An Unexpected Death
My old boss unexpectedly died.
My old boss gave me a lot of lessons in life. 2 weeks into my job he told me I was useless and he had no value for me. He then proceeded to tell me my opinion didn’t matter so long as I worked for him.
That dreadful day, I decided I’d suck it up for 2 years as I thought I needed consistency on my resume, and I decided to keep my opinion to myself no matter what happened (which was a ginormous task for me as I am rather opinionated and typically that’s part of what makes me good in my profession). Honestly, we simply didn’t feel like we were in a financial position where I could just quit my job, nor was I willing to jeopardize my career over a not-very-nice boss.
So, I stayed. In 2 years, I never expressed an opinion when he was around. I missed multiple family events because I was expected to be working. At one point I was promoted, just to have it taken away the next day. Yet, in those 2 years, I also won more projects then my senior counterparts and earned the company a decent amount of money. I also worked 60-70+ hours almost every single week. I even organized multiple charitable events for my company and volunteered on multiple professional boards. At the same time, I also hid 3 miscarriages from my employer. I had a D&C and returned to work the next day. I also terminated for medical reasons at an abortion clinic and went back to work 3 days later. Asides from maximizing my contractual bonuses, I was never thanked nor was my hard work acknowledged. In fact, I was even told while being in the emergency room at the hospital going through our 4th miscarriage (which they knew about) was no excuse to miss a meeting. This by the way was my last straw and resulted in my first attempt to quit which I was eventually successful in doing.
It turns out, my old boss gave me a direct lesson in how verbal abuse impacts individuals. And, to this day I am amazed at the impact his treatment of me impacted all facets of my life – as a very strong women, I was stunned at how quickly he brought me down and how vulnerable I felt at that office. But, at the same time, he also gave me a very valuable reminder in the importance of decent human treatment and basic compassion and respect.
But regardless of how much I hated that job, I was rather surprised when I was told he died – I was emotionless. I was stunned as his death was rather unexpected, but I really didn’t care one way or another. I’ve sat on these emotions for a few days, trying to figure out what I’m really feeling. It turns out, I do not feel bad that he died – I am not filled with sorrow that a fellow human being died much too soon based on his age. It’s not that I ever wished bad upon him (or anyone for that matter), but I just feel completely indifferent that he’s dead. Initially this reaction really surprised me, and yet after a few days, I kind of think maybe this is normal given the circumstances of our relationship?
Honestly, it feels rather odd admitting to myself and the world that I didn’t care that another human being died. I can barely bring myself to read the news these days because all the stories of death and pain break my heart, yet when it comes to this situation, I feel rather cold about it. I don’t know, maybe this isn’t the type of thing that “good” people should admit? Maybe these are the types of thoughts that I will feel compelled to delete if I ever attach my name to my blog? I dunno, even though I’m okay with owning my own response to his death, it just seems like such an inappropriate reaction to the death of another human being.
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