All I Want Is To Be Treated With Respect At Work!

These three consecutive incidents made me introspect about my own values and my career. All I wanted was to be treated with respect.

Last Friday night, I binge watch Netflix, till 5 in the morning.

I have come to the realisation that being in your thirties and binge watching a series through the night is directly proportional to how your Reporting Managers and peers treat you at the office on that day.

Also, Netflix has the exact solution to ignore the ill-treatments blended with misogynist paradigms that prevail across the organisations.

Now there are two events I intend to share here that poked my heart sharply, leaving an incurable dent in there. Was my reaction too much? Please suggest.

‘Being a woman, you might not be able to do it’

During the meeting, I proposed to recruit the Head of Trainers. We have 18 trainers and no Reporting Manager, making work and processes asymmetric and chaotic. Unfortunately, the board of directors thought I was looking for that position. The reason hence given to me was,

‘You are a woman, you might not be suitable to handle the duties’

I know we live in patriarchy, but I haven’t been able to digest that nut till today.

I never wanted that position. Also, even when they threw such a bold statement at me, whenever there is a training related problem, I get a call. The content creation is diverted towards me. Mostly, it is I who presents the agenda and the key points. It is I who had crafted the strategies for training calendar and form all kinds of content for the students across all branches. And I thought if we had a Head Trainer I would be relieved from these duties. Instead, they nullified all my contribution and dedication towards the organisation. They killed that enthusiasm with which I woke up every morning, get ready, and reach office on time looking forward to bring the difference through seamless management.

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We don’t have any policies or procedures in place, and I find it difficult to function in utter chaos. Having said that, I have produced excellent results at the centre where I work. I pride myself for the reverence that students and clients show towards me. And maybe that is the reason I find it difficult to leave this very job.

But this love seems to wane as, once again, another unpleasant encounter hit me.

‘Tell me, am I your yaar?!’

When I was yelled at by such an intimidating phrase, I had to sit down and take deep breaths that seemed to have no effect on me. So I simply opened my laptop and started hitting the keys. I have to write this down to get it out of my system.

The story goes I handle a few clients at 8 pm. Apparently, these are the clients who have their 10-7 and cannot come to our premises for counselling. So I took it upon myself to handle them online in the evening.

I had always started the meeting on time. But that one day I had something stuck up in my sleeve and I could not start the meeting. So the guy from the head office calls me and asks me for the updates.

I was so much caught with things that I don’t even know it was already 9 o’clock and my reaction was.

‘Arre yaar! It’s nine already!‘

Until now, I believed yaar was a harmless expression. I say it all the time, in front of everyone.

Suddenly, this guy started yelling, ‘What did you just say?’

I was a little distracted, and I just repeated what I said ‘I didn’t know it’s nine already!’

He: ‘No, no, not that, before that?’

Lost, I paused while he began again.

‘Madam, am I your yaar? Do you have sense? I am not your yaar!’ He yelled in an arrogant stinging tone. He did not stop there. He kept repeating this again and again in a high-pitched tone while I tried to comprehend his requirement for going berserk over trivia and my next actions.

He sounded so vile that I thought of only one action. I hit the red button to disconnect the call.

I still don’t understand what the problem was.

That disembodied taut voice haunted me for the rest of the time I was awake. Now I am a strong-willed person who seldom dwells on unpleasantries of a random voice on the phone for too long. It affects me, let me remind it affects me when someone talks to me in a way that attacks my dignity. Here, there was no reason for this man to be so vulgar. In fact, this incident marked one of the worst experiences because the way it was treated the next day.

‘You should not overreact!’

However, when I say I am strong-willed, I mean I recover from it faster and ignore the unpleasant crass people’s speech. My mind is not a trash can to store such trash and trashy people, it is a heavenly abode where love and tranquillity reside.

The next day, I met my boss as on some daily routine, and at the end informed him about the incident. I could hear him scoff. My heart skipped a beat. And it felt as if someone was squashing it when I heard him say, ‘oh! this is just a normal day at business. You should not overreact.’

Overreact? Was this overreaction? These chauvinists sometimes make me question my sanity. I have this deeply rooted fear of overreaction and being wrong or being scorned in me. Even if this is overreaction, I may overreact and I will not smother under this fear anymore. If something is wrong, if I have an opinion, if I have an absurd idea, I have a voice and I will say it.

These three consecutive incidents made me introspect about my own values and my career. All I wanted was to be treated with respect, and not as a go-to tool to fix all their problem and never appreciate the ease of my ideas brought in.

I am at a phase where I will have to leave the job even when I really love it. Apparently, it is true what they say: People leave because of their boss and not because of the challenges they face in the organisation.

I would appreciate if you can share your opinion about this wild scenario.

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About the Author

Shanu Shah

Shanu Shah currently serves as the Academic Head, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise in education and training. With a background that includes a successful tenure as the Center Head from 2019 to 2023, read more...

5 Posts | 3,664 Views

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