In the beginning of my adulthood in a foreign country with little support and no degrees – l’m not academic – l received a call from a shaitel macher that l ‘got the job’. A decade before the internet everything was by phone. I had called her a week before to wash and set shaitels. That week l learnt, was the waiting time…for what? To tease my very young self that l may or may not be needed. The selective, subjective threat of ‘whats if?’ lay in the balance.

I worked with her for precisely 3 months. Her temper was overwhelmingly unchecked and my young, freshly pregnant self was not in need of unhealthy people. I was traumatised from temper explosions and my young self fled that scenario in order to get away.

Fast forward 32 year and l’ve continued to be exposed to explosive situations at work. But never for long. I don’t reward these people with my presence. Either l leave or they do. My life is worth more than the sum total of an unchecked adult temper tantrum. We must know the difference between high voltage work deadlines and adults behaving badly.  Instead, l reward myself with peace.

Deborah Rechter, in her article: What would you have done?  took a whole year to leave a plum job. Perhaps she thought it was the perfect job of a life time. Yet each deplorable explosion sucked the life out of this dream. While l would have left earlier, l’m not in anyone else’s position and my resources aren’t hers. But there cannot be a steadfast commitment to a relationship that doesn’t take adults seriously. Adults are help mates to reach their end goal. The failure to challenge  abusive behaviour is rewarding the abuser with more time.

Wishing all of us peace and success in our work and home spaces, with a commitment to be kinder to ourselves – first and foremost.

Shana tova to all.

Article by Author/s
Tania Hammer
Tania Hammer was born in Sydney Australia, emigrated to New York when she was 22, got married, had a child, moved around a bit until she found her footing in Far Rockaway after she got divorced. Although Tania doesn't have any academic degrees, her community activism should earn her a PHD. Thousands of Shabbat guests and singles groups could attest to this! Tania made Aliya in 2016 and now lives with her daughter Grace and her dog Milly in Jerusalem.

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