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Karma pie

In my former life, I worked in administration for a global energy company.  I worked hard, put my time in and climbed the corporate pecking order ladder.  The job family was a good fit for me because I am organized and efficient, can juggle projects, connect the dots, and keep things moving.

After being promoted to a more senior position supporting one of the Vice-Presidents, I found myself with many new responsibilities and challenges. The man I reported to was kind, agreeable and well respected. Definitely a high flyer and certainly on track to become something more.  We developed an easy camaraderie, I made some new friends and, for a time, felt very much at home.

Then, one day, everything changed.  We were all told that our present boss would be moving on to a new opportunity and we’d be getting a new VP from another part of the business.   Not a problem, I thought. In my career, I’d had many supervisors and had made many such transitions successfully.

A farewell lunch was held and the old boss shipped out; arrangements began to move the new guy in from downtown.

A few days later, I received a phone call from his then assistant. The movers were scheduled to pack belongings the next day and she wondered what time I planned on being there. Surprised, I asked, “Why?  “So you can photograph the birds,” was her reply.  What?

You see, the new boss was an avid hunter and apparently had a variety of stuffed birds mounted in his office.  He expected – demanded actually – that the birds and his very large swordfish be hung in the same fashion at his new office.

Lest you think I am against hunting, I’m not.  I grew up on a farm and I understand what happens when the deer herd is over-populated. It’s not pretty.  I’ve grown up with hunters and I’ve eaten some game.   Any hunter I know eats what they take, and they don’t just kill for killing’s sake.

Back to the story.  Boss moves, birds, fish and assorted dead things get hung up on the wall. Staff meets boss, and boss makes his mark on the department.  And not in a good way.  Boss yells at employees, talks down to staffers and soon .. people begin to hide and I ponder changing careers.

Flash forward a few months … boss books an expensive hunting excursion for exotic game in Africa.  Every single one of us endure endless meetings derailed by his hunting talk.

Finally, the date arrives for his “big trip.”  We wished him well, shut the door and erupted in cheers because we all knew what we were in for — three gloriously delicious weeks of mutual respect, project work, a host of accomplishments and, at long last, peace.

And then, like a dark cloud, he returned.

With stories of the trip of course … And pictures!

Pictures … of the carnage.

Antelope. dead.
Gazelles. dead.
Water buffalo. dead.
Lions. dead.
Zebras. dead.

Zebras!  Who shoots a Zebra?  That’s like shooting a pony!

I found myself sitting at my desk, reeling at the blood and the gore and the look of absolute delight on his face.  I still shudder when I think of those images.

Time passed, and our work life returned to normal.   He continued on as usual, swearing at the mail room clerks when his paper wasn’t delivered on time and made a sport out of crucifying analysts in budget meetings. Halls were empty and staffers hid regularly.

Over time, I notice him growing increasingly agitated.    Why?

Because his shipping container of African dead things – all the skins and hides and hooves and heads that he couldn’t wait to display – was delayed.  In Customs.  Where it sat in the hot African sun.  And rotted, rendering all contents unusable.

And to this day, I still smile when I think of that day:  the day that one of the nastiest people I’ve ever known had himself a big, fat slice of Karma pie.

this is what I imagine Karma pie to look like .. but perhaps it's chunkier and hard to choke down?

And I like to think those animals smiled with me.

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Categories: Animals, Faith, Gratitude, Growth, Life Lessons, Men, Opinion, Travel | Tags: , , | 20 Comments

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20 thoughts on “Karma pie

  1. Thanks for a good laugh! That really is a disgusting looking pie. 🙂

    • Thanks, I thought so, too. I found it on the web, I think it’s avocado pie. Either way … Rude Rudy!!

      and this story is 100% true. I forgot to mention that I transferred out of that job soon after … and that led to new friends & adventures that I wouldn’t change for anything. Whee !! MJ

  2. Linda Robertson Bourgeois

    Great story…and I am glad they rotted as well. I once had a female boss that was as distasteful in a different way but she liked talking down to everyone. I think that this is a sign of insecurity.

    • Most definitely! I have had a wide variety of bosses but that one was the worst. On all levels. As my mother would say, “A great reminder of what not to be!” -Thanks for weighing in … MJ

  3. Oh, how sad that you had to endure hearing about that trip. I realize, too, that hunting is necessary….I guess. But I still don’t like to think about it, and could never shoot an animal. Not sure I could even do it in self-defense.
    Glad that was your “former life”!

    • The word I would use is “grotesque.” But it was fitting … The good news is that THAT exact moment forced me to really examine my life … my career, and my goals. And, over a period of about 4 months and with the hubb’s support and encouragement, I made an abrupt change into an entirely new field that I * surprise * excelled at :). Sometimes … we have to go through the rain to get to the rainbow.

      Cheers! MJ

  4. Alright! That is SO what karma pie looks like. Great story!

    • Isn’t that the grossest pie you’ve ever seen? And yes that is quite a story – and 100% percent true. You can’t make this stuff up. It’s really unbelievable, looking back.

      Cheers! MJ

  5. Ugh. I’ve dealt with some difficult people in my work life, but none like the one you’ve just described. How do people like that manage to advance, much less maintain their positions? He sounds like a real piece of work.

    • I think people in those positions ‘rise to the highest level of their incompetence’.

      • in this case … fear won. Management was afraid of him. He was a loud well-connected bully and the Peter principle was definitely in effect. I hear that he is still with that same company and doing quite well. I shudder to think of what his staffers lives are like …. ugh – MJ

    • Simple: companies are afraid to deal with them so they get promoted out … he’s now even higher in the company. He wasn’t inept as much as he was mean. Sadly … some other poor souls have to deal with him now. Imagine what that must be like at home? Ugh! Thanks, Terri, for weighing in … MJ

  6. Oh, MJ, you’re too funny. I read part of this to my husband and although he’s a hunter, he laughed at the same parts I thought funny.
    The place where you work has got to be fun. So glad you could “move on.” It certainly wasn’t funny back then, I know, but you really handled this with humor.

    • I’m glad you both enjoyed it :). That job was short-lived; I transferred to another part of the business a few months later and that started me down a new path. It was definitely a trying time, though, and I’m sure glad I made it through with my sanity… there were many moments when I wondered if that was possible ;). Thanks for checking in, MJ

  7. Oh MJ,
    You made me laugh with this one. You see, my husband the hunter, loves to watch hunting shows on tv. He has grown very considerate of my distaste and often advises me to look away or just turns the channel. But this happened after the worst argument we ever had. What was it over you ask? Ted Nugent’s big game adventure which included killing a zebra.

    Who kills a zebra – my exact words – before the next string of really bad ones. Yikes!

  8. I suppose such bosses serve some sort of useful purpose, such as teaching us tolerance and patience (or forcing us to move on to better things). Perhaps on his next hunting excursion karma will serve a second helping–in the form of a zebra herd making “mincemeat pie” of him!

    • At the time, I gnashed my teeth a lot. I dropped 8lbs in one week from the stress. When my hair started to fall out I knew it was time to *gasp* approach HR and ask for a transfer. It did teach me something: to speak up sooner!!

      As for the zebras, I still think that there’s a special place already reserved for the likes of him .. and it’s … warm.

      Cheers! MJ

  9. Yikes! You lost me at zebra! I am not particularly a fan of hunting although I have hunters in the family. They eat what they hunt and they don’t kill zebras or anything else that like that. I shoot with a camera. That guy did you a favor!

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peace full home®—intentional living

making your home, your life and your world a place you love

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Connecting with people in my path

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Renee Johnson Writes

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just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

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A view in pictures, from me to you

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

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Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

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