Well full story about “SINGAPOREAN BULLIED BY “FT” BOSS AND COLLEAGUES LEAKS COMPANY INFORMATION” can be found at TRS site. PDFs and Screenshots by BlogCP here.
I however have a personal opinion to that whole article posted on TRS. Putting such a dramatic title to the author’s post will really catch some attention intended about “FT in Singapore” presumably (as we all know about hot FT topics around Singapore blogosphere) however in my humble opinion, based on my own experiences, i received quite similar issues of discrimination at work place with my LOCAL bosses and colleagues too. I strongly feel however that this is not a matter of “FT” Boss and that the article should also mediate and find out more from the the company that was mentioned.
The Highlights Of TRS Author’s Article
Highlight 01 –
I worked as a Sales Executive in my ex-company VRL Singapore Timetric, a research and information service provider for the financial and professional services markets. I hold a regular salary paying job for me to support my family and to make ends meet. I’m the sole bread winner as my wife had left her job to take care of my 1 year old daughter.
My ex-company had a organizational restructure last month and a new regional sales director was employed to fill this position. His name is Amit Patel and I report to him directly. He was raised up in the UK and studies there as well. He came to Singapore to work 3 years ago. had been working in Singapore for the past 3 years.
An interesting start to continue on reading per se.
Highlight 02 –
The first incident occurred about when Amit took my wallet which was on my desk. He screened through my wallet and took out my IC to inspect it. When he saw the photo displayed in my IC, he began to laugh very loudly in front of other colleagues. I felt very insulted because what he did was insensitive, unsympathetic and immature.
I don’t know about you guys but please tell me how many of us actually looked gorgeous in our NRIC photos? I had mine being joked at quite badly when they happen to see my photo (rare occasion) though i must admit going through someone’s belonging without prior permission is rude. However i would brush it away as it might be a random act and play the pranks which eventually gets you closer as colleagues for me. I mean come on, you wouldn’t have a choice but to show your NRIC to bouncers or police officers when they demanded to right – what’s the big deal?
Highlight 03 –
The problem is that all the other colleagues in my office is made up of mainly foreigners and Singapore PRs that behaves like a foreigner. None of them treated Singapore like home but just a place for them to make money. I had no one to talk or confide my problems to.
I wonder how well does the author know them in this case. Did they confide to the author that they are just here to make the money and leave? Because from what i last re-call, i have quite a few of FT bosses and directors who express their willingness to stay and permanently migrate here in Singapore. Some even been here for over 7 years and happily eating curry, laksa or mee hokkien in hawker centers together almost every other lunch time. Judging on the author’s situation, they are not close enough.
Highlight 04 –
The second bullying incident happened when my ex-colleague brought her 4 year old daughter to the office and Amit made a remark to everyone saying “Ask your daughter to come tomorrow as she can make better sales calls than Jerard.” This disparaging remark belittled me and my ability in making sales calls. As a sales director, he should motivate the sales staff by encouragement and set a good leadership example, not the opposite by saying such a remark.
Ahh, i had somewhat similar discouraging comments / remarks / troll from time to time from my local ex-bosses too. How about getting shouted at across the room for something that wasn’t your mistake (he doesn’t know head or tail of the situation) just to show every other newbie how “tough of a LOCAL boss” you are and that “your bosses which is my boss bosses” is looking at you. If that is a good leadership then please leave my blog :), i must say. Oh i was in pre-sales at that point of time and ALL MY BOSSES ARE LOCALS by the way. Is that somewhat similar to our author’s situation?
Highlight 05 –
I was also subjected to excessive monitoring as I was forced to sit beside Amit without any clear say of my sitting arrangement. He was able to see my computer screen and could monitor every action and movement which I make. Last week, he sent me a private email stating “less reading… more talking”. Being supervised until so closely, there was a tremendous amount of pressure on me mentally because of the lack of trust from Amit and as a subordinate, I had no privacy to do my work.
I received such “excessive monitoring” commonly from my local ex-bosses before especially in sales and project management. But when you proved your capabilities to perform, that simply goes away naturally. There were past roles however where i failed to perform and completely went under because i felt pressured and exploited however i take it as i was not able to adjust to it and it is more to a personal failure to fully get adjusted to the role – note this is totally a locally managed as in LOCAL ex-bosses and superiors that i had at that point of time. Yes, i agree such excessive monitoring can be demoralizing and definitely puts a lot of unnecessary pressure. But hey, a lot more local bosses do that in my past experience.
Highlight 06 –
The worst bullying incidents happened when our sales team went for a department lunch last friday, 19th April 2013. We had Italian food buffet at one of the nearby shop-house restaurant. We ate pizzas and other Italian food during the lunch. When we returned back to the office, I was shocked to receive an email from Amit which was sent to the entire sales team and this email showed a picture of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. I felt so humiliated as that email was very unprofessional and downright degratory. Amit’s boss, Ruben who was the new Regional Director of Asia-Pacific (joined only 2 weeks ago) then send out another email with a group picture of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the email stated “This is what an argument looked like in the Lee household”. He abused his power as a senior management by backing up Amit’s earlier picture of me as a teenage mutant ninja turtle. I felt terribly upset at his childish and immature behaviour. His picture implied that my household are all ninja turtles which I was indignant and insulted because my family should not be dragged into the picture at all. He did not show any basic respect to my family by labelling them as ninja turtles and this clearly humiliated and denigrated my family. As the Regional Director of the Singapore office, His behaviour is totally unacceptable to me. Later in the afternoon, Amit sent another email address to my other colleague which I was copied in the email. This was a separate email and had no connection to the previous email of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. In that email, I was being referred to as a turtle. I was very embarrassed when I saw the email because to be addressed as a turtle is very degrading and humiliating for me.
I wonder if there was a joke on the author during the sales department lunch. I mean, i too came across such department joke where everyone mocks on everyone or to anyone within a department or group at work place. Sometimes it is a matter of standing up or go to that person saying that “hey, okay i am offended, hope you can remove that or/and apologize”. Is there a communication breakdown between the author and the whole department – i wonder.
Highlight 07 –
Through all these bullying incidents, it was a really tough and difficult decision for me to stay in my job as I have to consider to safe keep my job or to to suffer more the bullying incidents which will torment me mentally and take a toll on my health. I came to a decision to tender my resignation on Tuesday, 23 April 2013 and that was my last day. I had a sale in the morning the particular day, and that sale was given to another colleague without any proper reason or justification from Amit. I was denied the reason for knowing why it was so and this sale might make a difference in the amount of commission i earned.
This is an expected political move if you have bad relation with your boss. Be it local or FT.
Highlight 08 –
Foreign talents who have the privilege of coming over to Singapore to work are paid well, often treated with respect and dignity from the government and people alike. Our government took pains to organize integration activities to help them settle in, to promote ‘bonding’ with the locals, to make them feel at home. Most of them are even allowed to bring their family members over so as to ease their mind such that they can take care of them as well as to have companionship in a foreign land.
As a local Singaporean, I really feel very helpless because I have been bullied in my homeland by my bosses who are Foreign Talents working in Singapore. All along, I had treated them with respect and dignity and I have never done anything wrong to offend my bosses to become a target of workplace bullying. Despite this, I will stand up to fight for my rights and create awareness in Singapore. I will go all the way to make sure that justice is served and the bullies to face the consequences of their actions.
Well don’t take one incident and generalize – at least for the author to realize that. I had the most fantastic times working for foreign bosses. I was given opportunity to try new things beyond my experiences so that i could gain new experience and learn more. Having such foreign managed working environment gave me no desire to return back to local managed environment. I felt that i was given better opportunity and as equal to the rest around me regardless of race and religion unlike being in local managed environment where you are being judge by your race and being discriminated because you are the minority. I believe my friends can vouch this claim where i share with them my experience working under a FT boss from time to time.
So What The Hell?
Well all of the above are some of the opinion i have with regards to the article @ TRS. i do find that the article is one sided as we do not know what is the company part of the story – like some seriously could just be a joke that the people involved not aware that they offended the author. I find that most of the things mentioned are more of complains from the author.
I didn’t have the best experience working under local management but i thrive better under foreign managed ones – due to the difference of working environment and mixed cultures. For all input that i shared was an experience i personally have / had and i am definitely not in support of how the article is being directed or titled.
Everyone have their own opinion – well here is my share 🙂 cheers!
Below is a very fine opinion from a blogger @ http://www.vincentchow.net/2004/western-asian-culture-comparison. Though i must admit that most of it is out of our topic’s context – its a generalized visual view of western vs asian culture which mostly still applicable.
Visual comparisons between western and asian culture. It’s a little of generalizing, so you might disagree to some of them. Both have its own good and bad, like the western queues better than the asian, or the asian is more humble etc. Blue for western culture and red for asian culture.
Way of Life
View of Myself
Sunday on City Streets
Definition of Beauty
Life of an Elderly
Moods & Weathers
Perception of Each Other’s Culture