So, there I was in a new and different working environment. One of the youngest professionals in a newly created post in an international organization. My landing in this position was quite interesting because of the manner in which I underwent in landing it.It started as an advert from a newspaper, I applied, was short – listed underwent an exam and then then a competency based interview before 5 interviewees.
I was super traumatized and anxious because I had never encountered such. But it was worth the try because unemployment had been a grave idea in my mind as I was successful in the other country I had tried relentlessly.
I received the call and started on the Monday and the prospects were exciting. The position didn’t gel with my degree name but it was relevant still in its own twisted way. There I was sharing with clients the necessary info and services. The headquarter leaders abroad sent delegates to come through in the country. We went to the Commissioner’s house for a dinner.
Our stakeholders were invited and it was then I managed to interact with the stakeholders and I heard their issues and this is why I was able to deduce the problems immediately. I kept quiet as I listened closely. I learnt in volumes their bitter sweet experiences, insights, experiences, perceptions and attitudes.
It was all toxic and the organization was blinded thinking all was well. I was quiet taken aback but it gave me something to deeply think about:- to become a ‘problem solver’. I was asked to be part of the team for an international art related event. I felt out of touch with the whole communication part and asked to be opportune with going to the head of the project to get de – briefed face – to – face.
I was immediately assisted and I traveled to the country at hand. I was brought up to speed with everything and everything now made sense. Upon my return, I discovered that I was appointed as an Events Coordinator for a launching of a professional center without my consent and had 2 days to organize everything. Astonished and feeling a bit overwhelmed I took the challenge head on. I ensured that everything was done to the last detail and ALONE as other colleagues were involved on another event that was also being held on the same day as mine in the morning time.
We were expecting a very high caliber leader in management and leadership. I had ensured all details were covered. Media interviews, booking the venue, transportation and accommodation logistics and other aspects in-between.It was indeed something that flowed in my blood. The event was challenged by some of my colleagues who lacked respect and seriousness when I was asking for their assistance.
I found myself having delegated everything to myself. There was resistance. I decided that it is an adapt or die situation and if this event goes wrong…all the weight shall be blamed on me.I served the stakeholders as my colleagues glared at me as I was all over the show. Even my mother who attended stepped in to give roses to those who attended at the end. The leader who had come to grace the event and also introduce his book looked at me and I will never forget that moment. My heals had given to the pressure of having overworked…With their ripped apart state in the front; and my toes being exposed:- he looked deep into my eyes with a smile, held my hands and said, ‘You are going somewhere and you will be great!’
I was so humbled and humility clothed me. As I walked away and took off my shoes, my colleagues were laughing at me. I left to a private corner and cried my lungs out…yes a breakdown was what I had to shed. As I was there seated in the corner, one of the waitresses who were assisting at the event came to me with the book of the leader and asked that I autograph her book. I asked why me and that she could go to the author, she simply smiled and said, ‘I want and need your signature’.
I thought to myself, this is ironic! My first job concluded with the 2 people in authority assaulting me by forcibly grabbing my bag because it was branded with their logo but with my private contents. It was traumatic as the top head claimed all my work at a restaurant through asking my feedback on why my event was successful than the one they held even though I had suggested certain things not being viable but because I was viewed as young and inexperienced, they ignored my advice.
After the meeting, he copied everyone in the office and headquarters abroad as his ideas. It was shattering and I literally felt cheated. I had a semi – breakdown and he blatantly wrote a recommendation that I am not fit to work and if I was to resume work I would have to undergo a mental test.The ink flows and the heart overflows…
Signing off now, stay tuned for Part 3…
Mamello Keketso SAGO – Copyright August 2020