Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Keep The Lights On

If you wish to shine like the daylight, burn up the night of self-importance.

Rumi
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I used to know a fellow in New York who was an actor and a friend. We did one show together and it went well. Then he would come to see my plays and I would see his plays and we would hang out and have fun. He was intelligent, friendly and had a sense of humor.

Then one day he asked me to be in a play he wanted to direct. It was a two character play. He cast the other part and scheduled a rehearsal. Immediately into the first day his personality changed. He became dark, a bully, an insulting martinet, criticizing every line reading and being generally obnoxious.

We were only doing it on speculation, there was no contract, so by the second rehearsal the other actor and I decided to drop out. The next time I saw my friend he was his usual jovial self.

I've seen that sort of Jekyll and Hyde behavior before and I don't understand it. What happens to people when they get a little bit of power or influence that they suddenly become a self-important antagonist instead of a friend. I've seen and had to work with that kind of oppressive behavior before but I never knew any of those people in any other context. This was different. This was a friend of mine who abruptly began treating us as if we didn't know what we were doing. Psychologists must have a word for that kind of temporary transformation. I don't know what it is. All I can say is that it was unexpected and unpleasant.

We eventually parted ways over a totally unrelated issue. But there was an element of the unexpected and unrealistic about that also. I finally concluded that there was a strain in his character I had missed for years. Under the right circumstances something made him change, take himself too seriously and to view himself as too important to bother with other people's rights or feelings. It's too bad because he was a nice guy and I liked him.

DB - The Vagabond
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WINTER QUESTION
(This is not a contest)

What was the most significant event that happened in 2010?

dbdacoba@aol.com

Only 1 response so fa

I await your answer.
DB
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3 comments:

pacifica62 said...

I know this all too well. I am working for a boss who exhibits this behaviour. A little bit of power and she is taking out her wrath on most of her employees. No one is safe. I also believe that people do exactly what they want to do and I am not giving her the luxury of making excuses for her behaviour. She knows what she is doing and delights in it and I do not feel sorry for her in the least. I have no choice and have to work with it for a few more months anyways until I can make a graceful exit. I count each moment. You are lucky to be rid of such a person in your life db. Don't feel sorry for him. He got what he deserved and lost a friend because of it.

billy said...

I'm afraid I have to parrot pacifica62, as I work under a tyrannical psycho who when given an ounce of power, makes her colleagues suffer.
The worst thing is, before she got the promotion we got on well.
Alas, I do believe she was always this way, and I just never noticed, so again I'm parroting pacifica62 in saying I think you're lucky to be rid of that man.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Power, more powerful than any drug.