I was reading Ask a Manager and there’s a post I never thought I would see in the longest time: someone actually asked about a co-worker threatening curses on others, the post was titled “An Employee is Putting Magic Curses on Her Coworkers”:

I’ve recently been contacted by a supervisor in our company who has heard that one of his subordinates has been regularly “cursing” both him and his daughter (who also works for our company). By “cursing,” I don’t mean using foul language. I mean she considers herself something of a witch and has been literally putting curses on these people.

It was quite surreal, I tell you. Alison of Ask a Manager gave fairly good advice about the situation, I figured I may as well put my 2p in it since, well, I’m an actual Witch and I have had an office-setting job before. (Metaphysics training or not, everyone has to have a job. Bills don’t magically pay themselves.)

My take:

Oh. My. Gods. Anyone who regularly curses is totally batty. It’s one thing to curse once in a while (and note, as rarely as possible) but to be regularly cursing people because you never learned other, more useful coping mechanisms? Batty and rightfully insane. Seriously, just learn some better coping mechanisms when it comes to dealing with crappy people, the world is full of them so why waste the time and energy to choke up an effective jinx?

So Ms. Alison asked for more info and it turns out the person writing in works HR in a school division and the basic story is there are four janitors, named here as Jeff (head janitor), Mandy (assistant head janitor), Whitney (cleaner) and Roberta (cleaner).* Mandy doesn’t like Jeff and Whitney and expresses so. Roberta tells the OP that Mandy has said something along the lines of “When people make me angry, or cross me, I don’t worry because I have ways to get rid of them. And I’ve cursed them. I have a place in my house with candles and other items and I know how to do that.” Whitney is scared silly of being cursed and is looking up ways to ward them off online (bad idea because the internet is full of crazies), Jeff doesn’t care. The OP just wants to know if this can be taken as a bona fide threat between employees.

Before I continue: this, people, is why I am so glad I don’t post spells here on BW. Alright, moving on.

Ms. Alison said yes and I agree. If I were fielding the question, I would also inform the OP to treat it as a threat and respond to it accordingly, which should include possible termination from position for Mandy.

Look, I know I’ve dealt with not-cool people at work – everyone has, and will – but threatening to jinx? No way. There are much more mundane ways to handle annoying or bad co-workers and that includes going to HR. No one at your job (hopefully) is worth the energies that casting a spell, especially a revenge spell, will cost. Instead, just know your rights as an employee and speak up when things go awry. Like a normal worker. And if it is that bad, feel free to use this handy guide of employment I wrote and find a new job. Otherwise, you look completely mental if you go the “I’ma hex you!” route. Either deal with it like a normal person or start looking about on Indeed.com.

I really feel bad for everyone involved – except for Mandy – because they have to put up with such foolishness. Mandy is an assistant head janitor so it is clear that she has some power of authority and should have used that to solve whatever problem she was having with her co-workers instead of going the vindictive route. Instead, she hexes when someone makes her angry or crosses her? Oh, come on. Welcome to real life, where not everyone is going to be sugary sweet to you and crap happens. Occasionally, people are going to make you mad because the human experience is complex. Does it make it right? Not always, but you have to learn how to deal with the fact that people can be jerks in a better way than looking for your jinx kit. That’s just a sign of a really vitriolic, hot headed person who won’t deal with the problem directly for whatever reason. And that is not someone that the OP should want to continue working for them because it’s going to be a slippery slope.

Yep, I said “slippery slope”, here’s the thing: if Mandy is already easy to get hot under the collar for some non-descript reason, she probably will also get pissy at the OP/HR Person and use her usual “I’ma curse you!” because she will feel angered by the fact s/he is siding with Whitney and Jeff, and try it on Roberta because she spoke up (and good on her for doing so). Mandy doesn’t seem to have the wherewithal to handle the fact that not everyone likes her and how to respond to that in a professional manner, which she really needs to learn if she wants to be an effective member of the American workforce.

So, moral of the story for my more witchy readers: Don’t jinx your coworkers if you have a problem with them. Instead, handle the problem like a rational person and use the methods that should already be provided for you within the company/school/business/whatever is provided to you. If those methods are not provided or ragged with corruption, then look for a new job. I know the economy is hard but it is possible with the correct tools. And if you’re hot-headed like Mandy was, learn some cooperation and mediation (not “meditation”) skills.

*Of course they’re not real names.