These days I find I have almost no tolerance for conflict or drama. It’s not that I have become impatient with friends because I think I have the patience of a saint. Okay, maybe not a saint, unless there’s a Saint Tutu, but I am pretty level. I am in the process of learning how to let go of certain feelings, battles and people in my life that constantly cause drama and it has been a chore for me. I chide myself that perhaps I do love some drama. I just don’t care for the drama that leaves one completely devastated. So, let’s start here… One woman was trying desperately to hang onto her job, but instead of being grateful for having a job, she maligned the one person that was keeping her employed, which was her manager, in spite of what he was being told to do, which was to fire her. Oh yes! No one wanted to keep her on and everyone wanted her gone, but this manager was smart enough to know that they needed her, at least temporarily, and when it was time they could let her go, he would give her plenty of notice. That’s called being a Good Manager. It didn’t matter to him that the truth was she rolled her eyes every time he asked her to do something, or that her attitude had gotten worse every day she worked, or that she shared malicious gossip about him and his family with other co-workers. None of that mattered because it had little to do with what was required of her and she did manage to get her job done. That’s called being a Good Manager. Her boss, even though he knew all of this was going on, still kept her on. He said she was nice and worked hard and she could stay until they didn’t need her anymore. Did it matter to him that she secretly disliked him? No, it didn’t. He figured we all have our own closet of demons and not getting on with people in management was probably one of hers. That’s called being a Good Manager. Not only was she gossiping, she was Skyping the gossip from work on a company computer, and she left the program open at night when she left to go home. I know…not real bright. The manager knew this too and really didn’t care as long as her Skyping did not interfere with getting her work done for the day. That’s called being a Good Manager. She finally just walked out one day with absolutely no notice, after begging him to allow her to keep her job because she needed the money. Instead of returning his loyalty, she stuck him in the back with a knife the minute she got the chance. He didn’t argue or point fingers. He didn’t remind her of the times he had reassured her she would continue to keep her job for a while. He hugged her and wished her well. That’s called being a Good Manager. I’ve made that point about being a Good Manager this many times because her number one complaint was always that he was being a bad manager. I didn’t get that, but at least I’m smart enough to know that she certainly didn’t get it either. From everything I knew about the situation it sounded to me like she was getting better treatment than she deserved. To his credit, this gentleman still speaks to her and is cordial when they run into each other. He never took any of her behavior personally, even though her intention was to undermine his authority on the job and cause unnecessary drama and conflict with the other employees. He just never gave it any steam. Many of us, myself included, could learn something from the example he sets. I guess in the scheme of things what would matter most is the same old adage about picking your battles. After all, this woman was providing a service by working and this meant a need was being filled. Since she quit and in the manner she left, does it serve him to be mean to her next time they see each other out? Probably not. When you step back and look at the bigger picture, her work ethic was okay at best, and he already knew she didn’t like him, but why bother feeling anything more than matter of fact? Why bother with the effort it would take to be rude? That serves no purpose at all. Being rude is something else people have a hard time unlearning. It takes so much unnecessary energy to be rude to someone. It also takes a lot of energy to malign and gossip about someone, especially when you’re trying to hurt them. But people still do it. Do you realize what you look like when you’re outwardly rude, or when you maliciously gossip? Do you think bystanders are going to look at you and think WOW! She sure told that guy! Go girl!! Um, no, they aren’t thinking that. Only in the movies do bystanders ever think that. Most of them are thinking you’re a real jackass and they feel sympathy for the person you’re being rude to. So you lose. It’s the same when you gossip in an offhand way. You think you’re building an Army (thank you Tess) by spreading whatever toxic crap you’ve heard or made up about the person you dislike. You have the rapt attention of the person you’re telling and you probably walk away feeling like you made some more progress in getting yet another person to hate the same person you hate. Yeah…WRONG! The minute you turn your back after your big gabfest, the person you were gossiping to probably gives you a horrific sneer and thinks that you’re a bigger douchebag than the person you were just talking about. In fact, they didn’t believe a word you said and now know that if you’ll gossip about other people like that, then you’ll do the same thing to them too. The only points you just made were against yourself. I guess you can either pick your battles wisely, or you can choose not to battle at all. One thing I have learned is that being a good manager isn’t about searching for what’s wrong with an employee and then beating on them until they comply with your demands. Being a good manager is looking for what an employee does well and giving them the autonomy to perform their duties without being micromanaged. That even includes those times when you know the employee can’t stand you. I guess when I can learn to let go of those feelings of animosity and betrayal, I might just reach an all new plateau of understanding about myself and the world I live in. But today I still might continue to harbor a few of those petty emotions. Who knows?! Until then, this is Madeline Laughs and I’m really not interested in a dozen day old doughnuts, unless you’re interested in being truthful about why you left them in the break room. Take care!
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