My frustration got the better of me…

13 March 2020.

It is Friday the 13th.

I was peacefully practising my sketch of the ear when the phone rang. I looked at it and the caller ID was my manager’s name.

The time was 08:59.

I decided not to pick it up and continued with my sketching as I didn’t want to be distracted and annoyed for no reason.

2 minutes later, the phone rang again and this time round, I picked it up.

“Hello Francis…” it was the voice that I really didn’t wish to listen to on this very day.

Me: “Yes?”

Him: “Errr… can you cancel your leave?”

Me: “Huh? Why?”

Him: “There’s a customer issue that needs to be attended to, I need you to go.”

Me: “But I’m on leave and I have my plan in the afternoon.” I was already feeling slightly annoyed.

Him: “Then can you cancel the morning leave?”

Me: “But why? Can’t A (colleague) go?”

Him: “He’s packed with appointment.”

Me: “Then what about B?” I was already boiling in my heart.

Him: “He’s got xxx to do.”

“What?” Inside my heart I was already asking, what could be more important than a customer’s issue that that “xxx” could not be put aside for a while?

Me: “What’s the issue about?”

HIm: “We need to re-install a printer driver and this has been dragged for 2 weeks.”

“What????” Again, I was asking this same question. An issue that was dragged for 2 weeks and the other colleague who was not on leave had to do “xxx” and could not attend to this matter and expected me to cancel my leave?

Me: “Send me the mail. I will take a look at it.” I knew I would blow if the conversation continued. I was very aware of the changes in my body, the blood rushing to the head, my breathing got heavier etc.

I browsed through quickly the email forwarded by manager to understand the whole issue.

Then I changed and booked a cab to the customer’s place.

I must have been feeling very furious that when I reached my customer’s place and took the temperature, it was 38 degree and I was disallowed to enter the reception area in a nice way.

I knew the security Guards were doing their job and so I smiled and told them it was the hot weather (it was indeed very hot – about 33 degree with the hot sun reaching out to all parts of Singapore).

Then I told them I would rest for a while before taking another temperature, and I did.

I stood under the shade for a while, eyes closed and focused on my breathing. I told myself that I should not let whatever that has happened to disrupt my peace.

It was 5-7 minutes later that I took my temperature and it went down to 37.3 degree.

By the time I got out of the customer’s place was around 11ish and I have cooled down much. I took out my notebook and sent an update to all relevant stakeholders informing them of the status.

My manager called me again to ask about another matter and I briefly updated him on the status of the matter that I had just attended to.

I didn’t want to speak more for I have really lost my respect and confidence in him for being a manager. I became very judgmental towards him and much as I tried to see things from another perspective, I couldn’t help but to feel that things could have been better managed and prioritised.

Then I decided to go to the temple to pray and proceeded with my initial plan and completed my sketch when I was back at home.

Things could have been really better managed and prioritised, but similarly, I reminded myself that I could have better managed my own emotions and gracefully accepted whatever that came.

However, I also know that it is now time for me to voice out my opinions even though I am quite sure that it will not change anything.

I have always tried my best to work as a team and help each other, but it should not at the expense of my own personal time anymore.

I saw and felt heir fears in my manager and his manager. They have not been considerate towards their staffs and were selfish to do whatever it takes to get their way. And that is because they are so fearful that all they can do is to squeeze all juices from their own staffs.

I forgive them, but again, forgiving is to accept that things have happened but doesn’t mean that I should let it happen again….


Francis Lim


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