Training You For Mediocrity

, , , , , | Working | November 17, 2020

When I am around nineteen years old, I start my first job as an apprentice. I am extremely shy and don’t stand up for myself. I was born in England but my parents are Pakistani.

As this is my first job, I don’t really see the red flags straight away. Firstly, the apprenticeship itself is advertised incorrectly, which I find out when I start working there. My job role is presented like admin/business work according to the job spec, but I end up being a full-time post room assistant. I am very enthusiastic.

Me: “What will we be doing when the post has gone out to the relevant departments?”

Team Leader: “Wait for it to come back.”

Me: “Well, yeah, I get that, but what about the other stuff?”

Team Leader: “Nope, wait for it to get back.”

That was just the first day.

After that, I never really saw my team leader. She told me she was my manager. My colleagues were all over fifty and were a very tight-knit group. I was the youngest person in the whole building and the only Pakistani. I had a colleague who did the same job but was getting paid double as she was the favourite; she also claimed to be my supervisor. She was the youngest of her group and actually POUTED and threw a tantrum that I was the youngest and she wasn’t anymore. She reminded me of this all the time.

Whenever I asked for more training for my apprenticeship and my college tutor asked me to do more stuff to complete the apprenticeship, both the team leader and “supervisor” would remind me that it was not part of my job role. I stayed quiet as I did not want to upset anyone.

As an apprentice, we had two hours per day to complete the assigned theory work. During this time, my “supervisor” would remind me that the afternoon post was back and that I needed to sort it. Every time, I reminded her of this, she would go to complain to the team leader. In the end, I ended up completing the work at home. I also informed my college tutor of this.

This had an effect on my mental health and I ended up going home crying on most days. I would call in sick as I couldn’t hack another day of working with these colleagues and was planning on quitting. My mum reminded me that as I was working for a good company, a better opportunity would come along.

At the end of the apprenticeship, I was told by my manager that they needed to extend the apprenticeship as I had not completed all my work. Around the same time, we had a new colleague a year younger than me who was a white male. His father was the head of the finance department. He was shown all the ropes and quickly became the favourite. He would sit around the office whilst I completed all the tasks and would use the excuse of training. The team leader and “supervisor” would always back him up.

I then went to Pakistan to get married and took a month’s leave. I also wanted to relax and have some me-time. Both my team leader and colleague asked me if I would be coming back to work after the leave. I found this odd but said yes. The last week before my leave, I was again reminded to come back. I asked another colleague why this was and she told me that a previous colleague went to India to get married and kept giving sick notes but they believed she had quit. This was ten years before I started working there, but I was compared to her because she was Asian, as well.

The final straw was after I came back. The first thing I got was, “We have so much work saved for you! I’m so glad you came back; we had another apprentice lined up in case you didn’t come back.”

I then applied for another job in the same company straightaway and surprisingly got the job. It is a customer service job where I deal with people all day. My team leaders and managers are all really nice and much more diverse than my last colleagues. I am so glad I stuck with it because I am in a much better place and enjoy my job.

My mum really gave me the best advice. I have come out of my shell and am much more confident as a person. I later found out that another colleague was on the same job scale as me and had been asking for a pay rise. She quit after FIFTEEN YEARS!

I’m glad I got out of there. The new male colleague is still there and keeps complaining about how much work he needs to do. The team leader and “supervisor” took early retirement due to job stress. I guess that’s Karma.

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