In September, we watched in shock as 59-year-old Cleveland bus driver, Artis Hughes, delivered a Mortal Kombat-style uppercut to irate passenger, 25-year-old Shi’dea Lane, during a heated altercation. The video that was shot with the camera phone of another passenger immediately went viral, accumulating more than 3 million views in just 24 hours. Hughes was immediately suspended from the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority without pay and on the Nov. 6, the 25-year transportation veteran received his ultimate walking papers.
Despite whether the passenger laid hands on Hughes first, if this situation were handled differently, Hughes could’ve walked away with his job still intact. In the workplace, you will be forced to work with different personalities, some of which you may not get along with. Before you get in a situation that involves removing earrings, balling up fists, or jumping over tables Evelyn Lozada-style, check these three tips on how to keep your cool in the workplace:
Woo-sah and fight the urge to impulsively react: Learning self-control is one of the best things you can do if you want to keep your job. Only you know the triggers when anger is building, so learn to recognize them when they begin. The moment you begin to feel agitated, start taking deep breaths, counting down from 10. Interrupt your angry thoughts by closing your eyes, and try to relax your muscles. Think to yourself, ‘Is it really that serious?‘
Remove yourself and take a walk. If the relaxation and breathing exercises don’t help, try taking a walk around the building, or even outside, if possible. Instead of sitting and simmering in your negative thoughts, going for a quick walk will help to release some anxiety and will direct your anger elsewhere.
Always angry? Consider self-evaluation — therapy, even. Anger is a natural emotion that we all feel. However, if you find yourself constantly angry or irritated at work, you may want to consider getting counseling to find the root of it. It may not be the job at all, but you may find the environment doesn’t help. It only takes one fiery incident to become the angry employee no one wants to work with, and that’s just not hot.