Be Careful How You Treat People
… that’s especially true in the workplace. With the way things work, you never know who knows who you know — and you never know who you will end up working for.
A situation happened that got me thinking a lot about this. There is a guy at my place of employment. For anonymity sake, I’ll call him John. As far as I can tell John is a decent enough person to work for, although I have not worked for him. My interactions with him on various projects and on working groups have shown him to be knowledgable, personable, flexible, and well-respected. Sometimes, interactions with people can be different if you’re working for them. Though I have heard some sporadic things about him that were not very favorable, I have no firsthand knowledge of that, only hearsay. Furthermore these rumors came from a source that isn’t credible. My impression is John is an above board guy.
Well, it just so happens that one of the former members of his team (someone John used to supervise a couple of years ago) is now John’s boss. Additionally, another person he formerly supervised a year before that is now John’s boss’ boss. I’m guessing John treated them in a fair and square manner. Just imagine if he wasn’t so fair and square with them. They could make his life misearable now that he’s working for them. Even without crossing the line, avoiding any prohibited personnel practices*, a boss can make your life a daily hell if he or she wanted to, still operating within what is legally allowed.
Most likely, neither he nor they ever thought the tables would turn like this so they would be his first and second line supervisor. A lot of other people never thought that would happen either. But it is what it is. The person you give compassion to — or the person who’s neck you step on today — is someone could very easily end up in a position to give you the same thing.
People say Karma is a bitch, but that’s not true; Karma gives you back exactly what you give. What are you giving?
* Prohibited personnel practices, commonly called PPPs, are employment-related activities that are banned in the federal workforce; PPPs entail some form of employment discrimination; retaliation; abuse of position; or failure to adhere to established laws, rules, and regulations. https://osc.gov/ppp