David, of The Art of Peace, asks:
I don’t know if you feel like talking about Belgium or not. A sadistic and psychotic MD, PhD sounds like a good start for a story. Maybe you’d rather talk about happy stuff instead.
First, I like discussing life, which isnâ€™t always happy.
Now, on to the sadistic and psychotic MD, PhDâ€¦
God has a sense of humor when it comes to making plans! In May of 1999 Joe and I, while living in Baltimore, were both offered positions with a medical research company located in northern Kentucky. The offer appeared to be something we couldn’t refuse. We should have refused.
The company hired us to go over to their Belgian lab to make some positive changes and train the workers there to explore methods that were more American as far as laboratory science was concerned. Training was supposed to take 4 weeks, but due to a miscalculation on their part, we ended up training in northern KY for 11 weeks. We eventually made it to Belgium, but not without some initial problems.
We had originally told management that we needed to sell our cars and asked what we should do for transportation once that was complete. They said that they would provide a rental. When we sold our cars and asked for the rental, we were told by the owner/president/C.E.O. of the company that since we were living rent-free for 11 weeks, we could afford to get our own rental. Having not planned on being there for 11 weeks and having made other arrangements for savings of funds, we disputed his refusal to give us what we were offered. Eventually, and with many labored arguments, he did cover the cost of the rentalâ€¦but that should have been a sign of what was to come.
Moving is not easy. Moving to another state is even harder. Nothing compares to what it is like to move to another country, especially one with such a pronounced language barrier. The difficulty was magnified by being offered things by our company and then having to fight for them, much like the rental car scenario. Our frustration was further heightened by the fact that we were not sent there to make changes, we were sent there to be worker bees, at often greater than 10 hours per day. This was even more exacerbated by the fact that we worked for someone who obviously could care less about the personal well being of his employees, or his own financial status, than he did about winning and being in control. He liked being daddy, and his employees being obedient children. When they chose a different model, he would become enraged. This was a VERY dysfunctional situation and we chose the different model.
Eventually we got out of there, to the detriment of our financial stability, and moved on; emotionally and physically.
Don’t get me wrong, Belgium and Europe were great. We met many wonderful people and befriended, among those many, a woman who was ultimately responsible for us having one of the best dogs in the whole world (Loki, our South African Boerboel). We enjoyed living there and traveling from there to other countries. However, we worked for a company with a president and C.E.O. who treated his employees as if they were in a very involved psychological experiment by offering things that he had every intention of making them beg for later, for his own personal satisfaction, sense of power, and ego. He is the one person on this earth I respect least!