Some people just know how to do it. They seem to know exactly how they can diminish you to a tiny little person. A dot in a wide field. A nobody surrounded by your own emotions. Some people take it so far that anything they do just makes you mad with anger.
During my first year in Australia I had to do 3 months of farm work to extend my stay by another year. Time was of an issue, so I was very happy, although nervous, that I’d found a farm that could take me in for the whole period. Little did I know I was right to be nervous.
My boss liked to do things his own way. If you didn’t like it, he’d just tell you to leave. So I slaved away, afraid to ask him questions about anything. He didn’t say what I could expect. He was the kind of person that if he wanted you to move, would just take your arm and drag you to the spot. On the spot he’d expect that you’d know what to do. This was a man who’d rather call you ‘hey’ or ‘you’ than actually learning people’s names.
During my period there I guess his respect for me grew a bit. Yet that didn’t mean his personality changed. When other people arrived at the farm, they were expected to work whenever the boss needed them. Even if they were told there wasn’t any work, they were not allowed to leave the property just in case. So these people were dragged out of bed one day, and forced to work for two hours on their day off the next.
On top of everything he did he wasn’t honest or fair in his payments. He was vague about it, didn’t want to say what you’d earn. It turned out that people living on the farm earned 3 dollars per hour less than the others. The boss kept insisting we weren’t paying rent. In my eyes we paid 3 dollars per hour that we worked, which sometimes were over 60 hours in a week. He claimed we got less because we worked more hours, had more responsibility and because we stayed on the farm we could work all the time. In what world is that a reason to be underpaid?
I never grew any respect for him. Why did I stay? I wanted to stay in the country. I was afraid I wouldn’t find anything else on short notice. I put up with it and tried to see the good parts, the nice people who worked there. That boss was the only asshole around. He made me cry several times that man. Luckily I had colleagues to share the pain with, because this was rage I couldn’t direct towards the cause.
This post is inspired by the daily prompt: mad as a hatter.