The Incident

Mistake of my recent past is haunting me. I am now reaping the bad fruit of the rotting seed I planted- a rotten seed which I have regretted sowing. Or have I really regretted it?

It was some time last April when the pressure of the busy season seen my worst. The long hard kept grievances I have towards the place I’m working for and some people in it have escaped my control and find its way, of all places, in Facebook. Yes, I have lambasted some people in there. Though they were unnamed, some didn’t need to guess who I was referring to. And too bad for me, not all eyes reading the message empathizes with me. To make things worst, it catches the attention of the wrong people. What was just a plain silent protest became so big and I found myself defenseless. I reviewed my options but I realized the situation really left me with nothing much to turn to. And so I retracted what has slipped from my emotions. I expressed my apologies to those whom I think were affected, who is worthy enough of my humility, and those who have wrongfully thought I was referring to- yep, including to them. And yet my ego still left some exceptions.

Still, it was really hard to take back what has been said. The damage has been done. I just don’t know what damage they were referring to. Was it an insult to their image? A damage existing long before my assault? A damage of I don’t know how it adversely affect the place I work for…

The retraction was difficult. It was like literally eating the barf after the vomit. But I did it just to fix things. It did… or so I thought?

After the busy season, it was a tradition for the place I work for to give us, the employees, the so called “performance bonus”. I have received the same benefits before and it’s just normal for me to expect the same this year. But I should’ve learned the value of “not expecting”, of “come what may”. Yet, I kept contending the idea ‘coz it’s just normal for someone to look forward to something especially if efforts were given. What more in my case who have dedicated beyond the necessary. My officemates ((who shared the same vigor with me) my clients and my family bear witness to that hardship. But it was left unrecognized.

Last Friday, the bonus that has long been delayed was finally credited to the account of the employees. A lot rejoiced knowing the rate given was above the normal. The mood was festive. It was worth the wait for everyone… except for me. I checked my account balance and saw a meager amount to my dismay. I received a minute of what everybody has received. I was dumbfounded really. It’s something I couldn’t accept. Because for every known standards I can think of, I am more than deserving. I owe a lot from the place I work for, but I also worked my ass off for them and contributed somehow. I know I deserved better. But I didn’t complain immediately. I waited for the official pay slip to be disseminated before I whine around. Dinner time came and my officemates decided to eat out. But the pay slip that was normally given to staff at the same day was not distributed. Everybody thought that there might be some problem with the Accounting. And everybody thought that what happened to my bonus was a plain error. I took it as it is ‘coz I don’t want to ruin the party mood.

Saturday and Sunday passed without me worrying too much about the bonus ‘coz I, along with my peeps, chose to believe that it was an honest accounting error or the bank’s fault.

And ‘today’ came. I clarified the matter to our Accounting, but the instruction to them was to let my boss explain what happened. I was dumbfounded but that hinted me that something was wrong, and that it is not about technicalities. The bonus I received was on purpose. When my boss arrived early tonight, I was kinda hesitant to ask for the reason. I don’t know if I was just shy or I’m just afraid to know the real reason. The fear came from the thought that the fault must be really with me. But I have to know the reason either way.

My boss broke to me the reason in a nice way possible. But the subtlety was not enough to an unknown mixed emotions- anger, disappointment and bewilderment. I wanted to cry that very minute but I compose myself. I told myself that wouldn’t change a thing. My boss asked me if I understood what happened. I told her ‘no’, I didn’t. She repeated the reason as if I didn’t hear her right on. I still told her I don’t understand what happened. She knew what I was trying to imply. Then, there was a brief moment of silence. The old me might have started a long litany but I was able to hold down my rapid tongue. I sensed that my boss didn’t know how to end the short conversation and I felt there was nothing more to hear from her. I know that she might have felt bad for me. I tried to understand but I felt she could have done something to save me.

The reason? The shoutout I posted in Facebook was blamed as reason why my performance bonus depleted to its meager amount. The Facebook incident that I thought was over and settled months ago, was an open book surprisingly to all of them. And they took it as a way to get back at me, the way I read things. Because, aside from that incident, a lot had happened that might have added fuel to the fire. I didn’t know it was a big issue. There were no memos, no face-to-face dialogue. No something that could have hinted me of its gravity. But the silence they created was deceiving and the explosion happened when I least expect it. They could have talked it through me. Or better yet, ask me to resign. But they didn’t have the decency to tell it to me straight. That could have prevented me from the great expectations.

Was it all for the money? Yes, because I earned it. That’s the payment for the sleepless nights, the unpaid overtimes, the reimbursements left unfunded and for pride that was shattered many times. But more to that, the incentive was an insult to my being. Despite some uneasiness, I finished all the assignments given to me. Despite my protests, I remained loyal to the place I work for. I took pride being part of it. And all that was given in return was a low pay. A big slap in my face.

I wish they knew where I’m coming from…


My life will go on even without that money. It’s just that I promised some financial help to my mom and she’s kinda expecting it. Now, I don’t know how I am going to break the bad news that I received only P4,750, not the P28,500. And that twenty grand plus difference is really something.

I don’t know what’s the ultimate lesson after this event. Things are just unfolding. Everybody should learn from this. I must.

Note: I’m sorry for venting. I know the wound is fresh and that might have caused some biases. Sorry also for the wrong grammar or any rules I have violated from the English Language. I am just ranting spontaneously to lessen the stir. I just pray I’d be guided accordingly by God to discern well and eventually make a right decision after this. I hope tomorrow will be a better day.

I also told some friends that I won’t be blogging about the incident ‘coz I will have a way to let it all out tomorrow. But sometimes, an immediate escape is needed.

Photo credits to Glass and Mirror


About johnthinkingaloud

Finding my purpose still... View all posts by johnthinkingaloud

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