In Loving Memory… Of My Job.

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Let me ask you something. If you learn that you were going to lose your job, how would you feel?

Would you:
(a) Jump for joy?
(b) Shed a tear?
(c) Smile and calmly accept your fate?
(d) Flip your manager the bird and strut like a boss out of the office?

Or all of the above?

Or, go through the seven stages of grief, like yours truly?

To be fair, I haven’t lost it yet but the way things are going now at the office, it sure looks like it. Let me tell you why:

A year and a half ago, I was hired to do content marketing and campaign marketing. It was a symmetrical split of the role. 50% of my role required me to write and publish articles, as well as to post topics on social media, while the other 50% required me to plan and execute the campaigns. But the manager who hired me left the company for another and a new one took her place. I understand that new managers will always have their own plans for the business, but I was clearly cast aside by the one who came onboard. At first, I thought my role would change under the new manager. But as the weeks flew by, I realised it had little to do with a change of roles. There was just no room for me. I wasn’t included in any of the meetings that involved my teammates. I wasn’t included in the emails that used to involve me once upon a time. My new manager rarely asks me about anything, preferring to refer to my senior teammate instead. My teammates felt it was strange too, and tried to include me in whatever they did. However, the new manager neither blinked nor agreed with their suggestions to get me involved. It was business as usual for everyone but me. I don’t know if I had stepped on his toes. I don’t know if I had dented his pride and ego. If I did, I hoped he would man up and tell me what went wrong. I don’t have a sixth sense and I cannot read minds.

So it isn’t really set in stone yet that I would be leaving the company. But judging by the icy cold situation now, I wouldn’t be surprised if I was told to leave. I suppose they would give me their answer during the upcoming employee appraisal that is due to take place anytime this week. The truth will be revealed to me then, whether I want to know or not. The truth of whether I will stay or go.

Though, believe it or not, I actually went through all seven stages of grief last Friday. I didn’t know why this was happening, but I completed all seven stages within three days.

At first, I was shocked.

Why was this happening to me? What did I ever do to the new manager to the point of alienating me? I am not the confrontational type so everything I was given to do, I did it. I never argued nor talked back. I took it up the ass and did what I was told to do.

Then the shock gave way to denial.

No, I refused to believe that I was being left out of work. I refused to believe that I wasn’t involved in the meetings that my teammates attended. I tried to reason with myself that maybe it wasn’t something the manager wanted me to do. Maybe there were other plans for me.

But it couldn’t stop me from being hopping mad.

The reasoning stopped and gave way to anger. I was at a loss. NO! It’s a conspiracy! It’s a mutiny! I was livid! I couldn’t fathom why my manager refused to respond to my texts or preferred to communicate with my teammates and leave me in the dark. WHY?

So I tried to compromise and meet the manager halfway.

I was afraid that maybe my manager wasn’t “seeing” me, that I was somewhat invisible. So I made sure to repeat myself at least twice to ensure that my manager heard or saw me. I took liberties to put myself out there, in the open. I took the initiative to clarify with or ask the manager questions instead of the other way round.

Nope. It didn’t work. On the contrary, it made me feel even worse.

And then I got depressed. I was upset and disappointed with the way things turned out. I was so affected by it that when I came home from work on Friday night, I had a migraine and my eyes were too tired to stay open. I hardly ate a bite for dinner and went straight to bed. I didn’t feel like showering. I didn’t bother eating properly. I just wanted to sleep.

Then I thought, maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel for me.

Well, I managed to stay here for almost two years, learning all that I could. It was still a job and I had the opportunity to learn, which meant that I’d be walking away with added skills and knowledge that I wouldn’t have, had I not been hired earlier. I wasn’t the loser here. My company would lose another talented employee, while the new one would gain my skills and talents.

But all I want now is peace. Peace, the truth and closure.

Okay, so there are things that we can change but there are those that we can’t. If they want me to leave, so be it. There is nothing I can do about it. But when I leave, I’m a better person now than I was before I worked here. I have what it takes to do well at my next job, to succeed and go further than I did here. All I want is the truth. If they want me to leave, I want them to tell me why. I need some closure to all the mess that’s left behind.

Strange how once upon a time, I never liked the job. I tried to leave a couple of times but my former manager stopped me. She knew I had the potential and wanted me to harness it. I may have found the job demanding and challenging but I stayed anyway. I never left in the end. So I’ve gone through all seven stages over the weekend and you know what? I will quietly accept my fate if it really happens. But it doesn’t mean I fully agree with their decision when the time comes.

I don’t suppose it would be a good idea to send a scathing farewell email, though, would it?

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Mrs Danvers in ‘Goosebumps on Manderley’.

Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again…

If there was a book to be written by R. L Stine in his famous Goosebumps series, it should include Mrs Danvers as one of its key characters. Heck, maybe she should be the key character and main ghost host in the story. Because she was, sure as hell to me, one lean, mean creepy machine in Daphne du Maurier’s novel, Rebecca.

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We come to learn of Mrs Danvers as the head of housekeeping for Manderley, the Cornish overbearing mansion owned by Maximilian de Winter. A dastardly and deceitful woman who is unable to leave the past and move on. Fondly known as Max by all his staff, he befriends a young girl in her twenties while vacationing in Monte Carlo. A whirlwind romance later, they got married (his proposal is really odd, “I’m asking you to marry me, you silly fool!”) and he takes her back to Manderley after their honeymoon in Italy.

The idea of marrying a rich man is pure gold. Even better if the rich man is much older than you are as it means that you’ll be well looked after. But marital bliss is too far out of our narrator’s reach. Her arrival at Manderley was not given a warm welcome, although most of the staff hardly say much except to accept her presence and her status as Max’s wife. Mrs Danvers, however, was none too pleased about it. That’s because she was still hung up over the sudden passing of the previous mistress, the former wife of Max de Winter, the first real Mrs de Winter.

Rebecca is, without a doubt, a gripping and powerful novel that anyone can relate to the themes of identity crisis, jealousy and envy with another woman. In this case, the other woman is dead, having drowned in a supposed boating accident. Her presence remains, still, even from beyond the grave, in the form of a memory that Mrs Danvers, the head housekeeper, would never allow to fade. The narrator, whom we never discover her name from the first page until the very end, faces a painful struggle against this “other woman” and her life at Manderley is constantly compared to Rebecca. Despite being known as Mrs de Winter and the new lady of the house, the narrator toils and attempts to adjust to her new way of life and to her husband Max. She is under the belief that Rebecca had been the better Mrs de Winter and a more engaging person. Yet, as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Rebecca was not as angelic and perfect as people believed her to be. Her death is also not as tragically accidental as it would seem to be.

Manderley is accurately depicted as the hellish Gothic mansion where the narrator finds difficult to adjust. The mansion is nearly a character in itself anyway. It seems to breathe and tremble with Rebecca’s haunting and chilling presence. But really, let’s not forget the most formidable character of them all. Because she is the perfect villain. She does so well as a menacing individual with an abnormal obsession with Rebecca that intensifies the dark and gloomy atmosphere, and whose devilish antics drive the narrator up the wall.

Despite the relatively dark elements, Rebecca has a little something for everyone. A dab of romance for the soft-hearted. A dash of horror for the scream queens. And a healthy serving of crime and mystery for the couch potato crime detectives with a delicious turn of events that will leave the readers’ eyes as wide as saucers.

But it did strike me that the narrator’s name was never mentioned. Not the first name, not the last name. We only know her as Mrs de Winter. It’s strange how the story tells the predicament of the second Mrs de Winter but we constantly come across the name of the first Mrs de Winter. Mrs Danvers never wanted anything to do with the second Mrs de Winter. The other thing is the ending. It’s been thrown wide open to interpretation but here’s a tip for you:

Remember what you read in the first few pages of the book because the ending is the beginning of everything.

My Love for Marvel and DC Comics.

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If there’s one thing about me, it’s procrastination. In 2017, I missed a host of chances to watch big-time movies. I missed Wonder Woman. I missed Thor: Ragnarok. And I almost missed Justice League.

Thankfully, I managed to catch it on December 31, the last day of 2017. This also was a last minute attempt to use up my complimentary movie pass courtesy of Golden Screen Cinemas for my birthday. I had the entire month to use it but no, I had to wait until the last day of the month to fully utilise it.

So I finally saw the movie last night at 10:20pm (Malaysian time), which meant that by the time the movie ended, I would have missed the New Year’s Eve celebration, fireworks and countdown. But that means I was also ensconced in the comfort of not being jostled and stepped on in the crowds of party-goers and celebrants.

Before I wish thee a ‘Happy New Year’, let me spin you a tale of what I thought about the movie Justice League.

My husband and I felt that it was the best and most appropriate movie to watch on the last day of 2017. Justice League was a movie built on faith and hope, on the beliefs that a greater good will befall those who are kind and patient, on the fact that there is a reason for everything that will happen and has happened.

Justice League is brought to us by DC Comics with Batman (Bruce Wayne) played by Ben Affleck, Superman (Clark Kent) played by Henry Cavill, Wonder Woman (Diana Prince) played by Gal Gadot, Aquaman (Arthur Curry) played by Jason Momoa, Cyborg (Victor Stone) played by Ray Fisher, and the Flash (Barry Allen) played by Ezra Miller. These are your everyday vigilante superheroes whose responsibilities include ridding the Earth of evil-doers and going head-to-head against evil monsters and aliens who always plan to take over the world. Although, none of these superheroes would be any more successful without the assistance and moral support from Alfred played by Jeremy Irons and Lois Lane played by Amy Adams.

However, I’m not a big fan of Batman and his constant brooding in the bat cave. I prefer Superman. He’s one of my favourite superheroes and at the top of the list (big thanks to Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster for creating my favourite Krypton boy). Hot on the heels of favourite superheroes is Captain America (Steve Rogers) played by Chris Evans, who also believes in justice and faith and hope and is the people’s hero. Just like Superman. Until then, I only had eyes for these two handsome young men. Now that I’ve seen the movie, my list has expanded to fit Wonder Woman in. Her lasso of truth, golden armbands that cause explosions when brought together by force, and a sword that could break just about anything that it comes into contact with are the very weapons that help her fight alongside the rest of the team.

I’m sure many of you would have seen the movie already so I’m just going to mention that I was beyond myself when I saw Superman being resurrected. It felt so intense when I saw him standing up in the flesh where his statue once stood. Never mind that he was beating the shit out of his future team but he was there. Alive. And well. Of course, it has to be Lois Lane who was Bruce Wayne’s contingency plan if Superman went berserk.

And it worked.

Before this, I used to be a huge Marvel fan (thanks to Captain America) but DC Comics is giving me a run for my money! Now I’m torn between the two. Perhaps I should just love them both equally. But if I do decide to buy any Marvel or DC Comics merchandise, I’m going to have to watch my finances.

Oh yes, Happy New Year, everyone!

Movie Review: The Silver Linings Playbook (A Film Adaptation).

the-silver-linings-playbook-matthew-quick-goodreadsI finally caught the movie adaptation of the book The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick yesterday.

It took me awhile to catch up but once I did, I realised how different the book and the movie were. They were stark differences between the two and I’m just going to give you guys a quick update on what I think about the movie.

The first difference I noticed was the pace of the movie. Granted the movie director and producer would not be able to match scene by scene with the book, but it looked as though the characters were thrown haphazardly into the movie and expected to perform and show the viewers what the plot was all about. Kind of like various vegetables tossed into a boiling pot of water and expected to cook at the same time (you know carrots, potatoes and cabbages all cook at different times). The opening scene where Pat Solitano’s friend Danny tried to sneak out of the mental facility was already the first scene that was not found in the book! Heck, the surname Solitano isn’t even in the book! Patrick was known as Pat Peoples in Matthew Quick’s novel but was otherwise known as Patrick Solitano in the movie.

The film was also quite fast-paced, raw and emotional. There were instances where the characters were pitched against one another. One scene that stood out was Tiffany’s confrontation with Pat’s dad in the living room after Pat, his brother Jake, therapist Dr Cliff, and best pal Ronnie were shipped home due to a public brawl at the football stadium before the match began. Another scene involved Tiffany screaming harassment when she stormed out of the diner where Pat was having dinner with her. A crowd formed and tried to drive him away. A policeman shows up anyway and tries to break it up. In the end, Tiffany takes Pat’s side and tells everyone to buzz off. Well, I certainly don’t recall reading it in the book, that’s for sure. However, the author was able to take his own time to build on the plot and expand on certain areas in his book.

After the movie ended, I went online to do some research on it and found that it won a whopping 33 awards between 2012 and 2013, including a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award for Best Actress by Jennifer Lawrence (who played Tiffany in the film), Critics Choice Awards, an MTV Movie Award for Best Male Performance by Bradley Cooper (who played Patrick Solitano in the film), as well as Best Director and Adapted Screenplay Awards. You can get the rest of the awards online. Jacki Weaver (Pat’s mom), Julia Stiles (Veronica, Ronnie’s wife), John Ortiz (Pat’s best friend Ronnie), Robert de Niro (Pat’s dad) and Chris Tucker (Pat’s friend Danny) were the other big names in the movie.

But what completely threw me off was the movie producer! As I watched the credits roll, I came upon the name of Harvey Weinstein! Good God, the movie was produced by the man whose name is surrounded by so much bad chi right now! His reputation has been torn to shreds by all the rape and sexual harassment allegations. Well, thankfully when he wrapped things up with the movie and it won the awards, he was in the clear.