Those lyrics from Radiohead's "Karma Police" couldn't better describe the events that transpired around 4:45pm at my workplace today. After years of snide comments, insults, misrepresentations, mountains of disrespect, and casting it all aside, I couldn't accept it anymore. I lost it.
I can't remember ever being that angry ever in the thirty-two years of mornings I've been blessed enough to wake up for. Sure, there have been times where I've been angry but never teetering on the edge of physically assaulting someone without following through with it. At least when I'd get into a fight there would be anger leading up to it but knowing that a scrap would end things right then and there made it easier to not be so angry if that makes sense. Even if I wasn't the victor (and believe me, I've taken my fair share of shots) at least my feelings were communicated in a way that was easy to understand. As time aged on I sought out the path of more reason, telling myself that there was nothing worth getting so worked up about. I let things go and it worked.
But there I was at 4:45pm, hands shaking as rage coursed through my veins causing them to pop out of my forehead and neck, turning my face tomato red. I removed myself from the situation three times because I felt as if I couldn't trust myself to stay cool and, no matter how good it would've felt to communicate my feelings physically, that the repercussions in the end would not have justified the means. Unfortunately, that just fanned the flames. This was my job, my means of living life, and that was being used as leverage against me. I felt trapped. I felt owned.
My buttons had been pressed for years but this time the "out of order" light didn't illuminate. Action was getting reacquainted with reaction. I took all my frustration and anger and I let it go in a verbal way, refusing to give in and turn the other cheek. I didn't curse (I'm still in shock I was able to do that) but instead chose to finally let all my feelings fly with the understanding that my little share session could result in my termination. I didn't care. I was not going to take one more ounce of disrespect and I was there to make sure everyone knew that.
In the end I was a little disappointed that I blew my stack because in a way I felt as if I'd lost the mild mannered person I'd worked so hard to become. Overall, however, I was proud. I was proud of myself for taking a stand, even if it was potentially my final stand. I'd rather starve than feel owned like that. After all, at the end of the day I report to myself, not a boss, not friends, not family, not God. Me.