Ugh, I’m so annoyed today. Don’t worry, this isn’t about to turn into another rant like the one I had a few weeks ago that devolved into a pity party. It’s a venting but I’ll try to make it productive.
At the time of this writing, it is 4 days before I submit my resignation, so we’ve travelled back in time to 2 weeks ago today. Let me give you some timelines so you can follow along with the story, otherwise it might get a little confusing.
- The last Friday morning of October – I left for my days off in Cirebon.
- That same Friday night – the other guy here submitted his resignation. I didn’t know it was happening.
- Saturday afternoon – my Whatsapp was blowing up with news of the resignation. I figured the “boss” was also blowing up my email but since I was on days off, I didn’t care and I didn’t check. It turns out I was right.
- Sunday – I continued not to care and didn’t check my email. I cared more about the fact that I was stuck for 9 hours on the train back from Cirebon.
Come Monday morning, I had classes to teach and I had to go to the immigration office to pick up my passport, since I had taken it in the week before to get my (last! Yay!) visa extension. Between classes, I happened to notice an email in my inbox, but only because I was looking for another email. It was from the “boss” asking if I could Skype with him that morning to discuss “the current situation.” I told him no, as I had a busy morning but I could do early afternoon. So that’s how I came to have an actual conversation with this man for the first time since April (I don’t count the occasional instructional email from him as a conversation).
Stick a pin (non-Jamaicans, that means hit the pause button for a minute). I am not an idiot. I may have done some idiotic things in my life but I am not an idiot. Back in August and September when this man was transferring other people who were here to other centres, leaving only 2 of us to manage this very busy location, he never once asked to Skype with me to discuss “the current situation”. So why now should he want to discuss “the current situation” with me? Mmm hmm. My eye roll was epic.
I got on the Skype call with him on Monday afternoon, having still not read the emails in my inbox because, frankly, I had other things to do, and a lack of proper succession planning, basic people management and basic people skills on his part certainly didn’t constitute an emergency for me. He spent a few minutes trying to dance around what he really wanted to say and I patiently waited for him to get on with it. Eventually he got to the point; he wanted to know if I was “fine” here and if everything at the centre was OK.
Stick another pin. This man thinks he’s so slick, but really, his transparency is not to be believed. What he really wanted to know was if I was going to up and quit on him like the other guy had. That’s what that veiled question was about. Because at no time in the previous 9 months had he ever once asked me if I was “fine.” Very obviously, my actual well-being is of zero consequence to him so what other reason could he possibly have for asking me that question at this time? Mmm hmm. Cause me mussi look like eediat. Cue another eye roll.
I told him that the centre was running as it always had and I was fine. What was I going to say? “Dude, this place is a giant, festering pile of incompetency and you’re king of the heap. Ah cyaan wait fi lef yah. In fact, come Saturday I’m giving you one month’s notice.” Aaahhhm, no. I kept my own counsel, finished the 7-minute call with him none the wiser about my intentions, and went back to work.
I was mildly annoyed at his disingenuity and attempted deceit in trying to act like how I was doing mattered at all outside of me possibly leaving the place in the lurch if I wasn’t OK. But my expectations of witnessing any behaviour from him that could be mistaken for basic human decency in interpersonal interactions are less than zero so I put my mild annoyance behind me and continued on about my business.
Come Tuesday morning, and I got annoyed for real, hence this writing. This fool put the girl who lives here up to asking me if I’m OK and if there was anything I wanted to talk about. I’m not going to lie, that was a very disappointing moment for me because I honestly believe that this question came from him through her, and not from any real concern she had for me. Seriously, she’s a nice girl and all, but I know that he controls her and others here, and I know she didn’t come up with that query on her own.
Stick a pin again. Me and nobody yah a nuh fren like dat. I mean, this girl and I talk well but we don’t have a spill-your-guts type of relationship. At what point have I ever given anybody here the indication that I roll like that with them? Never! For months now, after the man verbally bax me inna me face, I’ve been quietly going about my business and keeping any struggles I have had to myself (and you guys). Nobody here has ever in that time asked me if I was OK or wanted to talk about anything. Now all of a sudden everybody waan know how me do. Me a wah? Please, somebody tell me if I have “idiot” tattooed on my forehead.
I told her I was fine and no, there was nothing I wanted to talk about. And in that moment real annoyance rose up in me. I was already feeling out of sorts from getting only 4 hours of sleep the night before but when I thought about the hypocrisy and lack of integrity around which those questions were wrapped, I felt almost sick to my stomach. If even one time over the previous months someone had shown some interest, I would be unfair to be so harsh in my judgement of the situation. But no-one has and I don’t believe I’m being unfair. What I am is being taken for a fool. And that makes me even more annoyed.
OK, lesson time, because, as I said, I want to make this venting productive. On the one hand, I think that what has happened today has shown me that I have grown in my ability to be discerning, although you would have to be seriously stupid to not see through all of this. On the other hand, I also think I learned my lesson a few weeks ago when I let my emotions run away with me. Yes, I’m feeling somewhat annoyed at this moment, but I recognise my feelings and the dangers of letting them get out of hand. So I acknowledge it, dial it back, and keep it moving.
Emotional maturity, I shall conquer you yet!