“An eye for an eye”
or perhaps better “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
This morning I had a “do unto others” experience to an incident at a workplace.
The background – I headed in to work this morning for an 8.30am shift. I left my apartment at 7.15 as I have to take the bus (no car – my choice!). I had a nice bus ride, got off and went to enjoy a bagel before I headed to work. As I got closer to the store, I noticed two men rather than one unloading the daily truck. I said hello and entered in the store through the back door, as it had been explained to me to do for the early shift. I went to the back end to say hello to the lady I was working with and to find out about my new time card. To my surprise, she was shocked to see me. She asked why I was there, I said I’m scheduled for today. Quite dismayed, she went and got the schedule to show me that my shifts had all been crossed off for the week, and then she tells me, “Ken told me you weren’t working here anymore”. I said whose Ken? I had no idea who this person was and how he knew what was going on when I didn’t! She told me perhaps I should call the owner as she knew nothing about any of this. The owner was surprised at the news and apologized and said he would find out what was going on. I said okay, and proceeded to leave the building.
As I was leaving, the two men were still at the truck and it occurred to me that the second man must have been this Ken person, as the lady inside had said this was her first day back since Saturday and she had only seen Ken this morning. So I quite boldly went up to him and asked if he was Ken. He quietly said yes, and I said Hi I’m Louise. His face turned a hundred different shades of red, and then I asked who told him that I no longer worked there? Very quietly, and slightly embarrassingly, he told me the name. It was the lady from my first shift last week, who I immediately had taken a disliking to, that had told him.
I stormed away angrily, called back the owner and informed him of what I had found out. He said okay and again apologized and confirmed that he would in fact be paying me for my shift today.
Rightfully so, at least in my eyes, I was furious! Not that I was no longer working there but for the fact that no one had the insight to call me to tell me I had no shifts this week, or anymore for that matter. I walked at least 3 kms before calming down and hopping on a bus to come back to my area. Once I got here, I went and had a coffee and calmed myself down. I decided to call the lady who hired me to find out what was going on. She had NO CLUE what was going on either – apparently the manager of the store took it upon herself to take my hours away. The lady who hired me said she was going to talk to her and would get a clear answer as to what happened and why in fact I did not get a call about this. She was horrified that I went all the way there (at least 45 minutes one way with the bus and walking) without knowing that she had done this. Again apologies were given.
So, in my anger, before I spoke to her, I had made the decision to write a scathing review of the store, and management at that store, and the employees as well. I felt I was justified in doing this. I tried to think of horrible things I could say, that they would perhaps lose business over this. “An eye for an eye” kept going through my mind until I stopped and put things in perspective. It really would not affect them by this happening to me, and me writing a terrible review would only look bad on me. It really wouldn’t affect them that much. Perhaps some sympathy would come my way but that wasn’t what I wanted. I am much better than that.
I sat back from my computer, closed my eyes and thought – how do I want to be treated? With respect of course. Would I gain any respect from anyone by writing a bad review of them because they cut me back, as the new person in the store, most likely for logistical reasons (pandemic, money, etc.). I realized the best thing I could do – is write. Write about my feelings and my reaction to the whole incident.
Should I have been upset? Of course. It’s a natural reaction. Should they have contacted me to let me know? Of course! That’s what a good business would do. Were they in the wrong for not informing me? Of course. But perhaps when it came down to calling me, time got away from the lady and she simply forgot.
Nothing would be solved by me attacking them for what was probably an oversight. Would it make me feel better? Initially yes but in the long run, no. It would make me feel and look small and petty.
After this enlightenment, I took to the internet. I applied for more jobs. I applied for full time jobs. I made productivity my goal, instead of “an eye for an eye”.
So maybe next time you feel slighted or angry at someone for doing something wrong to you, take a step back and decide if it’s really worth the energy to retaliate. Treat the situation and person the way you would want to be treated. Anger takes just as much energy as being kind. I took the high road, will you?