How a newly hired employee is no different than a newly married bride
This isn’t one of those blogs about the social nuisance that weddings are, nor will it mention dowry, brides, grooms or even their families.
Whether we like it or not, all of us have come across Star Plus soap operas. Never-ending dramas based around new brides, their unbearable miseries and the constant struggle to settle into their new family are constant themes in such soap operas.
Instead, this blog is about how the Star Plus’ daughter-in-law resembles a newly hired employee at any organisation.
Nearly a month ago, a friend of mine was extremely frustrated because she was transferred to a different department in her organisation. Her new team was impossible to work with and unreasonable expectations coupled with whining to her colleagues yielded poor results. She was told to compromise and be patient until the situation improved.
But why compromise, it’s not as if she hadn’t gotten married into an extended family. Although, even if she had, the mere need to compromise so early on is absolutely wrong.
Having worked at four organisations in eight different positions, I’ve only had a smooth start at three. The remaining experiences were no less than a nightmare, something I wouldn’t even wish for my worst enemy. I was going crazy reminding myself how I needed to learn to adjust, ignore things and move on.
My mother’s favourite Star Plus soap operas would flash in my mind, making me feel like I had gotten in-laws without even tying the knot.
I landed my first job before I graduated from university, and boy was I excited. I couldn’t wait to dive into the working world. However, the excitement drained out within the first month of my job.
The first task I was assigned was shredding. I shredded old files for a week, and then I asked my boss,
“Sir, I think I have been trained enough on that, what’s next on the list?”
“Filing,” he replied.
This made me think about the so-called horrors of being a new bride in a new house, interacting with a new boss (aka mother-in-law). I imagine it would be quite similar. The mother-in-law shoving the bahu (daughter-in-law) away into the kitchen to perfect her rotis, while her own son did the ‘real work’. Let’s see what being a newly hired bride really entails:
The nagging mother-in-law (or the boss)
Every time I wanted to learn something new, I had to literally fight for it. It was almost as if my mother-in-law was worried that I, the new bahu, would find the key to the treasure and take over her throne. Thus, she’d keep me busy with menial tasks. This is essentially a dilemma that countless new employees face at their workplace. They are made to do the least liked tasks and placed at the bottom of the food chain to test their skills and knowledge.
The sweet brother-in-law (your new work bestie)
There’s usually the nice brother-in-law who is always there to help you out. He listens to you whine when your nagging mother-in-law is wreaking havoc all over your newly formed work life. He’s the one that shows you the ropes and without him you’d struggle to survive.
The jealous sister-in-law (your co-worker that can’t deal with your existence)
Let’s be honest, everyone has that one co-worker who wants to compete with you in every field. They can’t stand the fact that there’s someone new in their department. I see them as the jealous sister-in-law who wants her brother all to herself. So she dumps all her menial tasks on your head in order to drown you in work and takes credit for the work you end up doing.
The husband (boss/boss’s boss/head office – anyone who supports you)
The husband wants to stay out of this drama. He says he wants you to figure out how to stand on your own two feet. We know he doesn’t want to be stuck in a cross-fire between his mother and sister (boss and employee). He does offer some advice though,
“Sweetheart, you’re new. Please compromise, adjust a little and people will accept you.”
This advice works most times. But during the time it takes for it to run its due course, the new employees get cynical by critically analysing themselves. At the end of the day though, when you really need him, he’s there.
One big happy family (your organisation)
Before you begin a new job, no one informs you about the hands-on responsibility in entails. Nobody mentions that in-laws and husbands are waiting to see if you’re going to fight the battle or eventually succumb to their ways.
Instead of helping you adjust and get acquainted with the way things work in their house, you’re tested. Isn’t this supposed to be one big happy family? And doesn’t the fact that you’re the newly hired bride testify to the fact that you’re capable and chosen?
What’s ironic is that in today’s modern family system, the new bride is spared this horror, but a newly hired employee in an organisation still goes through such shabby treatment.
We’ve been accusing families for treating daughter-in-laws pathetically, but unfortunately, little attention is paid to how colleagues and organisations treat a new female employee. Sometimes new employees face constant bullying and isolation. The only solution is to ignore it. I guess the entire experience can be called a rite of passage which eventually leads to acceptance.
Be it a new bride or a new employee, everyone is afraid of change. There will always be hurdles to step over, new people to befriend and new tasks to learn. The best thing to do is to keep your head up and never back down.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.