I like to go to the local casino, even if it's about 40 minutes away. My game is no-limit poker, but I'm not close to a card shark. I also don't like to lose a lot of money if I'm not playing well, so I play the game that cost the least amount at the start.

white dogs
zen Sutherland
via Compfight

I got a seat at a table immediately and had a pretty good time for a few hours; only pretty good though. That's because there was a guy to my left who had problems controlling his temper. To say he wasn't having a good day would be an understatement. He was mainly losing to two guys who were, for the most part, dominating the table. When I sat down he warned me about the luck of these two guys; that's a rare occurrence because people rarely point out someone they're having problems with.

I had to deal with his temper tantrums and a lot of cursing. He also kept up a continuous diatribe that, if I wasn't sitting next to him, I might have been laughing out loud. After about an hour I finally to put on my earbuds and listened to a recorded book on my smartphone, as it has noise cancelling properties, and basically blocked him out if I wasn't in the hand.

As much as he was fussing and cursing and behaving badly, it was all his fault. Poker can be a dicey game, one where if you're cautious you'll sit and watch, possibly draining your money without playing any hands, and that's a big part of poker. If you watch tournaments on TV it looks like these guys are playing lots of hands but in reality there's a lot of sitting and watching. At the same time, sitting and watching how people play gives you information, and if you don't play stupidly your money will last for a pretty long time.

Not this guy. I can't think of a single hand he didn't play, and only a few times did he throw his hand in early. He was one of those guys who thought that if he kept betting he'd push people off a hand and pick up enough pots to keep him solid as far as his money went. That's a risky strategy, but one of the guys who kept beating him kept doing the same thing, only his luck was better. On another day he'd probably lose $500 quick and be heading home early.

This isn't a post about poker; it's about behavior. It's about losing control and how others perceive it. I knew this couldn't be a one time thing for the guy who kept losing. This means that every time he leaves the house to go play poker, other players beware. The best thing for everyone is that this wasn't one of those big guys who might decide to confront someone physically. Still, you never know right?

(001/365) Who are you & what have you done with my MOM!?
Daniel Norwood
via Compfight

If you think this kind of behavior is abhorrent you're correct. If you think it's a rare occurrence you'd be sadly mistaken. I've seen many leaders the same way, and it's intolerable. Many employees are scared of leaders like this because they worry about confronting them and losing their jobs. They worry about going to human resources because word will get back to management, which it always does, along with who made the complaint; many human resource departments haven't quite figured out how to handle this type of thing and who they should be working with and protecting.

Why is it that many people don't learn from the past, even if it's not their past? We hear all the time about confrontations that occur in the workplace and end up with someone being killed, and almost always it's someone in a leadership position who was the catalyst.

No one has the right to yell at anyone else at work; no exceptions. Even if you own the business, you need to check yourself. If it's an employee consistently acting like that, they have to go.

The only time I ever remember behavior like that not impacting work is the 1972 - '73 Oakland Athletics, whose players were constantly getting in fights with each other. Yes, they still won 2 championships, but within a couple of years they were all on different teams because they couldn't stand working with each other anymore.

No one wants to be around someone acting like this all the time. The guy I was sitting next to had a few moments where he was a decent guy. But only a few; if I didn't have my smartphone and earbuds with me I might have asked to move to a different table. I got lucky eventually; he finally hit his tolerance limit & left the table. Oddly enough, my game improved as soon as he left, and he wasn't even mad at me. 🙂

Do you exhibit behavior like this, even if it's not on a constant basis? If so, it's something you should think about before that option is taken away from you in one way or another.

At least he didn't yell at me when I beat him out of some hands. 🙂