Wednesday, 14 August 2013
Just a quick update from me...
I'm now out of everyone's hair, and escaped service with my Certificate of Service and Testimonial intact.. On account of my previous blog post about workplace bullying in the RSN, I was slapped with a Record of Verbal Warning, some inconsequential punishment (completely harmless given that I was to be leaving - not all the possible outcomes are this favourable...)
The responses from friends and colleagues to my ROVW tended to incredulity, some to outrage. I was surprised. I thought it was quite clear that the SAF opposes any sort of feedback not passed through the chain-of-command or Organisational Climate Surveys. The interesting thing is that NOBODY asked me to take down my blog post, even my ex-boss who issued me the ROVW. I guess they took it seriously after all (that I would not take it down, regardless of the consequences).
One of my former COs - Q has been asking me to "forgive and forget" and to let go. Honestly, it's hard. Reading last night's exchange on FB from the former CO at my place of abuse didn't make things easier either. He had basically learned nothing from the episode, and thought it was completely my fault, never mind that I managed to serve my two subsequent ships as well as a person who wanted to leave the Navy could ever be expected to. Never mind that true leadership is building people up, and not tearing people apart. But the sad truth is that many "leaders" in the Navy (to be fair, also other parts of the SAF, Gahmen, even the world) have their heads stuck so far up their ass, that all they know is their own bullshit. I saw that true leaders are few and far between. Even though I managed to meet great leaders and great crew mates along the way, I recognise that I was either terrifically blessed, or being given a break by being posted to decent ships for a change.
I told Q that I prefer to "avoid and write off". Works almost as well for me. Because forgiveness does not come easily. I guess from three years ago, this has been a defining moment of my career. Something two wonderful tours aboard RSS Justice and RSS Tenacious couldn't completely erase.
On the bright side, I spent my last day at work with those colleagues from my last shore unit who mattered to me, diligently avoiding those I had written off completely. I did not manage to bid farewell to the vast majority of those from the ships, whom I fondly remember serving with, but really, this is not goodbye.
This is the beginning of my new life, and I invite all of you to join me in this journey. You must drop by if you ever make a trip to Melbourne!