Does Working Need To Feel Like A Huge Sacrifice?

Has abuse become a trend these days?

Laila Khairina
5 min readApr 20, 2022
Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

My friend endured abuse in his job.

He will probably argue otherwise, but yes, I categorize working 6 days a week from 7 am to 10 pm as a form of abuse.

It is not sustainable and it is inhumane. Burning yourself out for a paycheck that is not even worth your skill is a stupid move to make.

I have talked about this to him, and he also agreed that he needs to quit.

But he doesn’t, till this very day. Do you know why?

He thinks he deserves it.

His supervisor is a bully

Photo by Ilayza on Unsplash

He loves the job. He is passionate about working in that position. He loves the place, eager to learn more, and was relieved to finally stop working with his tyrant-like professor.

The excitement of landing the first job quickly dissipated. Just within the first month since he works there, he got sick.

He also realized that his supervisor is a bully, just in a different form than his previous professor.

In his job, he is assigned to do lab work. In Biology, there are a lot of different fields that don’t necessarily overlap with each other. So in order to know a lot of methods, you need to spend a lot of time working in different labs.

My friend is a fresh graduate, so this is his very first job after university. No one in their right mind would hire and expect a fresh grad to know every single type of lab method.

Instead of encouraging learning, they decide it is better to ridicule him.

“Did you choose the wrong major when you entered university?” has quickly become an insult wrapped as a joke that is intended to mock his skill.

Every time he makes a mistake, they use words to shame him sarcastically. Sometimes they do it in public, doubling the effect on his mental health.

If that isn’t the behavior of a bully, I don’t know what is.

His job is crushing his self-worth

Photo by Hernan Sanchez on Unsplash

Despite having multiple experiences, he still thinks of himself as unqualified for a decent job.

You might think he has faced multiple rejections to think that way, but you’re wrong. He hasn’t applied to many companies since he got his current job fairly quickly.

The scary part of constantly hearing insults is you will start to believe them.

At first, you will get mad and defensive. After all, it is not even constructive feedback, but a jab made to show superiority.

It’s a tactic often used by abusers to make their victims feel small, unimportant, or disrespected.

It is hard to appreciate yourself when what you are constantly hearing from others are complaints and compliment is scarce. You will start thinking that you deserve to be treated as a joke.

I am so angry and frustrated when I first heard about it. Why would anyone stand it?

Low salary and toxic working environment

Money. Supportive environment. Passion.

If your current job doesn’t cross at least two of these three factors, I think you should quit.

Out of those three factors, his job merely crosses the passion factor. I don’t know whether there is still passion remaining after all of the abuse.

Have I mentioned the paycheck? Well, the whole payroll situation is unclear since there is no contract, so the monthly salary differs every month. Sometimes the bonus from the government is high when the COVID cases rise like last month. I don’t know his current salary since the COVID outbreak has slowed down. Excluding the bonus, the salary is so heartbreakingly low.

The working environment is also poor to say it nicely. When my friend caught COVID, they kept contacting him even when he was in a quarantine.

They blamed him for not keeping his health in check.

Has this made you angry yet? I am still not finished.

“You can do a 100-hour workweek, can you?”

Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash

Since the office is quite far, he also spends a good amount of time getting there. In total, he spends 17 working hours every day with only one day off. That’s a total of 102 hours spent for work every week.

His health has quickly deteriorated. A frequent headache caused by a lack of sleep becomes his best friend.

He has also caught COVID twice. When he first caught it, he got back to work even before he completely recovered. No wonder, he caught it again weeks later.

I pleaded to him over the phone multiple times. I poured every compliment I could give to him since I wholeheartedly believe that he deserves better. I directly told him that he needs to quit his job.

I can’t help but worry about his physical and mental health.

Victims of verbal abuse frequently doubt whether or not what they are witnessing is genuinely abusive. They’re also unsure whether it’s a huge deal.

I can’t speak about quitting a job and how to handle it, but I believe that you shouldn’t sacrifice yourself for things that are not worth sacrificing.

Does working need to feel like a huge sacrifice?

Does it need to be hard to be called a job?



Laila Khairina

Obviously a new writer. Will appear when she feels like it.