I have been thinking a lot whether should I write something about why I started the platform I have started a year ago – Kossie – to begin with. Whenever I happen to meet any new people or old friends, three questions keep popping into my head – 1. Why did I quit job in fashion out of the blue? I thought you were happy? 2. What’s the story behind Kossie? 3. Why is it called Kossie? Okay. So, why not I explain everything you want to know here. Or maybe, I can print this and give it out to people I newly meet, so that I don’t need to explain over and over again?
Just kidding…Ha! I’m more than happy to answer all your questions ;)
To cut a long story short, I used to work in an environment that was dysfunctional and full of drama until as recently as eight years ago. This was where my toxic journey began…
I was working under a terrible boss and the experience with him was nothing less than torturous for me. How terrible can he be? Imagine Miranda Priestly at The Devil Wears Prada is at Level 1 when it comes to how she treats her team; my former boss would be Level 10 without any exaggeration. Don’t get me wrong! I do have to thank my former boss from my heart because he helped me shape who I am today. But still, I would have to say that it has been a torture for me? The truth is, I wasn’t happy at that time at all. I think my happiness lasted for just five seconds when I finally received my big cheque.
Back to the old days, I would hide inside the washroom to cry at least three of the five working days. It sounds very dramatic, right? My former boss would yell at me and force me to face the wall to say sorry for at least 20 times, if I did something wrong. He would also use all kinds of dirty words you could think of in order to trash me. Can you blame me for crying too much? I was only 19 years old back then when I was working with him. There was one time when I could not help it and cry in front of him; he would think that crying makes you a loser and that I should bottle myself up and refuse to cry. I mean, I am still a human being with genuine human feelings. What’s wrong with a little bit of tears, really? Sometimes, I wished he got hit by a truck during my darkest phase.
He created a toxic workplace whereas it was okay to throw your co-workers under the bus (because you need to protect yourself in order to survive); it was okay to not give credit when your staffs accomplished something great (because they are lucky enough to work for him); it was okay to instruct one thing but mean a completely different thing (because you don’t ask for confirmation for the 3rd time); and it was also okay to focus on your staff’s weaknesses (because you have to that know you’re absolutely worthless in order to improve yourself). This was a workplace where I spent working for three years.
Having said that, I never regret I have worked there even though I was on an emotional roller coaster every other day. If I wasn’t working there, I would not be able to experience what it feels like to work at a toxic workplace; I would not know the importance of a great workplace culture; most importantly, I would not even know what make him act this way. Truth be told, he has been struggling with anger issues (which is a part of mental health problems) for quite some time. He doesn’t know how to control his temper properly, which is why he was keen to vent his anger at his staffs most of the times because he viewed them as a soft and timid target. Obviously, I was an unsuspecting victim.
The day I left the company, as part of my deeper thoughts, I just knew that this is something I need to be focused on in order to make this world a better place. So, I’ve promised to myself that I am going to start my own company, which raises mental health awareness and help is provided to others so that they can achieve personal success and happiness. As a result, we created three major interview series : ‘Incredible Two’ : A series that talks about how power couples cope with failure in their professional life and how hard-working twos maintain a healthy love relationship with their partner; ‘Work Smarter, Not Harder’ : It is a series that talks about how start-ups handle chaos and bounce back from burn-outs; ‘Say No to Monday Blues’ : In this series, successful entrepreneurs talk about why they don’t suffer any depression or sadness feeling on a Monday. I mean, the better we understand out problem, the better we can get, right?
Let me know what you’re struggling with, both in personal and professional life. We’d be glad to help in any which way we can x