What Does Kindness Even Mean?

Kindness, according to Wikipedia, is the behavior marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and concern and consideration for others.  Kindness is considered a virtue and is recognized as a value in many cultures and religions.

What is kindness?  Well, that’s easy to answer from a definition standpoint, but what does it mean…?

Kindness is listening more than you speak.

Kindness is basing your decisions and/or actions on the empathy that you feel for others.

My “kind” act recently was balancing the personal perspective of a friend with the “company line” of an organization.  While I was advising her to tender her resignation immediately as to avoid termination, I was also making sure that from a company perspective, her email, server access, building key, badge, etc., was rendered without complication and/or conflict.

You see…she had acted out of turn.  She had violated the company’s social media policy.  I understand that as a company employee, her discretions were a terminable defense.  However, after receiving a horribly insensitive and completely inappropriate email from one of they company’s owners claiming her “unprofessionalism” after her husband fell very ill and her horse unexpectedly passed away, she snapped.  It was like a Kathy Bates in all her glory ramming into the Volkswagon Beetle in “Fried Green Tomatoes.”  She posted a relatively ambiguous post on Facebook.  Yes, Facebook, the destructor of us all.  When questioned by friends, she copy and pasted the email in the comments section.  Unfortunately, his signature was in the Copy/Paste and it tagged the business.  YIKES!!!  She deleted the post, but by that time, it was all but done.  Everyone in the company had seen it, and I got a call (as a consultant) on the fact that they planned to terminate her employment.

In the meantime, and while all this chaos was going on… I received a voicemail from her telling me that she had received a job offer…they wanted her to start immediately, and that she was on her way in to the office to give her notice.

She went into work, and neither owner would meet with her, so she turned in her key and her notice with the Senior Practice Coordinator (following up with an email notice to the owners, of course).

They contacted me to take over payroll temporarily until their new Office Manager started, and requested that I come in to consult and onboard their new OM once she arrived.  I agreed…trying to hold the party line.

I was an IDIOT!  While I tried to be kind and help out when needed, I was berated for not only following federal and state labor laws, but also their own company policies.  Done.  I’m done.

I feel that this will end in a labor board dispute, and I have no choice but to side with the employee who is in the right, with plenty of documentation to prove that she is in the right.  I am very done with this company.  At this point, I hope they fail.

I know that schadenfreude is an ugly trait, but I can’t help it…  ugliness breeds ugliness. 🙁

Does true kindness exist?  I’m not entirely sure it does in this world…



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September 6, 2018

Sounds like the schadenfreude is well deserved!