This post was submitted anonymously.
We all know working with a boss can be difficult, and they come in all different shape and sizes. Unlike other writings I have done, today I have decided to disclose my own personal experience of working with a boss – an expat. I used to look up to expats but not this one, which I’m currently working for. I’m not sure if I’ll get into trouble for writing this but I just want to warn anyone who’s planning to work under an expat, he or she should read about my experience.
Before we begin, let me talk about who my expat boss is. According a senior worker, he decided to move from Poland to Malaysia due to cold weather and bankruptcy from opening a bar. He did brag occasionally about travelling around Asia but I doubt that (because he doesn’t seem to understand Asians very well).
He then married a Malay lady who opened a maintenance business for a developer company here. After two years, he divorced her and took over the company.
OK now back to the story.
I just started working under him for about two going on three months and was just feeling quite weirded out by his weird ethics. To some, it may be old age, but to me, I think it’s just pure ignorance, especially towards the Malaysian culture.
I’m very proud of our colourful culture and will go all out if someone just plainly thinks Polish culture can easily be picked up by an Asian country. Unlike working with and for locals, we know how our work culture is. Since he is not from around Malaysia, culture misunderstanding happens… A LOT. I mean a lot, a lot you know?
He doesn’t seem to get the mentality of how Malaysians work and insists on ‘Oh that’s how we do it back in Poland’. I was mentally shouting, ‘NO YOU’RE IN FUCKING MALAYSIA!’. Because when you’re at Rome, you do as the Romans do, right? You don’t use chopsticks to eat steak or whatever it is that Romans eat. And it’s sad seeing how he just doesn’t want to learn Malaysia’s unique culture, especially when he’s been here for more than five years (probably less, I don’t know).
No matter how many times everyone tries to explain to him, he just never wants to listen or learn Bahasa Melayu. Like, that’s the basic thing you need to learn before staying and opening up a business in a foreign country.
Moving on to the next thing, I’m alright if someone just yells at me for my wrongdoings, but it gets worse when they try to sound smart at the same time. Acting like ‘my company is BIG, HUGE!’ (try to imagine Donald Trump’s huge) when the company is another small dog in this dog-eat-dog world.
My boss tries to sound smart, even though he isn’t. He tries to teach me how to use simple shortcuts using the keyboard.
He tries to sound like he knows how many defects are in the report per week, when he doesn’t even check the system or the report if they are over 100. Oh, you know what’s even funnier? He tries to sound like he knows how to repair a pipe. (I mean, I worked at a maintenance company so skills are important). He showed off in a WhatsApp group chat and boasted about it (this almost caused a big fight but thinking about it, it would be a nice scene to watch).
Things got even bad when he called me out for putting the wrong figures (mind you, I’m not accounting-based and I’m certain that I have a slight ADHD) on payment day for the crew. He got all mad and shamed me about whether I can count correctly. He slammed the calculator on the table and asked me to recount it in front of him and a senior worker.
Of course, I got all embarrassed and at that time, I felt like bawling my eyes out. I have been scolded before, but being embarrassed in front of people? It’s a whole different story. He should instead be ashamed of wanting to use my personal laptop for his so-called business ‘conference’ at Kuala Lumpur.
Not only does he ‘act like a smarty pants’, he is also a forgetful person. When the HOD (Head of Department) wants more access into the system, he promised him he would get the same access as mine. To this day, the HOD officer keeps complaining, saying his secretary can’t get the exact data per week. Instead of admitting he has forgotten about them, he said the secretary should have come herself and asked for the access (sure she’s piled up with calculations and data to do, it would be a great idea to just drive to our office and ask for an access that her boss could have done for her. Yep sounds like a GREAT idea).
Above all this, what is MOST terrible, is the fact that he is not paying his suppliers. He keeps saying, ‘Oh I don’t want to create bad ties with my suppliers.’ Yet, he keeps delaying their payment. Instead, he decides to bank in the company’s money into his account and always says, ‘It’s director repayment. My own money, which I used to pump into the company. It needs to be paid back.’
Now here’s the thing – I don’t know much about accounting, but every two weeks you do that? Hmm, not sure but it does sounds very fishy to me.
And oh yeah, claiming everything you do during the weekends to the company, even flight tickets for a holiday?
Again, I want to clarify I don’t know much about accounting, so I’m not sure whether this is legal or illegal.
There’s more and probably more to come, since I’m still working for him. Heck, I’m even writing this in the office. Though I just started working with the company and am still young, it may come across as sounding like any other whining millennial.
I’m not exposing him or the company or anything else, I just need to vent out my frustrations of working with a micro-managing boss.
To end things on a positive note, I know I have just started working with him and shouldn’t be complaining. I just feel the need to get it out and write out my experience. Unlike his previous staffs, they actually sabotaged his business because of the same thing they did to him. Don’t ask me how I know, I just know from the dirty deeds they did behind his back. And I don’t want to keep these things inside my mind and heart, so I turn to writing. I hope everyone who has the same experience or far more worse or to write and post it up here – I’d like to hear from you, and so would others, I think. For all our sanities combined.
I’m ending things with a quote by Martin Luther King Jr.:
Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
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