In which I act all wise and understandingI was just recounting my first years of work, and how they were hell because I had an extremely harsh boss (Brit - perhaps this explains it all!!) who would yell and snap for everything I did wrong (which was pretty much everything I did, period). She made me so nervous that I would have stomach cramps just thinking about work. But she wasn't as bad as the FieldBoss from hell (also Brit female) who purposedly told her head field assistant to make trouble for me (she was a total fruitcake - I wasn't her only victim, she basically hated all female fieldworkers). And boy did he make trouble... We had an unpleasant encounter in the field because he was bullying the Orang Asli labourers (he was Malay) and they came up to me for help.
Possibly one of the worst things you could do to an arrogant asshole like this guy was to confront him - but that's what I did because I was young, naive and idealistic. As a fellow native, I was pissed off at his attitude towards the Orang Aslis - they were so much more hardworking and efficient in the field than the Malay labourers but nevertheless, they still get treated like shit. If he were in Sarawak, he'd never get away with this imperialistic shit - we'd chop his head off - hah. But anyway, he was so offended that I had the nerve to stand up to him that he came back screaming towards Brit lady who then yelled at me for being an inconsiderate Westerner wannabe who didn't understand how to be "truly Malaysian".
To her, to be truly Malaysian is to live and breathe Malay culture. Anything else is a discrepancy. Talk about misguided neocolonialism. She was suspicious of any Malaysians who spoke English fluently, of Malaysian women who did not shrink in front of the company of men, and felt that they were not "real Malaysians". Whatever gets your goat, lady.
Anyway... the point of this pleasant trip down memory lane was that I had promised myself that if I ever had someone, especially a young woman, under me, that I would treat them with respect and courtesy, teach her/him everything I know, and not be a complete psycho hose beast. What I also had in mind was that the person would be alert, careful and enthusiastic. Well, my young intern has a whiles to go but I will cut her a break... We all have our growing pains.
It's Yoda time.