Sunday, October 10, 2021

Being Falsely Accused

 Back in the day, I worked as a receptionist for a massage company. They had several branches around Johannesburg, South Africa. I was one of, if not the only receptionist with a car, so they had me report to different branches whenever need be. I had initially applied there as a therapist. It was a Chinese massage place but does it hurt to try? I was lucky to end up hired, regardless. I liked how close to my place all their branches were. They were in decent neighborhoods. I got to meet some celebrities in some of their locations. 

Like most such spots, we had out regulars. I was one of the newer faces around. I enjoyed working with people of a different culture. All the Chinese staff had English names that they were given upon arrival to South Africa. They were spelled differently than you would expect. For example, Jan for Jen, etc. Neither here nor there. They all slept in dorm rooms in one of the branches. It took me aback, the first time I saw their rooms. These were grown women, some had their husbands living and working there with them and they were all sharing ten bed rooms with other adults. I don't really wanna go to deep into the details of the establishment as I think there were some illegal aspects to it that I have no proof of. If you don't think human trafficking doesn't happen in your backyard, you may just get a shock of your life!

I learned a few Chinese words, just a few; which I still remember. Never learned how to use chopsticks though. My ex, Calvin tried to teach me years later. Either my brain or my hand won't cooperate. I probably  should put more effort into it when I eat by myself. I could benefit from eating slower than I do with a fork. 

There's a period when South Africa was hiring black people A LOT, not long after we had our first black president, Nelson Mandela. The country was going through  Affirmative action. I'm saying all this in past tense as I haven't lived in South Africa for several years now, therefore can't speak to current situation. I got hired as the black person by a lot of the jobs I had at the time. It didn't sting. I enjoyed my cowokers at a lot of the jobs I had back then. Clearly, not enough to stick it out, or else, why would it be a lot of jobs? Yeah, I read your mind. 

They hired a new lady at head office branch. This is where the masseurs also lived. She was the accountant, I believe. She and I got along. Everybody didn't warm up to her. She may have been homosexual as well, which doesn't bother me. As receptionists, we dealt with payments, which were cash, so we had to balance the books at the end of the night. Having run my mom's store all throughout high school and my own store, plus bar at some point, this didn't intimidate me but I could've done without the pressure of handling someone else's money. Once or twice, I had more cash than the books reflected. I remember this so vividly because it bothered me so much that I couldn't account for it but at least, I wasn't under. Right? No pun intended. 

One day, I was at my main branch. Boss lady came by with her nice husband.Not to say boss lady wasn't nice, but husband was actively so. They brought in the accountant. I got pulled out from the cash register. My heart may have skipped a bit, I don't recall. I don't do weird shit, so I don't have much to worry about but being pulled aside by boss can be intimidating. We all sat at a table out front. Boss' husband led the conversation. I didn't know what was going to happen yet. I also got along with the new accountant lady, so I didn't think that she was there as a state witness against me. But she was! 

I was getting fired! They mentioned something about my books not balancing and how some clients were complaining about me. I asked who the clients were. If I remember correctly, one was the celebrities. I don't remember it going weird between us at all, in fact, I wonder if he did complain about me. The other, was one of the regulars in a different branch. I was always so nice to her. My feelings were so hurt! The whole experience gave me trust issues. I was like, if these people really threw me under the bus, when we didn't even have any extra interactions, other than the usual basic customer stuff, what is wrong with the world? Also, this new lady, who I made to feel welcome when others didn't even like her is out here bearing witness to lies against me in my face. What is going on? She once came to say hi to a branch I was working in and told me she was in the neighborhood. In hindsight, I must have been under investigation,she probably went there to spy on me. At this point, I was questioning everything. I even wondered if other receptionists knew about this. Did everyone know I was getting let go that day but me? It was devastating. I cried right there in the face of all these people. Contain myself for what? I was being accused of everything I stood against. And being betrayed at the same time! I was shocked. It was still early in the morning. Luckily, there were no customers. I grabbed my handbag, hugged the girl who was sitting at reception with me and headed off. I never heard from all the other receptionists who had my number. The girl who was working with me that day showed me kindness. Maybe it was good that she was the one there with me that day, not all the other ones I never heard from again. That girl is still in my social media today. We don't interact really, but it's not weird between us.

I got into my car, drove home, with was only a few minutes away, thank goodness! I cried again in the arms of my family. They were just as shocked. In hindsight, am I happy that I went through that experience. Fck no! For what? My life wasn't held back by it but it still sucked as fck! I definitely wouldn't recommend it. I don't wish any of the parties that were involved in my firing ill will. I think the Indian lady is the one who started the whole thing (Indian lady is the new accountant). Boss husband seemed very uncomfortable firing me. He was nice to me. He actually had previously picked me as a guinea pig of some sort. I went through a period where I had appointments at the branch that was a block away from my sister's house (I was at my sis' a lot). I got to experience ALL the different massage kinds. We did cupping, blood cupping, fire cupping, regular Swedish massage, acupuncture. They even had me try the teas that the place offered. It really was such a a treat.

Now that I'm thinking about it. Did Boss lady find out that her husband was making the stuff treat me to these and orchestrated the firization? Mh! I guess we'll never know. I've said this before, I'll say it again, husbands love me! (not in a bad way)

Sidebar: I hope that those Chinese men and women who worked at this job are ok and I do wish that I could've done something to save them.

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