We choose the people we have in our lives, and we choose what we believe.
If you choose to work/associate with manipulative, deceitful, cruel, unethical, malevolent snakes (though, admittedly, that is unfair to reptiles), I hope it works out for you. It won’t, but I still wish you well. Why? Because I’ve been there. For years I obediently trusted people who demanded trust but never earned it, who lied, who manipulated, who demeaned, who made but never kept promises, who whispered viciously behind backs, who intentionally deceived the people around them to get what they wanted, who blamed everyone but themselves for their actions - and the consequences of those actions, who threw their loyalest supporters under the bus the instant it profited them.
I believed the pretty words that were backed by even prettier words and zero actions. I ignored the many voices of reason that gently brought up things they had heard… and asked me if they were true. For the record, every awful, impossible-to-believe rumor I fervently denied ended up being true. Every. Single. One. I didn’t and wouldn’t see the awful truth right in front of me, because I chose to believe that the tiny, fleeting slivers of decency I saw were indicative of what I hoped were genuinely good people. They were not. The slivers of decency were manipulations and deceptions crafted from the memories of goodness that haunt the empty chamber where the heart would be, had it not withered and disintegrated from disuse.
Who you are when you think no one is looking IS who you are.
There are certain groups and individuals that I will not work or associate with - now or ever - because I have decided manipulative, deceitful, cruel, unethical, illegal and unkind behavior is unacceptable and I will not have it in my life anymore. You, of course, are free to work and associate with whomever you will. But I will not have those individuals in my life, on any level, ever again.