Archive for category Notes

Guilty Bystanders and Fixing Your Workplace Karma

Posted by on Monday, 5 March, 2012

It has often come to my mind to compare the events of her story to those of other crimes against women. Here’s a story from the Huffington Post to consider. Police: People Watched Gang Rape Of Teen And Did Nothing To Help. It’s not the most recent but they all follow an all-too-predictable narrative in the upshot of which is that no one helps during the crime and after everyone blames the victim,

RICHMOND, Calif. — Police believe as many as a dozen people watched a 15-year-old girl get beaten and gang-raped outside her high school homecoming dance without reporting it . . . . “She was raped, beaten, robbed and dehumanized by several suspects who were obviously OK enough with it to behave that way in each other’s presence,” Lt. Mark Gagan said. “What makes it even more disturbing is the presence of others. People came by, saw what was happening and failed to report it.”

If 20+ years of  periodic association have taught me anything about you, there is little doubt in my mind that were we talking about that incident over $15 single malts at  a five star hotel, as was our wont, you would have shook your head and decried the reprehensible behavior of the spectators.  We likely would have talked about the moral decay of society and how people should take more responsibility toward their fellow human beings. We would have judged the guilty spectators as moral inferiors.

Can you explain how your actions were different when witnessing The Bull  Dog attacking her at meetings or by email? You can’t because there is none. You, yourself, in private emails said thing like “I am not sure what is the explanation for The Bull Dog’s s success in bullying her (and the board).  And he seems to be picking up support.”

You knew he was a liar and a bully.  Yet the extent of your rancor was to say, “I did say something at the last meeting, and was immediately “impeached” by several members of the board on the basis that my obvious friendship . . . disqualified me from offering an objective assessment of her performance.”

Impeached? It is hard to imagine someone with your accomplishments and intellect as ineffectual. It is hard to imagine someone like you as an impotent spectator. It’s hard to imagine the eventual outcome of that situation had you an iota of passion for the issue.

The best you could come up with was, “I spoke on the matter and was impeached?” That doesn’t sound like much of an effort from a guy who has shaped the minds of people world leaders.

Your inactions speak for themselves, don’t they? In the final analysis, you stood by and watched The Bull Dog destroy a good person’s career without any meaningful interference.  You behavior demonstrated that you are no different than the people who did nothing as a poor teenaged girl was gang raped and beaten.

Sure you could argue, the crimes are not morally equivalent and therefore justify your behavior. But really they are not. Violence against women take many forms. Verbal and emotional violence is just as bad as their physical siblings, if not worse.  Cuts and bruises and broken  bones manifest themselves outwardly and demand attention and explanation. They automatically imbue the victim with  sympathy.

With emotional violence the victims feel shame and suffer in isolation.  As a result of their injuries they often engage in behaviors that invite criticism and judgment, creating further shame and isolation. Those behaviors lead to karmic ripples in the lives of the victims families and associates.

You represent to the world as a wise, compassionate and caring individual. On paper, you help the disadvantaged both here and abroad. Yet the bulk of your work is about helping financially and intellectually advantaged individuals make money off the misery of others., both in your day job and in your work on the association.

And you help yourself to the spoils of your position too.  You sit on numerous boards of directors, which pays your way to meetings held at five star hotels. You drink expensive liquor, eat  sinfully expensive meals, and blow hard for a couple of days.

Perhaps you recall one such meal  the evening before the very meeting where The Bulldog, after waging a year long campaign full of blustering, bullying, and outright lying,  succeeded in terminating her, you and the others partook in a meal that cost over $7,000 for less than 20 people with assorted  guests.

Ironically, one of the Bull Dog’s claims was the organization didn’t have any money because she mismanaged the company’s funds. yet the bills always got paid and some how there was enough money to spend hundreds of dollars per guest for a self-congratulatory meal. Where did the money come from? From sweat of her brow.  And the very next day, your colleagues pulled the trigger on her career and well being. They went as far as retroactively canceling her health insurance. (Oh and by the way, she was nursing a cancerous tumor at that very moment.)

Fixing your karma is a tough one, Steve. The reasons for so doing are self-evident.  But much time has passed. Scar tissue has likely developed over your regret and compassion (if you actually had any) . You are comfortable. Your mind habits are well established.  You probably do not see the need to undertake the necessary self-examination to support a meaningful attempt to make thing right.

But you should.

Unfortunately for her and for  you, “There is no way you can ever work on someone else’s karma, only your own,” (John Burdett, The Godfather of Kathmandu). I believe that. Otherwise for compassion’s sake, I would do it for both of you.  But I can’t.  Letting go and moving on are the cures for her. But letting go of the past is the obstacle face by every PTSD victim.

She and you have to do your own work but I can educate you and others on the consequences of both the association’s and your failure. Clear teaching can help people in their karmic journeys.

Maybe you’ll come across this someday? Or maybe a bully who reads this will repudiate his actions and fix what he broke? Or maybe a bystander will defend a victim?