Indian Society Stress working woman workplace success

I'm The Underdog At Work And This Is How I Earn Respect

( words)
*For representational purpose only.

It’s been over a year now since I’ve been working with the ‘A’ team in my dynamic data science company. My teammates were gods: simple, humble and helpful. They come from the school of thought where they believe that “we’re your corporate family”. I loved my work. I was happy with my manager, I was happy with my learning and I was definitely very happy with my work. Above all, I was happy with my teammates.

And then the worst possible thing happened. I had to switch teams. The new team, Team B, was like a mad dog let loose. Overnight, I had an unnerving amount of work and pressure. My job required, no, demanded ridiculous amounts of commitment. The lines between work and life began disappearing. Moreover, this was the first time, ever, that I was doing something entirely new.

But it’s alright. I kept assuring myself. The work was new to me, I had zero experience in the field while the others in my team had more than two years of experience in this field. To add to this pressure, I didn’t have enough time to catch up or learn the works. Initially, my team would sympathize with my situation, encourage me, until soon enough, I was getting bullied and laughed at for making mistakes and not knowing things.

My new team was a group of their own and I was the slow-learner, the outcast. They had labelled me ‘the dumb one’.

They would make fun of me, taunt me, directly or indirectly to my face, under the pretext of it being a joke and all I could do, was smile. Smile as if their jokes were funny, while every single joke of theirs would shatter a huge piece of confidence and faith in me.

I didn’t have enough time off work to have a life. My work was my life, in fact. And it simply sucked. Real. Bad. There were times when the pressure would just break my heart and crush my soul. I would burst into tears. Always.

I kept trying to convince myself, assure myself that I’m trying… and was doing my best. But my innumerable number of silent outbreaks in the washroom was proof that I wasn’t succeeding. All of this, while my team kept wondering why my eyes were red, so often. I was depressed.

Not surprisingly enough, the negativity that I absorbed from around me, began seeping inside of me. Everyone has a voice, once that calms you down and tells you, “Hey, it’s alright. S**t happens.” But the strength of that voice matters.

My conscience was weak. Because it couldn’t save me from all the negativity around but it was strong enough to not let me think of killing myself overwork. Now this story is not about how one day, I stood up to my teammate’s comments or proved to them that I was smarter than what they thought me to be. No! This story is about how I refused to let go of the faith I have in myself.

Yes, I am being treated like a piece of crap, a noob, a helpless stupid liability in the team. But I also believe that one day, it will be over. One day. One brilliant day. And I’m waiting for that day. When my faith will be proved right. When my teammates will be proven wrong. When I will go up my game, be the dark horse instead of an underdog.

Hence, I speak to you dear friends, no matter what situation you are in, I can feel your pain. No matter how much your life sucks right now, no matter how much pain your heart carries right now, no matter how much you cry yourself to sleep right now, one day, you will be sitting at a scenic beach, sighing deeply, with a smirk on your face while your inner voice will be clinking glasses with you saying, “Hey! You survived that!”


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