Working with "others"

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Working with "others"

Postby Digger » Sat Jul 20, 2013 4:48 pm

I work at a medium sized firm in the US (a few hundred employees). I feel it is "right livelihood" and feel good about what I do for a living. There are a few really good people there. But I would say that a high percentage of the people there are one or more of the following: crazy lazy stupid selfish or backstabber.

There is plenty of politics, brown nosing, crazy decisions, waste, inefficiency, lack of teamwork and all the other negative things that occur in the work world.

Meetings have a tendency to spin off into group insanity.

There is both sexual harassment and women using their looks and lets say their "services" to get promoted.

Almost all of the employees claim they are Christian and occasionally try to convert me. I have been told more than once that I am going to hell for not converting. The Christian owner sometimes has group prayers at meetings, has a few Jesus pictures on the walls and believes Jesus takes care of the company. The business has no business tie to any religion (i.e. its not a Christian Hospital or anything like that).

Anyone else going through any of this? How do you deal with it?
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Re: Working with "others"

Postby dagon » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:05 pm

Hi Digger - dont know if this will help

I am not sure which question you are asking because there are two possible questions with two very different answers. I will assume that the question asked is how you can maintain you practice and develop as a Buddhist.
You have a normal work environment will all of the problems that most have. I use this to remind myself of the First Nobel Truth.

The behavior of individuals within the work place where you can see faults in their ethics, morals I find very useful. It is far easier for me to see faults in others than I can see in myself. If I focus on their faults I become very negative towards them. If I use them as a mirror to examine my own behaviors I find that it is positive because the faults that I can most easily see in others are the faults that I have. This provides me with a very useful way of checking my (lack) of compliance with the 5 p’s.

I try and identify a positive aspect of every one that I have to work with and try and remember that should be my first thought when I interact with them. It was a surprise to me to find out when I tried this how different many of my interactions became more positive – guess a lot of the problems came from me, lol.

The two strategies above makes it easier for me to start to develop an attitude of loving kindness to some of the more difficult people I work with.
With Metta
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Re: Working with "others"

Postby chownah » Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:03 am

Depending on how much this stuff bothers you it might be time to start looking for a new job.

But if you want to stay there then what I do is to remember the buddha's teaching to have no doctrine of self. I find that interpersonal difficulties are actually difficulties between your concept of your self and your concept of the self in others. When I see that I am irritated or upset from other's actions I tell myself that what I am irritated with can not really be appropriately thought of as coming from a self in the irritating person but it is just a result of conditions and conditioning and so is not under the control of any real person and that my seeing this irritation as coming from a person with a self is a delusion.....and also I think about how it is the delusionary self that I imagine I have that is generating the negative reaction and this is not really me at all but just a result of conditions and conditioning.

As a summary, I think: They have no self...it is just conditions and conditioning, I have no self...it is just conditions and conditioning.

Anyway I don't think these exact words but what I have written is just to give you an idea of the mental process that I use. What I have written is probably not a correct interpretation of having no doctrine of self but it seems to be a good enough approximation because it works at least for me. I suggest that you think about this and think about how you view the doctrine of having no self and then develop your own mental process which is consistent with your views.
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Re: Working with "others"

Postby Ben » Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:13 am

Its just life.
One can't always be in control of one's own circumstances or the company one keeps.
Just live and work with integrity and do what you need to do to earn a living and make your experience at work as pleasant as you can for yourself and others. Remember that most of our fundamental problems we have in life are largely internal.
kind regards,

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Re: Working with "others"

Postby Holdan » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:00 pm

Digger wrote:I work at a medium sized firm in the US (a few hundred employees). I feel it is "right livelihood" and feel good about what I do for a living. There are a few really good people there. But I would say that a high percentage of the people there are one or more of the following: crazy lazy stupid selfish or backstabber.

There is plenty of politics, brown nosing, crazy decisions, waste, inefficiency, lack of teamwork and all the other negative things that occur in the work world.

There is both sexual harassment and women using their looks and lets say their "services" to get promoted.

Anyone else going through any of this? How do you deal with it?

hi Digger. this sounds extremely normal, what Buddha called "suchness" (tathata). the way to deal with it is head down, do your work, avoid the games others play & remain professional. turn off your craving for things to be otherwise. remind yourself you have a job. practise the path, particularly right speech & the effort to avoid. in the Sabbasava Sutta, Buddha explained the way to deal with wild animals is to avoid them. best wishes :)
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Re: Working with "others"

Postby Digger » Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:27 pm

All wise answers.

Thanks.
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Re: Working with "others"

Postby Anagarika » Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:50 pm

I feel it is "right livelihood" and feel good about what I do for a living.


That right there makes you a fortunate person. Well done, Digger.

I'm reminded of what someone once wrote about being a Buddhist vs. just being a Buddha. The idea was that when they're a Buddhist, people were upset and tried to convert them. When they were just a Buddha, quietly observing the Eightfold Path, all went well.

You can't fix the cycle of samsara others choose to walk, like mice on an exercise wheel of dysfunction. Be kind, be supportive, and even when others criticize, accept that it's likely they're hurting inside, or confused.
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