The First Job From Hell: What I Learned After Being "Terminated"
When I graduated a little over four months ago, I knew I wanted to find a job ASAP. I was on a mission to prove something to myself and to everyone else around me who always thought of me as a "spoiled brat". People thought I couldn't fend for myself or get a well-paying job and I just wasn't willing to put up with that.
So around two weeks after leaving my alma mater, I was employed! I was beyond happy. I didn't know what to expect, but I was willing to face it head on. I must admit, the first two months were great. The office environment was very comfortable, and the people there were extremely cool (or so I thought). My co-workers were blasting songs by The Smiths and Joy Division from their laptops and the boss was okay with that. I thought I had found my perfect dream job. Yeah, right . . . Things started to go south not long after that.
I've been wanting to quit so badly for the past few weeks and yesterday I was finally going to, but then I got fired. Go figure.
So here are just a few things I learned and experienced during my first job:
You're not always going to get along with everybody. Accept it.
Around a month and a half ago I started noticing a change in dynamics between some of my co-workers and I. People I used to spend all of my breaks and lunchtime with were no longer inviting me to join them on their cigarette breaks, and my friendships with them disintegrated. I wish I knew why because I honestly still don't understand it. Was it my "resting bitch face"? Did I unintentionally offend some of them without meaning to? What the hell was it?!
Well things got so bad that I just felt like my work environment was no longer healthy for me mentally and emotionally. My supervisor (whom I got along with so well during the first few months I worked there) removed me from a group chat that we had on Facebook which included some of my other co-workers that I used to consider my friends. With no warning, I just opened my messenger one day and found out I was voted off the island. What's up with that? It was beyond ridiculous, to be honest. Additionally, my supervisor stopped talking to me at the office altogether (except when it came to "office work") and wouldn't even look at me at all. It was as if I was invisible.
So yeah, back to my point. You're not always going to get along with people at your office and trust me, the sooner you accept that, the better. Just mind your own business, do your work, get paid, and go home.
You have to pay your dues.
Since this was my first job ever, I knew going into it that it wasn't going to be easy, and it wasn't. Sure, the work itself was very easy for me (I was a Content Writer for an ad agency) but overall I had a hard time due to a variety of different factors. First of all, my workplace was quite far from where I lived and commuting back and forth everyday was terrible. It was hell, to be honest. Rush hour in Makati is no damn joke! Second of all, my supervisor apparently held a grudge against me for a while because I wasn't working "overtime". Uhm, okay. That was laughable to me. I got all of my work done early and there was no reason at all for me to put in extra hours. I couldn't complain though. I was a new employee and I had to pay my dues I guess.
What I learned? Well, sometimes you just have to suck it up. I applied for this job, I wanted this, so yeah. I just sucked it up.
People will f*ck you over.
Let me tell you guys why I was suddenly "terminated". I was accused by the head of my department (who I swear does not even deserve that title) of plagiarism. I was and still am completely outraged by this!!!! That is a complete and blatant lie. I am a writer at heart and have been passionate about writing since I was a kid and I would never disrespect someone else's work by plagiarizing. Seriously, I don't even want to elaborate any further because I am so pissed off. I wrote an entire thesis by myself in college without plagiarizing a single phrase so why would I even plagiarize a 400-word article about home maintenance?! It's absurd. Apparently (according to the "Head of Department" who was also one of my supervisors) the article I wrote contained a few ideas that were a bit similar to another article she found on Google. Uhm, okay. Maybe she should learn the meaning of the word "plagiarism". Seriously, is there anything in the word that is completely unique and has not been written about yet? Of course people could end up writing about similar ideas! Duh. It's a no-brainer. Come on, I dare you to write something completely and 100% unique that has never been written about before. I swear, that lie about me plagiarizing was just an excuse for her to finally get rid of me.
The worst part is that a meeting was held about this issue, and at the end of the meeting she told all of us writers (there was someone else on the writing team who was accused of plagiarism) to step up our game and improve, and like the robots that we were, we just nodded and went back to work. One hour later, I was fired. Just like that. Luckily, I've been wanting to quit for the longest time so it felt like a huge burden was taken off my shoulders. I just wish I had quit before they had the chance to unfairly fire me.
I guess the main point of this whole post is that most of the time, there will be problems at work, especially if it's your first job ever. My advice to you would be to ask yourself if it's all worth it. Is the stress worth the salary that you're getting? If it is, then by all means tough it out. Listen to music if you have to just so you can get through the day and keep your sanity. But if it isn't worth it, then leave. Trust me, just leave. Quit! There are tons of other jobs out there and though job-hunting can be quite difficult (don't worry, I know) sooner or later you'll find a different (and hopefully better) company that will accept you.
I know that we all need to work for a living and I understand that completely, but at the same time, life is just way too short to stay in a situation that is toxic to you, so please . . . Do what makes you happy and what will make your soul happy as well. That's all.