stabbed and mauled in the back

Monday, May 31, 2010 7:33

Thankfully, I managed to fly back to school about a week after my last post, which mean being back to the grindstone pretty quickly. In the month that I’ve been away from this weblog, I’ve been slogging it out for my A-level exams, which were spread out over the whole of May (with some practical modules taking place in April.) They aren’t finished – I’m on a week break, and have 3 more after this break is over.

But that’s not why I’m posting.

I just learned yesterday that my dad – manager of a medium-to-large call center since its set-up 2.5 years ago, stellar employee who rarely used his paid leave, and earned highest respects from all the agents (even more respect than the CEO commanded – dad was second in command) – was abruptly let go from his position on Wednesday. The powers-that-be from Down Under gave him the news and told him to clear out that same day – apart from him, there were no other “casualties”. And it wasn’t like the company was struggling; if they were, they never let on.

My folks had wanted to wait till the end of the week to tell me over the phone, as I was busy doing papers all that week…but they were afraid that I would find out anyway over Facebook, as plenty of his upset (and mortified) staff had left messages on his Wall. Thank heavens I didn’t see those, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to do my exams, no?

The good news is that plenty of support has poured in from him – my mum’s bosses (also my parents’ old college mates) have offered him some work while he gets back on his feet. It’s not exactly the same thing he’s been doing, and they can only offer him half of his past salary – but it’ll keep him busy, keep his skills polished; plus, he can work from home. Mum and Jerry have been coping excellently; they were still joking and laughing over the phone yesterday. To quote mum: “now he can tidy up the house – and finally exercise to bust his belly!”

The bad news is that it’s eating me up inside. I feel wretched and guilty for being in a pricey school all the way in England; even though I’m on scholarship and that his severance will at least see me through till the end of this school year. I still have a year of A-levels after, though; which means that a) I may not be able to complete them in this same school or b) will not be able to have my family over when my graduation ceremony rolls round. They’ve never visited my school since the time mum sent me off here on Sept 2007 – it’s too pricey.

The irony is that this job was the reason I could attend school in England in the first place. Dad started there the same time I started school here. That workplace was also where I did my work experience last summer, so I’ve had some fond memories of the people there…I’d never thought it would go this sour.

The same staff¬† who have sent dad wishes have, however, also sent me messages telling me how things have been since (and it’s not been pretty at the workplace), how wonderful a boss my dad had been to them, and that we were both lucky to have each other as father and daughter. One of them told that dad always spoke of us kids and mum “with a proud smile on his face.” Another said that she was proud to have had the chance to see me through my work experience – “your dad thinks the world of you, and it’s very much justified. You made an excellent employee, even though you were just 16 and only worked here for 2 months.”

Oh yes, the same multitude of staff my dad kindly and lovingly nurtured were the ones who nurtured me through my work experience – sort of a cycle, if you will. I knew a lot of them personally. A team leader told him on Facebook about how she was so down and thinking about giving up on a task she had promised she would complete for him by the end of that week; but he told her to hang in there – “think of your baby, complete the task for your agents; they need it to get their commission.” Even after being canned, he was still there keeping her sane!

Perhaps the powers-that-be had a very bad lapse in judgment – let got the outstanding, productive manager because he’s “too expensive”, and pile his duties on to the “cheaper” employees? Nicely done. The “cheaper” employees – employee, rather – who was forced to take on his duties since then is now feeling immensely pressured. Ironically, this same guy was dad’s right-hand man, and I feel very sorry for him – he was yet another guy I know personally who trained me during my early days.

Perhaps the CEO got a tad too jealous – not that my dad rubbed anything in her face; but when it came to birthdays, he was the one getting attention from the staff: pranks (read: a wrapped-up office), a multitude of treats – and even one year, a “World’s Best Boss” award. She didn’t even get that sort of camaraderie in everyday life, so that could’ve fueled it.

Whatever it is, it was cruelty in the first degree. For the first time in my life, I’m truly a wreck and it’s going to take me a fair amount of time to recover.

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4 Responses to “stabbed and mauled in the back”

  1. Jackie says:

    June 1st, 2010 at 5:40 am

    Oh gosh. I can’t imagine what you are going through. My father was laid off once, but he got a better job not too long after. In that period between though, my family coped by making jokes. For example, my bother (about 21 at the time) quipped, “I guess this means I’ll have to sell my body!” In the meantime though, stay strong! Your father at least has a job, so things aren’t as bad as they could be. Perhaps this will open doors to better opportunities for your father in the future!

  2. Ariane says:

    June 1st, 2010 at 6:07 am

    Thanks Jackie. I think my parents will be rather upset to know that I’m not coping as well as they are (or as well as I should be); perhaps I need time. But you’re right; he could be left on his rear with nothing to do whatsoever – and that job *is* a work-from-home stint, so being a temp househusband will be interesting for him…
    Your brother certainly has quite a sense of humor – much like my own! XD See, mum also sees it the way you do too – “this must’ve happened for a good reason”. I’m praying she’s right.

  3. Jackie says:

    July 29th, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Oh, I love the new layout!! Your logo image is so cute!

  4. imma touch the sky says:

    July 30th, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    [...] is so much more at peace now since this malarkey; in fact, he and mum seem to joke around soooo much more. I heard it during our weekend phone calls [...]