When Your Boss Stands Up to Bullies For You!

Hola, this week has been nothing short of wonderful – soooo thankful!!

Just ended my 3-day freelance engagement with Knuffi at the recent Occupational Safety + Health Asia event and boy, was it a gooooood break from internship!

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Can I just say how blessed I am to have worked alongside 2 of the most amazing bosses ever?! hahahaha. No doubt I was slightly nervous initially but I quickly warmed up to them (how not to when they’re so so friendly and nurturing!!!!) and work became super enjoyable!

François – as addressed as Mr. G in my previous post, first sat me down and walked me through the presentation of the products, then guided me on addressing the concerns or queries that some visitors may have. He went on to demonstrate how he engages the visitors while I stood nearby watching, learning. He then encouraged me to try presenting by myself and to be honest I know I was slightly hesitant and unsure of myself (it was quite obvious in my tone and flustered face) but he would reaffirm my points and assist me when I seemed to be a little stuck.

I really appreciate how he takes on an active and positive role in preparing me for the job both knowledge-wise as well as building up my confidence to handle it professionally on my own (I did do my research and homework before going but putting it into action proved a little overwhelming to my confidence heh). He and Rolf would also take the back seat and trusted me to be able to carry out my job competently, while sending affirmation of my performance by sliding a thumbs up once in awhile when I habitually (only at the start!) turned back to them for assurance that I was doing okay.

Thank allllll my lucky stars for them because their big heart didn’t just stop there. They are honestly one of the best superiors I’m so fortunate to have worked with. It was never a “I’m the boss, you’re my staff so you better just listen to what I say” kinda relationship. Although of course we made sure although we were on friendly terms, it remained a professional one because work is work afterall.

The event was overall pretty fun as although I mostly stayed in our booth – time passed quickly with all the (thankfully, again) nice visitors (phew!) and neighbours (neighboring booths!).

Of course things weren’t all that flowery – I had my fair share of weird / uncomfortable happenings too. For one, as I usually take short breaks at the exhibition lounge on my own and due the nature of the event, the crowd was predominately male, some guys would occasionally come up to chat with me – which is absolutely fine and great for networking (lol!) but some just made me uncomfortable because they were openly hitting on me and very persistent at that.

There was this one particular male that was soooo persistent. Although I put it forward politely very early in the conversion that I am attached, he simply wasn’t fazed. He would say things like, “So what? It doesn’t mean anything to me. You have a boyfriend, you’re not married!” or when I declined going out with him for the exact same reason, he would brush it off with, “Don’t worry, I’ll treat you better than your boyfriend does.”

Uhmm…. hello?? I don’t mean to be overly-sensitive/rude but really, I can’t tell if he’s just bursting with confidence when it comes to chasing a girl, or if he’s just being a little douche (sorry but not sorry because I really do not agree with anyone consciously trying to come between 2 happy people’s relationship). Anyway, he even swung by our booth a couple of times – once to ask me out for lunch, but thankfully F and R were always there so he didn’t quite push it by ignoring their presence.

Another instance was equally disturbing.

There was a man who was quite cheeky who stopped by our booth. He started the conversion by paying me compliments, in which I thanked him for (haha I was quite embarrassed but I was trying to play it professional LOL!!) Btw F was standing beside me so the man engaged him too, “She’s sucha beautiful girl, isn’t she!” and then things started to get weird – very, very weird quickly. His innocent compliments soon escalated to casual but lewd and somewhat offensive jokes (about me, to F) such as, “(along the lines of if he put a bow on me or gift wrapped me)… he would/could bring me home” etc. And then asked if he could bring me home (jokingly but still).

I didn’t need to show how uncomfortable I was before F stepped in quickly to defend me like a man, and handled the situation as best a gentleman could.

[The following transpired]

The man (turned to me): Oh, isn’t he possessive! Why, Germans  are possessive, aren’t they?

Me: *clearly shocked at that generalisation which came out kinda offensive*

F didn’t take any offense at that (phew, I wouldn’t wanna know what would two men arguing look like anyway) and laughed it off light-heartedly. He then engaged the man in conversion, which provided me the opportunity to slip away from the uncomfortable situation.

Afterwards, when the man left, he turned to me and readdressed the situation, explaining that it wasn’t alright that men do that (to me). I couldn’t express how grateful I was for his intervention – omg I just felt a rush of relief and gratitude for having a boss like him. :’)

F and R are really the cutest pair of bosses! They were roving during the event once, and stumbled upon an instant photobooth by one of the sponsors(?) Guess what – they excitedly rushed back to our booth to pick up some photobooth “props” -our products, and took silly sticker photos! I was laughing and gushing so hard when they came back with the pictures! 🙂

Here and there, there were other little incidents that were both curious and eventful, and just like that, 3 days flew by. F and R would’ve returned to Germany by now, and although 3 days may seem short, it was enough to show me how much I’m sheltered and that there’s so much more to look forward to / to learn in the working world. I can’t wait ’til their next visit to SG – hopefully they wouldn’t be in such a rush to return and can spend some time here in SG. I would happily volunteer to be their tour guide foc, hahahaha!

‘Til something exciting happens in my life again! 😉

 

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