Chapter 5 – Corporate Soldiers: Is All Love Lost in Being Human?
I shared my story of Chapter 2 - Re-Evaluating My Goals and Ambitions to Making My Life Changing Decisions that led to me to ultimately leave the corporate world.
In previous articles I shared my experiences of the corporate world as well as my journey of re-evaluating the concept of lifestyle, however it has taken me almost a year to find the courage to express this story as I have yet to come to terms with it.
This is another example about the LACK OF HUMANITY in world of work. You are nothing but a number.
Some of you might remember the friend I had made, referred to in Chapter 3 – Being HUMAN in the World of a Corporate Army. After the passing of her mother, she became my best friend of all time. Our relationship began with a very painful beginning, but we stayed in contact daily and supported each in every aspect of our lives. She became my confidant and I was hers. We shared our joy, happiness and sadness from work to family with each other. It was amazing that we had so many similarities.
With me being a mother of two and she a mother of one, we discussed ways to support each other in overcoming issues where either of us were struggling in the parenting department.
Over the years we worked closely together and with some coaching and mentorship she soon joined me in the ranks of middle management. I was so proud of her dedication, commitment and achievement. Her role was very similar to mine and we had separate teams to lead. We were the dynamic duo.
About 6 months prior to me leaving, she had reached a very deep state of depression due to the constant pressures and demand of the work environment. Her team became more manipulative and to some degree even tried to sabotage her on many occasions with senior management. Together we battled each storm and it wasn’t long before the same pressures shifted on to me. We often spoke and always tried to put our best foot forward regardless of the situation. We became the lost sailors in a constant raging storm.
As per usual, around 8am, she came to my office to share a cup of coffee and we had our daily dose of motivational sentiments for each other. This was our ritual every day and it was a good coping mechanism. This morning she complained to me of the unusual pains she was experiencing in her chest.
As a level 4 first aider, I knew that this was concerning and immediately asked her to accompany me to the medical dispensary. I made her sit down whilst I took a reading of her vitals. I noticed that her blood pressure was unusually high and stayed with her until her heavy breaths normalised. I offered to call her husband as I knew she needed medical attention, but she insisted she was fine, she insisted on getting back to work. I escorted her back and told her to call me if she needed me as my office was on the opposite direction from hers.
An hour later, I was approached in my office by one of our frantic colleagues, who informed that my friend is sitting on her chair and is struggling to breath. At that moment my training kicked in and I called the ambulance whilst on my way to her.
As I walked in, she was laying on her chair almost unconscious whilst clasping her chest. I rolled her into a nearby boardroom with more space. I asked for a colleague to open the medical box and bring me the oxygen tank in an attempt for my friend to get some air.
Aside from my assistant, I was perturbed no one in the office, seemed to take this seriously. Everyone in the office continued like normal and here is my friend suffering to breathe.
The boardroom had clear glass walls; how could people not notice.
I pushed my anger aside and continued talking to her, she kept talking about her son and in doing so she kept removing the oxygen. I tried to keep her calm and said to her that her baby boy is fine, he is waiting for her at home. I pleaded with her to keep the oxygen mask on and a few moments later the paramedics arrived.
I was holding her hand and briefing the paramedics on the symptoms and the results of her vitals. In that time her husband arrived as well. The paramedics explained to her husband that they will be transporting her to hospital as her vitals seemed stable for now, but they recommend she be examined by a doctor as soon as possible.
As they were wheeling her out, she clenched my hand and tried to sit up with all her might.
In a blink of an eye, her body became lifeless.
The only thing I remember thereafter, is me screaming at her and telling her that her baby is waiting for her at home. I hysterically pleaded with her to wake up.
The paramedics forcefully moved me aside and in minutes my friend had passed on.
I walked out with her to the ambulance and left the office immediately after.
The following day I returned to work and it was strange that everyone in the office now had stories about how they tried helping her the day before. People were taken for counselling whilst others spoke about what an amazing person she was. These were the same people that constantly made her life miserable in the office. I would know because she confided in me every day.
In my rage, I lashed at them all and told them, this is not about them. A very important and loving person passed away and here you are all making it about yourselves.
Where were you all when she was under pressure in the past few months? How did you help her? Where were you all yesterday? From where I was stood, it was business as usual.
After my emotional eruption, I could not bear to go into the office anymore. There were too many memories, reminders of her abuse and lack of respect. The respect that she deserved was from not a position of hierarchy, but as a HUMAN.
Corporate cultures have created a new breed of employees whom have lost themselves in the adult mode so deeply, that even a small bit of authentic compassion could not sincerely be mustered up.
The most difficult for me, was that her son expected her home that evening and having the news broken to him was excruciatingly painful. At a tender age of 12, he was placed into world of darkness and was expected to perform the traditional ceremonial duties of a son.
This was the last straw for me and lead to me leaving the corporate world. I cannot and I will not associate with individuals that have lost sight of being human.
The purpose of life is to help others. If you cannot help, would you at least not hurt them.
This article is a tribute to my late and dear friend.
May you rest in peace as you walk with angels in heaven. Love you always my friend.
My poem "An Angel That Hid Her Wings" is dedicated to you.
For further information on related articles, refer to the links below:
- An Angel That Hid Her Wings
Gone but never forgotten
- Chapter 1 - Understanding Human Behaviour and the Winning Recipe for Success
Fascinating how people behave the way they do. Here's some interesting concepts to behavioural patterns...
- Chapter 2 - Re-Evaluating My Goals and Ambitions to Making My Life Changing Decisions
These are the steps I took in making my decisions...
- Chapter 3 – Being Human in the World of a Corporat...
Soon after my journey of Self Reflection and making the conscious decision to leave the corporate world, I became determined to pass on my knowledge and experiences for others to learn and share.
© 2020 Mitara N