Dear Karma Cleanser:
I've been working at this bar for three years. I haven't ever fully liked it, but in the past month or so it's really been taking its toll. I work with really nice people, and the customers are (usually) sweet, especially the regulars. But I'm not a people person. I feel bad and beat myself up, thinking I should be, and people keep being nice and I feel worse.
The constant exposure to drinking and alcohol lead me to choose to drink every night. I want to quit this job and get a day job and stop drinking. On the other hand, this bar has been so good to me and pays well. I'm one of only a few employees left.
Do I leave a job and people who've been good to me in spite of my negativity, even though I "feel" the job isn't a good fit and have felt so for years. Or is there another route?
-- Stuck in the Cycle
You know the answer already. Listen to that persistent (and probably annoying) little whine in your mind that's been telling you it's time to hang up the apron and head not for the mountains, but for the far-seeing hills of sobriety, located just to the north of day-job acres and its teeming cubicle farms. Your persistent negativity grows out of the disconnect between your current occupation and what you'd rather be doing with your nights. If you miss the bar so much, you can always go back; the regulars will surely still be there.
Dear Karma Cleanser:
My partner and I have been together for years and we share a bank account. He accuses me of spending money on things we don't need. I, of course, accuse him of being cheap. I now have an allowance of $200 spending money per week. Any other expenses we have to both agree on.
I fudged on my allowance numbers last week. I made a contribution to our local public radio station, which I listen to daily. The contribution also netted me free tickets to see a performer both my partner and I enjoy.
My question is: Am I risking bad karma by not disclosing to my partner how I came across the tickets? The show is still a month away, and once we're there I know he'll enjoy himself. But if he knew that I lied and spent money on what he sees as a needless cause, he will not have fun at the concert.
-- Radio Remorse
Our utilitarian instincts tell us your lie is excusable because it serves the greater good: You're supporting a cause you believe in and also scored a fun night out for you and your honey. We suspect your partner won't agree with that math. If you can live with the guilt, so be it. If not, tell him now so that maybe he can simmer down before the performance night.
Been bad? firstname.lastname@example.org.