Alice and George both worked in the same, stressful department at work, the customer service center. When they started working there, they both dealt with extremely angry customers each day. While both found it stressful, they could handle it initially without it affecting their mood. Eventually, however, the negativity they dealt with each day began to seep into the rest of their lives. Alice had begun practicing meditation, but George did not.
Even though her work was still often stressful, she learned to detach herself from the demands of angry customers. She realized that her customers weren’t directly angry with her, and this helped to relieve her stress. George did not do anything to handle his stress. He just toughed it out. Eventually he got fed up and one day a customer called in and told George that his company and George himself were “woefully incompetent.” George lost it and began curse out the customer before hanging up the phone. George quit his job the next day.