There was once a very strict boss. People who worked under him were always afraid of him. He used to say, “I do not want any idlers in my office. They will be fired!” If anybody was slow, he became furious. If anybody was idle, he insulted them badly.
One day this boss saw one of his workers loitering outside in the corridor. What is more, the worker was enjoying chewing gum. The boss was infuriated. He marched up to the man and said, “I cannot tolerate this kind of behaviour. I want my workers to be very, very active and dynamic. What do you think you are doing? You are such a bad fellow. I do not want you to be in my office any more. By the way, how much money do you get? I have a little sympathy for you and for your family. Tell me, how much money do you receive?”
The worker said, “I get one hundred rupees a month.”
“All right,” said the boss. “I am giving you one hundred rupees. Now go and find somewhere else to work. One month’s salary I have given. I have sympathy for you, but I cannot keep you here because you are a bad example to my other workers. Now kindly leave my office and never, never come back.”
The man left and the boss was very, very happy that there was nobody in his office to idle away time. Then the boss went out for lunch. He had a very nice meal and after two hours he returned to the office.
As soon as he came into his office to work, he thought he saw the same man standing in the corridor eating something. He was consumed with anger. He sent for his assistant and said, “This fellow is so ungrateful! I gave him money for an entire month. I told him, ‘Go out and find another job. I am giving you one hundred rupees so that you and your family will not suffer.’ Now what is that bad worker doing here? He is ruining the atmosphere in my office. Others will follow his example and they will also become lazy. He should be punished! Bring him here.”
So the assistant brought the man to the boss. The boss was so angry that he could not even look at the man. He exploded, “You are impossible! When I fired you, I gave you so much money! Why are you still here? What are you doing?”
The man calmly took a letter from his pocket and gave it to the boss. The letter was from a friend of the boss inviting him to come for dinner that evening. After reading the letter, the boss looked more closely at the worker and realised that this was not the worker he had fired. It was somebody who worked in his friend’s office.
So this is what anger can do. At first the boss was very strict. He did not want anybody to be idle or to waste time. Then, when he fired the lazy worker, he was generous to some extent. He showed his compassion. Finally, when he thought the lazy worker was still lingering, he became so furious that he did not even look at the worker properly. He thought that it was the same person. His anger was so great that he could not see clearly. Anger does not allow us to see the right person or do the right thing.