotter as your self-esteem begins to fly out the window.You run into the washrooms and have a good cry.
“No one should be treated like this,” you tell your reflection in the mirror. “What this man is doing is not fair.”
One evening, you are trying to do some reconciliation and he passes by your station. He derogatorily asks you why you have not closed yet.
“You are always the last to close. If you keep doing this, I will call HR and tell them to deploy you!” boss says, “all I will say is that I have a lot of staff at the moment.”
The words that come out of his mouth, intentional and well-coiffed to squeeze out the life in you. He speaks audibly enough for everyone in sight to hear. He sort of snarls whenever he is talking to or about you. You feel belittled and unworthy. Nothing you do in the office seems to be right anymore. Work becomes really unbearable, to the degree that you feel sick every time you get up in the morning and have to prepare for your classic version of hell on earth. A day hardly passes before your boss issues you threats of being fired.
You go back home and cry as you ask the universe if this is karma doing its thing. Maybe it is because of that one time you were mean to Faith of Form Four East back in high school. Perharps the geese are back to do some roosting, in the form of your boss.
Over WhatsApp, you tell your friend about it.
“You will be fine. Just do your work well in the office.” She replies.
You feel dissatisfied, so you get your pastor’s number. He prays for you. Still, you cannot seem to stop walking with your head low and your eyes fixated on the ground. In fact, you cede from making eye contact.
You establish that no one really understands the situation you are undergoing. Quitting does not seem to be an option, because you badly need the money. You completely ignore the fact that your mental state is at stake.
It gets worse. To the point where you nurse suicidal thoughts. Especially when crossing the road. Or when ascending a flight of stairs. You become a shell. A caricature of a human being surrounded by a vortex of strange emotions.
It hits you way later that you are actually depressed. Well, at least according to google, which says that some of the signs of depression include; disinterest, taking everything personally, crying, feeling worthless and thinking life has no purpose.
Just before you give up, a new intern arrives. A week later, you hear the boss shouting in back office. Just this time, it is not at you.
It came to my attention that there is actually a lot of girls out there who are getting harassed by the very people they should report harassment to.
+254736542304 or +254722178177. These are toll free lines you can call when you just want to talk, guys. It could be about anything really, how you have been forgetting to look at both sides of the road when crossing to the other side. Or how one time you added sugar instead of salt to your vegetables.
Meanwhile,stay safe everyone. Social distancing is the right thing to do for us to beat COVID 19.