My interface with a well-known ‘learned friend‘ during an interview resulted into abuse and humiliation.
Ten minutes into the meeting, and my memories had raced back to the place of a child and the domineering position of a parent.
Children were never right unless a parent granted it. A child’s expected position was to submit!
We had been late for the interview for about half an hour and here was my guest, chastising me like a parent does a child.
My posture turned into the little girl whose rights in the African code were naturally suspended against her parents. Parents were always right no matter the text, just say, ‘sorry’!
Those aware of his habits were quietly signalling to me to ‘just say sorry’ amidst his flying hungry expletives.
He wasn’t yielding to that too: my humble apologies bounced back at me like dog’s teeth in the skin of a fighting weakling.
His insults rained on me like a cold kid left in the wilderness until the storm passed.
The tongue lash had exceeded my ceiling; I eventually walked out of my kid body into an adult and I blurted out, “you’re one of the most bad-mannered people I have ever met…”
He was stunned! Because he expects people to cow, plead, and never retaliate against his misdeeds, mood swings, etc.
My anger notwithstanding, I still managed an apology. With that, I had briefly reunited with our kid upbringing.
I can imagine, he was seeing himself in the position of the parent employing the stick on a child. After all, he was older than my parents which denotes the similar traits of ‘child upbringing’ or rather ‘child disciplining’.
In his eyes, I was a misbehaving child and was blind to my professional uniform.
I was determined to see myself as professional journalist, on the other hand, himself as ‘parent’
On those two fronts our interview was at stake.
Who was willing to be the sacrificial lamb to save the interview? Ulala!
Bits of YOU
Our workplaces and professional spaces have not uprooted the ‘parent’ ‘child’ traits on both ends of the spectrum.
Did I mention that, criticism can also be like a dog’s teeth in the skin of those whose ears disregard it.
Even when you’ve never been bitten by a dog, ask yourself why you may run when it charges towards you.
But are parents always, right? You and I need no bits to answer that but have you allowed your children to criticise you, or can you?
In the eyes of parents; there was never a what, when, where, why and how?
According to Connie Musisi a career development consultant, the African setting regarded a parent as one of the God’s angel, God-sent, more like God’s mouth piece. Therefore, whatever a parent said was always believed to be right. A parent’s decision affected all spheres of life including spouse choices.
However, she notes that the fact that the times have changed, children no longer stick to parent’s choices as gospel truth or alpha and omega of the knowledge and wisdom.
The old narrative of upbringing birthed a generation affected by fear for their elders but not necessarily respect for them.
In the present-day management, Musisi relates this to a subordinate who is obliged to feed the supervisor with all information for the good of the organisation.
“It shouldn’t be viewed a sign of insubordination if a lower-level manager questions the supervisor. But any underlying response for whatever the issue should be guided by the right communication model”, Musisi said.
The aspect of trial and error in parenting and choices in life was visible. Today’s parenting calls for dialogue between the parent and the child in some cases.
She said parents should ensure that they tackle all the spheres of their children’s life to make dialogue meaningful while avoiding being too personal and giving options to the next level.
Musisi says many a time, parents are driven by ego and influence; they create perimeter walls around their lives that are hard to penetrate.
It no wonder, such parents view making an apology to their children as a taboo irrespective of when the wrongful finger points at their authority.