Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Monday January 14th 2019

PMET stressed out by misunderstanding at work and coping badly

Hi Gilbert,

I am glad that I have chanced upon your website as I was searching for “Singapore unemployed support group” out of my usual job search routine that I have been doing every day and getting really tired from doing it. It has really been a very lonely process that I felt that nobody can really understand my situation and give me the support and encouragement that I need. I feel that I’m on the verge of an emotional breakdown and depression soon.

I wasn’t in my current state in about a year ago until I landed my current job. It was a 1-year contract offered with the intention for me to do job scope A. At that time, I did asked the HR why was it a 1-year role, and the HR assured me at that time that they will have enough budget for this project and assured that there will be budget for renewal. Although skeptical about the whole job, I still decided to accept this 1-year role based on the offer of job scope A since it was something that I want to do and want to give it a chance to try it out.

However, only when I entered the company then I knew that I was doing job scope B which is something not of my interest. I did went to check with my boss at that time (not my supervisor) then did I know that they want me to learn in the team with job scope B before going into the team doing job scope A. At that time, I was indeed very disappointed as it was not what I want. However, because I just entered the company, I have no way I could quit my job only from the first few days.

During the first month in the team, life was still ok aside from the disappointment being in the wrong team. I did have experience in doing job scope B and of course did voiced out my opinions on certain areas of the process. I wanted to do what I was interested in job scope A, hence I did feedback to my boss after 3 months that I wanted to do something more value added like job scope A. However, it was definitely taken out of context and I’m not sure how the confidential talk got into my supervisor’s ears and she has turned it around me and use it against me to do the unimaginable petty things to target me. Some of the things that she did was name calling (e.g saying that I lie, can’t be trusted, call me blind), bad mouthing and twisting stories my colleagues to cause misunderstanding and affect my relationship with them, being rude at me always and ask me do ridiculous things like making me study for work and testing me. It was a horrible 5 months under her, and I think I have developed depression at work. I didn’t even dare to speak to anyone in office and felt so isolated.

I used to be someone that contributed so much at work, but I became really withdrawn. It was this one incident that my supervisor has crossed the line too much that I have decided to report what she did to me to my boss. I felt that it was after all these that my boss was trying to help me and then put me into the team which is doing job scope A.

I was definitely mentally broken by this saga after 8 months in this job scope B team, that when I went to job scope A team, I couldn’t bring myself to really function normally. I was working on 3 projects on my own in the team and was meant to be presented at quite a big audience forum, but in the end when they told me of my non-renewal, it became a department meeting platform with no accurate dates. I was really frustrated at the whole saga that after just 2 months into the job scope A team, I was not renewed because of a headcount issue. Apparently, it seemed that my headcount was still with job scope B team and they are just waiting for me to be “expired” in the contract.

I have been looking around for jobs since 2 months into the job and along this time, I was offered 2 positions. I have tried to give another chance that things will turn out well for this place, but it had never been at all. Now I’m 1.5 months to the end of my contract, and I’m feeling very frustrated and angry by this whole ordeal. At the same time, I’m also really depressed right now since time is running out and I’m really stressed out to find a job before my contract expires.

Hope that you could give me some advice on this.




Hi Theresa

Thanks for your mail and sorry to hear of your predicament.

Work stress often arose from interaction with people and it looks like you have got into the wrong end of the stick from day one.

However, not all is lost if you have learnt something from the ugly episode.

Its good that you realise its so important not to anyhow talk to the staff until you can trust them.

The person you spoke to may have some agenda to feedback to your superior who could be a difficult person to deal with.

Some people want to target the newie as they may be targetted before when they just join.

It also took the heat off them when the limelight is on the new person.

Maybe its good that you just see out the contract and try to learn something from the whole ordeal.

Often the best lesson is gleaned out of the worst adversity.

Take care and stay strong.

Thanks & Warmest Regards,

Gilbert Goh


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One Response to “PMET stressed out by misunderstanding at work and coping badly”

  1. Sadder says:

    Dear Gilbert, as I read this, it reminds me of my own situation.

    I was hired into the company with the bosses promising me a career change. They did promote me after confirmation and change my scope as promised. Except that the training and mentorship that they promised never materialized. That led to a lot of confusions and poor performance even as I tried whatever I could to manage the situation and kept the boss informed.

    Then came the merger. I was told to resign of the boss will begin the disciplinary and performance management to get me out. I thought it was because of my own poor performance. It was only after I left that I realized that the boss needed to conform to a certain budget due to the merger, hence I was removed. I am now 18 months unemployed. I am sinking in terms of self confidence and getting tired of applying for jobs that never get back to you.

    Do you know how bad the economy is? The number of unemployed people I meet are mostly skilled PMETs. People who like me, have got several promotions and achievements throughout our careers. And remember what the government said about Singaporeans? No talent. That’s why they need FTs. I am so surprised that so many PMETs are “not talented” enough to get jobs in our own homeland.

    With time on my hands, I did some research into companies. Imagine the shock I had when I discovered that FTs are prevalent in Singapore HR! Especially from a certain country we have CECA with! And when I tried to do teaching and lecturing, these people are in almost every aspect of education industry too! Does the CECA open doors to HR, and education in Singapore? What has MOM been doing as the gatekeeper!

    There are so many horror stories about Singaporean CVs being thrown away to help their own villagers, now I am starting to believe these stories!

    I am sick and tired of government excuses for not delivering on their promises of jobs for Singaporeans. Instead of admitting that they are unproductive and cannot deliver good jobs, they blame Singaporeans for being picky and “skill mis-match”. Utter rubbish. PMETs have many transferable skill sets and what the *** are FTs doing in HR? We need FTs to screen out Singaporeans so they can get employed while we are discriminated in our own country?

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