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Rude behavior can bite back

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

Matt Buckland, a staffing and recruiting executive at a London firm, got the last laugh after a rocky commute to work.

During a morning subway ride, Buckland stood to one side to allow a woman to get by. In so doing, he momentarily blocked another passenger from boarding.

The passenger rammed into Buckland, pushing and shoving along the way. He shouted and even cursed at Buckland for good measure.

Buckland chalked up the exchange to a typical run-in with a rude commuter on a crowded subway car.

Hours later, however, the tables turned. Buckland was interviewing job candidates when he looked up to greet his next applicant—and recognized the pushy, profane guy from the subway.

“It was totally awkward,” Buckland told the BBC in an interview. “So I approached it by asking him if he’d had a good commute that morning. We laughed it off and in a very British way I somehow ended up apologizing.”

The candidate did not get the job, although Buckland emphasizes the reason had nothing to do with their rough encounter earlier that day. “He wasn’t right for the role,” he told the BBC.

The lesson? You never know when your behavior outside the office can affect your reputation at work.

If you treat people poorly on a subway or in line at the supermarket, your actions can come full circle. Buckland calls it “karma” that a rude stranger walked into his office for a job interview later that same day.

—Adapted from “Commuter tells man to f*** himself, then turns up for job interview with him,” Tim Chester, www.mashable.com.

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