Attention, reading this post can be hard. Don’t read it if following subjects trigger you: slavery, burn-out, toxic work relationships.
An other article will review my projects soon. You don’t miss any information if you pass your way.
This post will not be available in audio, because I’m not able to record this text. Nevertheless, it’s the first one in French and in English.
And so, in my last post, I said I’ll communicate more during 2022 year. One year and a half passed and I emerge here. A lot of things occurred during this time, and I still reconstruct myself. All my projects have fallen, and I’m here, facing a heap of ruins. It’s time to explain my blackout and its consequences.
All started at the beginning of 2022. I refused to work on a shaky project, and anyway, I had no right to do it. A customer of my partner suggested a contract that so-called make us rich. Good joke, really. With falling amounts yeah! But in spite of my refusal, the customer heavily insisted. Then, gradually, the blackmail came. If I not carry out the project, they’ll fired people. And some others in Belgium can’t exercise their fundamental rights. All my oppositions were rejected. And when I said it was difficult technically, I was ridiculed. The trap closed. I couldn’t refuse anymore, and I worked for free during six long months.
All my fears were right. And I had to respects deadlines. Gradually, schedule rose to 14 hours a day, seven days a week. In six months, I worked around 1900 hours. If I didn’t respect deadlines, somebody can be fired, and we had to think about children! So, I stopped all my projects, and my medical cares. My pain rose a lot. I continued, I didn’t have the choice. And when we speak about my schedule, I had some cheers because I had to do it, otherwise something will happen. And more, the project was not clearly defined. I’ve done, undone and redone so much code! I had the impression to work on nothing without any consideration.
I succeed, I give the final result. But after that, I failed to slow down. Stress rose continuously. Some days after, a morning, I get out of my bed. I went to the kitchen to prepare my tea. And I had no idea on how use the kettle, I rooted to the spot. So, I sit down in front of the computer. And I didn’t know the name of the program to launch, nor what I had to do! My burn-out was decompensated. I needed one month to prepare my tea myself, and three months to cook. Today, after one year of reconstruction, I’m really anxious when I code. I just begin to feel at home when I use a Linux console.
Beyond that, I take weight I have to lose. My muscular pains are heavy to feel, and I need more cares to manage my illness. I need to reinforce all my body with sport I can’t do for so much time. I need probably one year more to recover my physical health. My partner had to work on this project too. He’s a freelancer and he couldn’t work for his other customers. That’s an enormous loss, between 20000 and 25000 euros. We succeed to have a financial balance, but it wasn’t simple. Fortunately, we could avoid heating during the winter.
I took a lot of time to put words on this situation. A blackmail to force working, inhuman conditions and an organization growing rich with a complex software, all is checked to qualify slavery. I discovered slavery continue in our societies, and all classes are concerned.
As for me, I’m out of that, and I hope to not bring back to a similar situation. I should say you if somebody forces you to work, or try to blackmail you, refuse that and assume consequences. Because all be worst later. But this advice is so simplistic! Reality is always more complex. I know there are some NGO to help victims, don’t hesitate to contact them if you’re a victim or a witness.
I met good people during my reconstruction. My projects are inactive since this event. The time has come to come back. But all of this is the subject of a future post.
Take care of yourself, avoid toxic relationships and see you soon.