I’m not in power in the corporate world. In the streets, yes, there was a time when I had power. But that was in the past. In the workplace, everything revolves around the power of the pen. Outside the walls of your workplace you’re hospitable to people, you show strangers respect. Why? Because nobody knows who you are—you have no title or authority and they don’t have to deal with your crap. There was a time when people showed respect because it was a common courtesy. Now people are like, “I have this power and I’m in control and you have no say.”
Sometimes power isn’t healthy. People get empowered and they start treating others differently. You can be good friends with someone, and as soon as they get a little power they go on this trip, they go ballistic on their friends, not realizing that these are the same people they’re going to see on their way down.
My thinking is, I won’t wait until you’re on your way down. I’ll be waiting for you outside the door because I’m going to get you to speak to me with respect and I’ll give you respect back. But don’t talk to me like I don’t matter and then apologize later when it’s just the two of us. If you can yell at me in public, you can apologize to me in public.
As a man, it makes me happy when people come up to me and go, “You know what? I apologize. It really wasn’t you I was yelling at. I was having a bad day.” But if you go about your day as if that level of disrespect is the norm, I’m either going to address it or have nothing to say to you. Just don’t speak to me until you’re feeling better because I can black out, and neither one of us wants me to black out.
“Black out” means I’ll be doing 15 to life. I’m dead serious when I say I black out. I just lose all rationality, nothing matters. I have to walk away from situations because I’ll say something I’ll regret or do something I’ll regret. I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older that acting like that isn’t worth it.
Just now, when I went to go see a co-worker friend of mine who was going through something, he kind of lashed out at me so I just looked at him, turned around, and walked away. My look spoke for itself. I didn’t have to say anything else. He knew I was annoyed. We left it as it was. Later, he came to me and apologized for being a butthole.