Daily Life

Not Getting Cocky

This cocky is not forgetting not to get too cocky

Some years ago, I got too far ahead of myself and lost my humility with the upshot being daily humiliation now.

Coveting my neighbor’s property

Over the past 14 years or so, I’ve attended a 12-step group pretty much daily to make myself a better person, and to be more decent to others.

Neighbor’s kangaroo paw looks fantastic

As my character improved, I gained a little more self-confidence.

Red kangaroo paw is a delight

But it turns out that I also lost a lot of humility and didn’t show enough respect for others.

Grevillea is amazing again this year

One of the things I learned in my early days of going to AA was the importance of being respectful to every person who walked into a meeting because, as the old-timers told me, one day that person may be around to lend me a hand. (I should point out here that anybody who walks into a 12-step program is never on a winning streak, which is one reason why the message of respecting everyone is emphasized.)

White kangaroo paw is still thriving

Anyway, I belittled a woman I’d advised our company to hire. I assumed my seniority entitled me to dictate terms to her, even though she was my boss. And I treated her rudely and without respect because of that sense of entitlement. She was probably wrong, but I should handled things better.

We didn’t have too much of a problem working together until another colleague asked me to interpret in a meeting with company managers to complain about this woman using her position to harass.

Tea tree is flowering

It would turn out to be a pattern. Apart from myself, in the time since that woman was hired, our department has a 3-year retention rate of 0%. I would be gone if I could find a place that will use me, even though I dearly love my job and don’t want to leave.

Over the ensuing five years, every single person who worked with the woman has been subjected to her fierce execution of authority and been subjected to unreasonable harassment.

We’re gonna get banksia flowers!

It has been my turn to cop the brunt pretty much daily from November last year, though I had been harassed for many years before that, too, just not the prime target.

We’re gonna get banksia flowers!

The woman is highly efficient and completely obedient to C-Suite.

She is extremely talented and has taught me much despite her cruel treatment.

We’re gonna get banksia flowers!

But, perhaps the most valuable lesson my tormenter has imparted has been the crucial importance of paying the deepest respect to every person with whom I interact.

Signs of me taking note of that lesson are pretty poor. Around the time I started attending AA, a dear friend told me, “You have to realize that your relationships involve more than just yourself.”

Flowers on the manuka

Progress, not perfection, is a message we often speak about.

My record of progress, though, is not great, so I need to remind myself to never get cocky.