For DECADES Melvin tried to bully me and I was passive about it. Intimidated. I feared going to his angry state and thus losing my job. Seeing he could bully me, he kept at it until one day…
Fuck the job.
I blew up at him and like so many bullies, he backed off. I did not CARE if he took a swing at me! Go ahead hit me! Go to Jackson (Michigan state prison). I was tired of it all.
Since then he grumbles, snarls and is rude very often. He yelps at me and I hold back. I know I can yell and scream and look and sound fierce but that is not my identity. MY identity is to be what he is not. My identity is more the way of the Buddha without all that bullshit.
Melvin is a person of color. Has worked in the factory as long as I have. Age 70 and lives alone in a rented room. He is constantly gossiping. Over the years I have warned newbies to watch what they say to or around him because he is a snitch. I have tested that on him. Told him some BS and watched that BS come back to me with the company owner in my face. He had trouble with that. That he had been played by believing a gossip. An ass kissing gossip.
Another thing about Melvin is that for DECADES he acts like a tough guy but bows to and kisses the ass of all authority in the factory. No dignity.
All this but… I FEEL FOR HIM.
There is a sad aspect to Melvin. Most of his family finds him obnoxious (from what I hear) and try to avoid him. He goes down south where he came from and is not particularly liked but more like tolerated. HERE at work he is constantly putting his nose into the affairs of others. He snoops through paper work in the office. He asks about the family and friends of the owner and boss. Over and over. I think it is his way of feeling important. Just as trying to bully people is. Power. Knowledge that is not true knowledge or in any way practical. When he has taken vacations he has called work wanting to know the trivial things he is missing. Whenever I leave a work place I LEAVE a work place. When I am booted in a week or so I will be GONE. Melvin will try to hang on. He will call people and ask about their lives seeking gossip. AND THEY WILL NOT CARE!
It is like a love affair ending. Often one moves on and another clings to what WAS.
He will be very lonely.
Despite a dislike of that person I feel for him that so much of his life is built on the lives of others. Living vicariously through them. He is not active on the internet. When the factory closes I think he will be lost. Living in the past. I only talk to people at work because we work together. Once they are gone or WE gone from that place… nothing. I believe it will be that way with my coworker. The shared place will be gone and all go off and live their separate lives with nothing in common except a shared past.
Despite the shared animosity, we share a long past. That is all it is and will be.
Life is karmic in that our actions of the moment create a future. For my part I learned how NOT to be knowing Melvin. I will be lonely, but I will not cling to the past. I learned from my errors in my past by trying to hold onto loves that died. That is what a work place can be: An old lover. Dysfunctional at times but a place we invest much emotion in.