A Story About Karma

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Many people will argue that there is no such thing as karma and that what we perceived to be karma is actually just mere coincidences of events. I used to take up debates with people on this subject but now, I just say it in one sentence, "Karma is something that can be understood once you experience it, so until then, it's really pointless to argue". What makes me bring up the subject about karma? Well, yesterday I bumped into an ex-worker of mine and we briefly exchanged what we've been up to. I asked her about her eyes and she said they still bother her at times and that she can't be on the computer too long because her eyes would hurt. We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. What happened to her eyes is the reason why I am writing this post about karma.

Ten years ago, Cecil was the fastest data entry clerk in the department. She had the speed and accuracy that all managers loved but all workers envied. During one of the department's reorganizations, Cecil was paired up with a much older worker who was in her late 50's at the time. Cecil was in her mid 20's. Even though Cecil was a fast worker, she didn't like to do more than what her job duties entailed. She was definitely not a team player. If she was done with her assignment, she'd sit there reading magazines, talking on the phone, or shopping at a discount store across the street. The managers, not just one manager, but three managers, tried coaching and encouraging her to be a better team player. Cecil became very disgruntled because she blamed her slow partner for her misery. I was asked to coach Cecil on her people skills.

Cecil was indeed a very difficult worker to work with. She was super sensitive and didn't like to hear any constructive criticisms. Everyone had to walk on eggshells when dealing with Cecil because she had several outbursts that resulting in her crying hysterically. In short, no one wanted to work with Cecil and the workers resented management inability to effectively deal with this difficult worker.

My manager sent me over to supervise Cecil and the other elder worker because there was so much animosity and tension between the two of them. You have a young worker who was super fast and cocky working with an older worker who was slow. During my one-on-one discussions with Cecil, I learned so much about her state of mind and was able to pinpoint the source of her reluctance to help others. In her world, being able to do things faster and better than other people gave her a sense of superiority and accomplishment. She bluntly said, "If that other woman can't handle her job, she should quit. She's slow. She can't see well..." I told Cecil granted that she now has perfect vision but who's to say that she will maintain this perfect 20 year-old vision when she hits her 50s. Cecil's response was 1) she won't have eye problems, and 2) she won't be working beyond 50 years old.

Cecil was later transferred out to another area in the department after I reported to management my conclusion that no coaching or motivation would change this woman. Well, if people can not change a stubborn person, let karma be the teacher. Over a course of seven years, Cecil performance started to slowly drop. Her accuracy and speed were noticeably declining. Management thought she was unmotivated to be a productive worker. She took time off and had more doctor appointments than usual. Later, her manager reduced her workload due to a medical condition and then Cecil was transferred to another department because her medical condition prevented her from working at her current job. I later found out that her medical condition was related to her eyes and she was not able to see well and look at the computer for a long period of time otherwise, her eyes became painful and her vision blurred. The ironic thing is Cecil would complain how unsympathetic her coworkers were of her condition. She was only in her mid-30's. Cecil's ex-work partner, who she looked down upon and laughed at, took me to the side one day and said, "karma is a bitch, isn't it?" Yes, it is. It truly is. Whatever you throw out there in the universe will come back to you, good or bad.

20 comments:

CVmom said...

It's such a shame that some people don't think about the consequences of their actions. Many workplaces are so polluted with bad workers and management as in the case of your department. No wonder you're happy you no longer work there.

Veronica Lee said...

I totally believe in karma.
Cecil reminds me of an ex-colleague.
Thanks for sharing this story.

Happy Saturday

Gina F said...

I definitely believe in karma. What goes around comes around. If I don't have nothing nice to say I don't say anything at all especially if it will hurt someone's feelings.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!! :)

Gina
motherof1princessand2princes.blogspot.com

Gwei Mui said...

Call it what you will I personally believe that an overall balance is always maintained. This may not be immediate, but balance nevertheless is achieved.

Mr. Stupid said...

Karma is a great Teacher. It will teach you in a way that's hard to forget. I feel sad for the woman but at the same time am angry for her actions. She got what she threw at that colleague.

TK said...

You are sooo right..What goes around comes around. Nevertheless, there a lot of people like Cecil in the world and I had met many of them. Just hope that I won't be like her..I's a lesson to learn.

Lazy Pineapple said...

I believe in Karma...being a Hindu...it is one of the pillars of our faith...
It is said that you cannot escape Karma...if you do wrong you will have to pay for it either in this life or the next.

The incident though is sad but the worse part is that Cecil is still oblivious of the fact that she did something wrong...

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Rosebelle, I believe, how people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
According to the karma of past actions, one's destiny unfolds, even though everyone wants to be so lucky.

As the saying goes, 'As she has planted, so does she harvest; such is the field of karma'.
I too believe its karma that affects our lives, at work, in play or in relationships.
Have a pleasant weekend, Lee.

Buckeroomama said...

Oh, I believe in karma. What goes around does come around.

Gratitude said...

I had a colleague who was of similar attitude too. I last heard that she was not faring well either.

I think people from all walks of life agree on karma, coz they 've seen too many coincidences to not believe in the laws of karma.

I think everone will agree that to Live in all goodness is the only way to go. ^_^
+Ant+

eugene said...

Guess it is not about karma, rather it is solely about us,about own selfisness, our lack of concern for others and our own belief that we don't need others, do when we think we can, actually we only reap what we sow. Therefore, we must always believe that we need one another, thus we must be nice to others

Xiao Yen Recipes said...

I like Uncle Lee's response. He puts it in a very true perspective that many people don't realize. I used to work with a Cecil clone. Talk about walking on eggshells!! Maybe the two of them should work together. That will be interesting :)

Bananazą®‡ said...

108% firm believer of karma. Its like a boomerang. I have one hanging right in front of me in my office to remind me of my thoughts and actions. tQ.

Serline said...

Our God is a merciful one, so however things turn out for Cecil or her co-worker, would have been part of His plans all along...

Poetic Shutterbug said...

I absolutely believe in Karma. It is the intent behind each though and action. If your intent in any situation is that of a negative nature, Karma comes into play. Loved the story and message.

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

I would believe in Karma except for bad things happening to really good people. It seems a fair argument against the existence of Karma because it should work both ways, shouldn't it?

Wendy said...

Sounds like karma to me! I'm not really a mean person, but it's sometimes satisfying to see people get their just desserts.

I do hear Joey's point though. My student just lost her father to a horrendous battle with colon cancer. His eventual demise was incredibly gory, and sad. Even the funeral was directed by an idiot priest. Anyway, my husband said something about how karma affected him, and I just think about my student who was affected by it. I can't imagine she deserved to lose her dad in this way...

OK, I'm going off a little bit. Back to the point. Yeah - too bad about Cecil's job performance and all. People with horrible attitudes can really sour a workplace!

Alicia said...

Wow, I wonder if she thinks back about that lady, and if she feels bad for the way her attitude was.

Ami said...

I believe that one way or another, we pay for our actions and what's in our hearts.

May as well call it Karma.

So I try to be decent. To have empathy.

It costs nothing to be kind.

Icy BC said...

Karma..I see it, experience it, and watch it happened many times.