Saturday, October 11, 2014

Dealing With Difficult People (Part 1)

I am dealing with a very difficult person at work.  I'll call him Mr. X.  

Mr. X is shady and currently drunk with power.  Most people who have known him for a while do not trust him.  However, to newer employees, he appears to be the savior.  He can help them advance in their position.  If they have a problem, he will solve it for them.  He will flatter them endlessly.  He will make them feel special by letting them in on little secrets that he claims to know.  Because of the way he makes himself approachable and seems to care, the young and naive share many details about their lives and emotions with him.  He carefully takes note.  

Mr. X is quick to point himself out as the martyr, working harder than anyone else in the company. He claims to be the "go to" person in the organization.  If any of his unethical practices are exposed, he is quick to shift the focus elsewhere.  He is very careful with his words.  

I have a very difficult time seeing other people deceived and led astray.  I despise dishonesty of word or character.  Every ounce of me wants to make it right, especially when it seems that they are getting away with it.

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  Romans 12:19

That verse has played through my mind a lot recently the more I deal with Mr. X.  In recent weeks he has been laying it on strong.  Some mornings I wake up and it is the first thing I think about.  It starts my day off on an angry note.  I am letting it have control over me.  I have started praying every morning before I go to work that God would deal with Mr. X and help me to have a proper attitude about it.  I have given Mr. X and his actions control over me and I don't like that.  Lord, I need help!

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.  Colossians 3:23

This is the verse I have sitting on my desk to remind me of the real focus of my work.  Sometimes I feel like I have to overcompensate with my work because of Mr. X to prove that I am doing a good job.  As a result, I am letting him win.  Instead of working as to the Lord, I am working unto men.  I need that reminder from Colossians on a daily basis so that I don't lose focus.

As much as I really hate learning valuable lessons this way, I have done just that through this experience.  One thing that I learned a few years back that I feel like I've really improved upon is not responding to situations with jerk reactions.  I especially used to hide behind email and send messages out of raw emotion the moment it came to my awareness.  Then, after I had time to process the situation more clearly, I was often met with despair and regret over responding too quickly.  Once you've said something, you can't take it back.  That valuable lesson has almost flown right out the window recently.  If it weren't for a close friend and mentor, I would have easily lost it.  I'm glad I haven't... so far.  I have taken time to process my reactions and only respond when necessary.  Even then, I am careful to respond factually rather than emotionally.

Dealing with Mr. X is an ongoing experience and lesson for me.  Fortunately, it has forced me to really lean more heavily on God and His Word which is something that I have really needed recently as I have often let the busyness of life get in the way.