Welcome in says my boss, have a seat!
I knew that something was about to happen. But in my back pocket I had a ticket that was going to take me to the other side of the world, so I had no worries. In less than three months I was leaving. I was currently selling everything I owned on a local Facebook second hand site. We’d just sold our house and signed the papers one day earlier. Bring it on!!!
How did I know that this was not a friendly invite from my boss? I’d been speaking my mind at the last company meeting. When every one was talking about the bright future of the company I was not convinced anymore. I’d been part of two bankruptcies already. This was the same product and it was produced within the same factory. I recognized the signs. My gut feeling was telling me that we’d go belly up within 6 months. The owners we’re trying to keep the workers calm by lying to them. They were hoping for a miracle. I’d seen it before so I raised my hand and I said just that. “I’ve seen it before and I’ve heard this exact speech before. This company wont be here in six months!”. Then I stood up and I walked out of the room. I’d been trying to warn them for more than 6 months, but no one had listened.
Now I was sitting face to face with my boss who’d been the single reason to why the company was in trouble. He was experienced within his field but he had made some big mistakes at our factory but he refused to admit that.
So “B” he told me. I’ve decided that I’m going to send you to another company for the time being which is located not far from here. You’ll still be employed by us and your salary will be paid by us but you will work for them. I answered as politely as I could that this was not going to be possible. With surprise in his face he said that he insists. And I answered calmly that so did I. Now if we’d been a “staffing company” then I could see myself work for this other company. But since we’re not and I’m still under contract right here then this is where I’ll stay. Then I stood up and I was still very polite as I said that I have work to do so I would like to be excused if there was not anything else he had on his mind.
This is where he lost his temper. He screamed at me to sit down and now he demanded an explanation from me. Not to why I wouldn’t work at this other company, but to why I blamed him for the things that had gone wrong since he became the boss of this company. He took out about 25 note books from his drawers and then he slammed them on top of the desk in front of me. he said with a loud voice. Every decision is in here, every day and every hour down to the minute. Explain yourself he shouted!
I stayed calm as I gently put my hand on my right back pocket, it was still there. The ticket to New Caledonia made me feel like Mike Tyson in his prime. No one or nothing could hurt me at this moment. I was selling everything. I owned nothing, I had nothing to lose. I was free!
So in a calm voice I asked him if he knew who Bruce Lee was. Off course I know who Bruce Lee is he yelled.
I tried my best to imitate the voice of Bruce Lee as I looked into my bosses eyes. I might add that I’m horrible at imitating. But since I had nothing to lose I went for it :
“If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
I ended my little speech with : – In this factory you became a block of ice which cracked against the concrete floor.
In half a second he had another paper on the table. You’re out of here! He yelled. Sign right here! I stayed calm and said. I don’t think so. I will go home now because the discussion we just had has made me very uncomfortable. I will call you in a couple of days. You do that he said and I was excused from his office.
I left that company for the last time that day. As soon as I came outside in the open air I called my union representative and told him everything. He told me to go home, do not sign anything! So I didn’t. The next day I had a message from my boss who said he’d been in contact with the union and that I was allowed to take some payed time off if I felt like it. A week later I was informed that the owners had declared the business in bankruptcy.
I haven’t spoken to my boss after this incident.
The one thing that I take with me from this experience is that there is unlimited strength in having nothing to lose. Me and my family now lives in New Caledonia which is a tropical island outside the coast of Australia. I own a mountain bike, an acoustic guitar, 4 different sets of clothing, a nikon camera, a laptop and an iphone 4s which is charged with a cash card worth 30$. I don’t have my name on any bills or contracts. My gym card is already paid for in advance and when it expires I am going to change my workout routine for an outdoor exercise without weights. I just had to finish what I started at the gym before I move on…
Now making this move to this beautiful place has made me determined to leave all my ugly habits behind me. I’m hoping to be able to share this change with other people who want to achieve something similar.
I don’t have all the answers yet. So I’ll just keep on sharing my progress here on Welcome to Insight.
You can help me make this website amazing by sharing your thoughts with me. Leave a comment!
Picture by me “B” taken
during one of my weekly hikes!
PS. Read more about Welcome to Insight on my now page.