For those of you who don’t know, I work in a Chinese company, in which I am the only non-Chinese full-time employee. This affords me several privileges: I get to leave at 6:30pm whereas my colleagues feel obliged to hang around till the boss leaves, I get to give a little attitude in meetings without being called on it and I rarely get disturbed when I’ve got my headphones in. However, unfortunately, the negatives are beginning to outweigh these special ‘foreigner’ privileges (yes, I am considered a foreigner, despite being the only British Passport holder in my London office). The negatives being:
I work in Nazi Germany.
By which I mean:
- I have to be available at all times for translation purposes, even if I’m busy with something else
- Despite being the ‘authority’ on translation, my work is often changed to something awful and grammatically incorrect by a Chinese person
- I am often told last minute that something has to be done by the end of the day
- I am almost never consulted when a project is to be altered, even if the project is technically ‘under my control’
- I’m kept out of the boss’ “inner circle” of confidants, with whom he has non-stop side-chat and through whom he sends me second-hand messages on how I am to approach my work
- I have crazy, unobtainable deadlines such as contacting 25 companies per week for the purposes of ‘business development’, and getting 1,000 ”organic’ Facebook followers a month (guuyyysss follow my company on Facebook pleeaassseeeee)
Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m not the only one who goes through the struggles of micro-management, and I know that there are others out there who also work in The Office. But there are limits.
I’ve reached a tipping point. If you read my other posts, you’ll know that I’m in the process of trying to start a business and am planning on starting my Masters in September. I was considering going part-time when the time came, to honour my commitments etc., but that dream is fast fading under fresh, daily and constant irritation. So I vent. Mainly to my boyfriend.
Me: I’m meant to be having a meeting with my colleague about setting up an events schedule for the rest of the year. But, our boss keeps getting her to do menial shit and engaging her in non-urgent side-chat, delaying our meeting and wasting my time.
However, when, at next week’s big meeting, we get there and have nary a thing to show for ourselves (because this task was super urgent and super important and was a top priority), who will be blamed?
Please tell me to stop bitching if it’s too annoying
Loving bf: you should make demands
make heads roll
threaten to leave and watch them panic
Me: I do not understand how this operation works. it’s like “Do all the work….but don’t expect us to tell you what to do. Until you start doing it, at which point we’ll change our minds. But we won’t tell you that we’ve changed it, we’ll tell someone else to tell you. And tbh, maybe not even then. We’ll tell all the Chinese people and then hope you get the message.”
Sensible bf: well if you’re peeved then you should make it clear to your boss that you came up with ideas and you should do the work/get credit for them and to stop everyone being a mess and doing all this indirect comms. Fuck Chinese business culture, you’re in the UK and they hired a UK expert so why they tripping you up?
Me: I’m not really fussed about the credit, I would just like to be told when a decision is made. And also, if you don’t want something, please propose an alternative instead of just looking down your nose at everyone’s hard work. The very root of the problem is that communicating all that you’ve said, in a very eloquent and straightforward way as you’ve put it, will just fall on deaf ears. I understand that the boss is under pressure too, but the fact is that he’s just not a good manager. HE wants things done without knowing a. What he wants, b. how he wants it c. anything about British culture.
All-knowing bf: you should make your feelings known at least, even ask for a 1-on-1 to vent but at least make your feelings known rather than bottling it all cause it gives you more justification to have things changed if you voice concern
Me: I’ve tried to vent all these feelings before (I think I told you about the time he pulled me aside for a chat), but I’d be wasting my time writing a speech because he’ll just cut me off, or, pretend to listen but not actually take anything in
I’m just at a point where I need the money for now and I’m gonna make everything I do a fucking brill success within the 10-6:30 work hours and be like “Told ya so bitches”, then jump ship if I get my scholarship and focus on my own biz because I am very. very. close. to. done.
Thank God I have a blog space where I can vent all these non-complex emotions instead.
So, I have written a hypothetical letter to my boss, which he will never read, but which gives me peace of mind nonetheless.
Dear boss, you don’t know how Facebook or Twitter work, so stop trying to tell me how to use them. You don’t speak English, so stop trying to correct mine. You don’t have any suggestions, so stop saying that there’s just “something about a project you don’t like” without telling us how to fix it. It’s not that hard to come to a decision about whether or not to set up a Meetup account, so stop spending 2 months to make such simple decisions. A change in social media strategy is actually quite a big thing, so stop doing on the fly or whenever you want. You will have to pay for advertising eventually, so stop being so stingy. Everyone knows a marketing strategy takes 3 months to become fully effective, so just be fucking patient. You already knew what you wanted to do, so stop asking us to waste our time brainstorming when you’re just going to shut us down and implement your idea anyway. It’s not an “open and caring” dialogue, so stop saying that it is.