I thought of it as a promotion – I had my own space, I did not need to wear uniforms, my job only required me 5 hours a day, the responsibility was relaxed (just paperwork) and the pay was more than I needed. I already came in 10 minutes early to give that “ready for work” vibe. But all the excitement would be shattered as soon as my boss came in.
He wore a coat and held a suitcase in his arm. For the owner of a shipping company that has more than 20 years of experience, I felt I was in good hands. I did think of him as a stern man as his look suggested, but never did I imagine him to be an asshole.
I extended a hand as I greeted him ‘good morning.’ He looked at my hand but did not shake it. Instead he spoke.
“What is heavier, a pound of cotton or a pound of metal plates?”
And without thinking, I confidently answered him.
“a pound of metal, of course.”
“Stupid!” He exclaimed as if I had given him an excuse to start screaming. “A pound does not change weight whether it is cotton or metal.”
This was the first time he threw me off. When you get asked things like this out of the blue, you should understand that there is a deeper meaning to it. Needless to say, I failed him that first time and he put me in my proper place.
“The first rule of the shipping industry is this – Think!” He said stressing on that final word as if I lacked it. He went on to say other things that would both drench me down to a pulp and challenge my pride. He also mentioned that I would never last in the shipping industry because I was a church goer, a good man that belonged in the zoo.
He ended his tirade with this remark:
“Do you still want to shake my hand now?”
By then I had been thrown off too far that I couldn’t answer him. I think I did try to say yes.. but nothing came out of my mouth. He laughed at me and left.
That was my first encounter with The Black Bigote, but it would take another week before I would have enough of the man. Going home on a particularly bad Friday, I still remember crying in the car. I knew I was crying because I felt bad, but I even felt worse that I knew I couldn’t do anything except shed bitter tears.
That was the day I told myself that I’d stand up against this man and not allow him to chew me out like I was his bitch. I promised myself that I was gonna work harder than anyone and that I was gonna stay civil to him; be his friend even. I was gonna learn as much as I could in that company so I could make myself important and then, when he least expects it, I would slap him with a piece of my mind and give him a dose of his own medicine.
Sounded like a good plan, but this fucker could smell treachery a mile away.