How I Transformed a Toxic Office Environment in 3 Minutes
Heath was the self-proclaimed eyes and ears of the office.
With the information he gathered, he would carefully curate it for his own needs. Heath was very insecure and in desperate need of ego validation, so he was constantly scanning the floor for people to feed his thirst for positive attention. If he felt someone was not being as positive toward him as he wished, he’d make their life miserable. He’d gossip with other assistants and fuel any gossip he encountered with tidbits he’d gleaned during his fact-finding missions.
Then, he’d rally people around him and against whomever committed the egregious act of not giving him the recognition he thought he was due.
Many times, I had to stop what I was doing and tend to whatever discomfort Heath had unearthed to maintain a semblance of peace in my office area.
I had, long ago, decided to stop talking about others. This greatly upset Heath and all of his gossipy consorts. It really frightened him that I refused to engage with gossip in any way.
Shortly after starting back at this job after a long hiatus, I noticed that when Heath went out of his way to do a “small favor” for anyone, it came with a price. For, you see, whatever was given to one person was taken from someone else.
Heath’s manipulative ways caused an almost palpable sense of discomfort on our floor. He would befriend people and mine gossipy tidbits for future use. Then, using impeccable timing, he would casually let these precious, juicy items slip to hook those who wished to be a part of the high-powered world. His subtext was that he knew more than anyone else. Other people became his eyes and ears because they wanted to be a part of the gossip, too.
That’s another thing. Information was gold. People would hoard it and bring it out at key moments, wielding it, spending it and, at times, doing great harm with it.
Dealing with the fearful, roiling energy that came with Heath became a part of my spiritual practice. Even when he was not around, Heath had people on his side that wanted to gather information, too. Better to be the gatherer than the recipient of gossip. I did my best to go around him and not deal with him, but that made things worse. When I left him alone, he sensed that I was “up to something” and would gossip even more.
Meditating and visualizing protection, healing and love became not just a daily practice, but an hourly (if not minute by minute) occurrence.
The quieter I got, the more pressure I felt. People could not handle it.
One day, I had had enough. I’d used essential oils to surround myself with love and light and protection and still felt incredibly encroached upon. So one morning, I got to the office early. We were the only two people on the floor. The quiet office offered the perfect opportunity for me to center myself in love. I thought of why I loved myself. The anger for being so encroached upon for so long was still there, but somehow, when I focused on love, it became powerfully, lovingly protective. I vowed that this overpowering, fearful, insecure energy that seemed to permeate every cubicle and office would end once and for all.
I approached Heath, with oil in hand and a clear intention of love. He had seen me with oils before and even had used a few to calm himself, so this was nothing new.
He laid his outstretched palm in front of me and I poured a dime-sized amount into it and did the same with mine.
As we both rubbed the oil into our hands, he asked what it was for. Deciding to let my intuition speak, I took a deep breath and said “Freedom.” Then, “kindness,”
Then he added, “hope…”
I still felt a strong sense of compassion mixed with a commitment to the idea that this fear-based reign of terror would end, so I said, “Love.”
It was like a nuclear energetic bomb exploded and Heath let out a loud, “Oh!” and sat down in the nearest chair.
Nothing was the same after that. Did he stop gossiping? No. Did he stop the encroaching, negative behavior? For a while.
But, everything changed for me. I was able to see the power of my intuition at work around me.