Learning To Hold Your Own

10 May

So, it’s 4am right now on a Friday night in the Czech Republic & I just cannot sleep. It’s not because I just got in from a crazy European party, it’s not because I am currently AT a crazy European party, & it’s not because I am about to go to one. I am awake right now at 4am on a Friday because I just woke up from a nightmare about my real-life nightmare: my job. 

Based on some of my past posts about teaching, you probably think I hate it. Wrong, I actually love it. I realized children are awesome, I am DEFINITELY a ‘kids person’ (those totally exist & you either are or aren’t one), & I really just enjoy the job of passing on my language knowledge to these little ones. Don’t tell anyone but I totally have some students who are my favs. They amaze me with their wit, make me laugh with their antics & some have also really impressed me with their improvements with English. I look forward to seeing them each week & the time we spend together.

Someone I definitely DO NOT look forward to seeing each week? My boss.

I don’t really know how to describe her fully without completely breaking my blog’s ‘PG-13’ rating, so I will let your imaginations run wild, dear readers. 

Let’s just say this woman opened a flashy language school with misspelled signs on the wall, breakable props hanging from the ceiling & a wifi box resting in a bed of wires when all she really cares about is not the students –but their parent’s money.

If you have ever had a bad work experience with a boss, then you know how terrible this is. Let me tell you, if the root of your awful boss experience was their obsession with money then that is the most terrible of all. Some bosses just want you to do crazy things like come in to work with a 100degree fever, or risk your life driving through a blizzard or miss out on holidays, birthdays & general priceless memories just so they can make a little more profit at your expense. 

And it is absolutely disgusting.

Some people are just like that & as long as you’re working for them it will remain that way. Because bosses like this will never change. No matter how many extra hours you work, no matter how many shifts you cover, no matter how many times you compliment them on their tie or ask about their vacations they will never remember it. But do you know what they will remember? A time you called out sick, a time you showed up late or a time they caught you slacking off. Yup, they never forget that.

So you are then faced a choice: should I stay or should I go?

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You may want to stay because of the job. It’s secure, it’s well-paying, you worked so hard to earn it that you just don’t want to throw it all away. You think you can handle your boss. You think you can ignore them, or not take their cruelness so personally. Because you will have to deal with people like that in life, right? Wrong.

You don’t have to do anything. And personally, I feel like working even your dream job can be completely ruined by having a bad boss. Trust me, it happened to me. Because you can ignore them but you really can’t. They will be calling you in on weekends, piling more stacks of work on your desk & just generally giving you a constant feeling like you are not one bit appreciated. If you want to spend your life like this, be my guest. 

But just so you know there are great bosses out there too. Bosses who appreciate their employees, bosses who take your side of the story & bosses who don’t take 3-4days to give you your paycheck & then gyp you out of some of it anyway (yup). 

So if you decide you no longer want to stay, then it’s time to go. 

One thing you should think about before quitting is how this will affect your lives. Both you & your boss’s. In some cases, you really are just a number that can be easily replaced, but in certain situations, you actually have much more power than your boss will ever give you credit for. How do you have power you ask?

By doing a damn good job at your job. 

If you are an asset to your company/store/work team then when you finally decide to leave it will cause a gap. Even if you don’t think so. Especially if you have a good relationship with co-workers. People remember & miss ex-employees who were good leaders, reliable & hard-working. Why? Because not everyone is one. Not everyone is a leader or has a high level of skill in their profession, so when those people walk away the entire dynamic changes.

Another plus of these types of people choosing to leave their job is that it sends a pretty powerful message. You may not think so but anyone who finally stops complaining about their unhappiness & actually does something about it is quite brave.

I can remember when I first met my boyfriend, Filip, & he was working in a laptop factory. He hated the job but hated his boss even more. After dealing with it for a long time, the final straw was when his boss became extremely unethical to other employees & demanded he work not only 7-5 five days a week but weekends too. And he just basically said ‘F**k you’ & just quit. 

I don’t think I have ever admired someone so much. (After a month he found a GREAT new job fixing the Prague trams & is now happy) He did something I had fantasized about doing for so long but was reluctant to do. Why? Not because I was afraid I wouldn’t find a new teaching job, no, those are easy to get here, but because I didn’t want to rock the boat. I didn’t want to start over somewhere new when I was all settled. I didn’t want to leave my students. I thought it would get better.

But you know why I really think I settled for late paychecks, crazy schedule changes & the passive aggression for so long, dear readers? It’s because I thought I deserved it.

Yes, it sounds awful. I thought I was young, inexperienced, foreign & I had to settle for this job. I thought recent college graduates had to go through all this mistreatment because we’re the bottom of the totem pole. We know nothing about ‘the real world’ or the work place or life. 

Writing that right now just made me realize how completely stupid it sounds. Because no one deserves that. 

If you show up to work on time, prepare things ahead of time, do your job & especially if you go the extra mile–you should not be treated like a slacker. The more & more people put me down inside or outside the classroom simply because of my age the more I realize this stigma is complete B.S. 

Age means nothing. I know people in their 20s who have done more than people in 40s. Age is not synonymous with maturity. And I am so COMPLETELY fed up with my entire generation being put down like this. Yes, there are always the idiots who perpetuate every awful stereotype, but then there are those 22-year-olds who move alone across the world.

Age means nothing. Experience means everything. Work ethic means everything. Because work ethic grows & builds. Without a good work ethic, I don’t care how old you are you’re not going to hold on to that job very long. 

So if you know you’re a good worker, act like it.

Stand up for yourself. Don’t let your passion for your job or your skills be wasted on someone who doesn’t appreciate them, or even worse, forces you to hate your job! Chalk it up to a growing experience, but know when it’s time to walk.

And now is my time.

So dear readers, after 9 months of being denied vacations, being bad-mouthed to parents, being provided no supplies, & an overall complete lack of guidance it’s time for me to stop talking the talk & to start walking the walk.

Next week, I am going to quit my job.

-JG  

 

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2 Responses to “Learning To Hold Your Own”

  1. Matthew May 10, 2014 at 11:15 pm #

    Good for you biff! Enjoy the rest of your short time in Praha without any headaches or worries!

  2. Ron May 11, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    You go girl. I always admired a strong willed person.. Remember no one can treat you bad or disrespect you if you don’t let them. Most people who are abused allow it.
    Of course I always knew you were strong willed.

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