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The Heart of Karma

I once worked for a man who had anger problems so badly he would throw things at the staff and was constantly volatile in his temper. The workplace was cold, dark and scary whenever he was in the office and you could literally feel it. It didn’t take much and he would lose it on everyone in the office. More than once many of us left in tears and dreaded going back in the next day. It was a very difficult place to work and yet we all know that sometimes you have to endure these types of tough situations until you find another job. Despite his behavior, he was very prominent in the community, had built a company from scratch and was successful according to profit and position. However, he couldn’t control his temper and behind the doors was misery.

After working for this man for about 4 months I had my first direct blast of his temper towards me and me being who I am I lashed back. If there’s one thing I really won’t tolerate is taking being treated poorly for no reason. Blame it on an abusive childhood, poor relationships or just me being me but I’ve learned that sometimes you need to stand up for yourself. Even though I did stand up for myself and it was apparently one of the first times someone has pushed back on his behavior in the workplace it didn’t bode well for me much longer in that company. He saw this as a challenge and it seemed to fuel his behavior to me more often. I quit as soon as I found the first job that came along. It didn’t matter what it was as long it wasn’t there.

He continued to be successful in the community and in profits through large contracts his company won. His company saw growth despite a constant revolving door of employees and increasing difficulty finding good employees who could work there. He eventually just hired contractors he could hire and fire at a moment’s notice. It didn’t seem karma was going to prevail. Justice didn’t seem like it was going to happen and there was just a trail of destroyed personal livelihoods and careers caused by his inability to manage his temper.

For me personally, I went on and eventually saw my own career grow. I found places I enjoyed working and others that while toxic never seemed to be that bad in comparison. From a distance I watched this man and his company prosper for many years and wondered if karma even existed especially when I find myself looking for another job for a variety of reasons. How many times do we encounter these situations and people in our lives that seem to get away with treating others poorly, taking advantage of them and coming stunningly out ahead without repercussions? We are taught to take the higher road and have love in our hearts but what happens when we do that and we’re the ones who end don’t come out ahead in these situations?

In life we must be able to provide for ourselves and the world isn’t always a loving, supportive place that makes it easy to accomplish doing so. Sometimes we have to stand up to bullies, push back on bad behavior and set boundaries on what we allow. This of course done as much as possible in the interest of being kind to everyone, seeing their own inability to be kind in return as something we can set an example to them on. Nothing about that is easy in any relationship, especially the workplace when the environment is toxic. It impacts our entire being inside and out. We get sick more often, we feel emotionally drained and exhausted from it. We fight against our own self in wanting to lash back and let them feel what they are doing to us.

The heart of the matter is sometimes we reach our own limits in putting up with someone else’s bs. We get tired of being talked to badly, treated disrespectfully and being walked on or taking advantage of by someone else. Sometimes enough is really enough. We all have that limit. For me when I get there it often comes out in anger. It comes out as another side of myself that is the farthest thing from love and kindness because I feel I’ve exhausted that. I also at times think my tolerance for bad behavior directed at me is lower as I’ve learned it doesn’t fe