Amber Felt Aaron Smith-Levin’s Hate as a Co-worker

Everyone has bad days, says former colleague Amber, but with Aaron Smith-Levin, every day was bad. Aaron’s hate and hostility made her feel unsafe.


I first met Aaron Smith-Levin when he arrived on staff. So, I would say my first impression was, I mean, he seemed normal but once he started being in the organization he was fairly not normal.

He was very non-cooperative and sort of had his own thing that he would do. Like, he—Aaron was kind of, like, on his own agenda or on his own whatever he was setting out to do. So, if you aligned with that, then that was good. But if you didn’t, then he kind of ignored you or shoved past you or overrode you.

Like, you wouldn’t really have to provoke him; he would just be sort of hostile and antagonistic in general.

So, that was his method of handling people, was just—if he didn’t like what you were doing, then you were in his way, then he would just attack you, whether it was physically or verbally. And he didn’t care what effect he created in the other person.

I remember one time, one of his juniors came sprinting into the exec office, where I was sitting, to hide from him because Aaron was chasing him through the building. And he was afraid, like, that Aaron was gonna physically attack him which was not unfounded.

Like, the most senior person in my organization was confronting him on something that he had done. And Aaron’s response to that was to shove him very hard into a wall. And this isn’t—he wasn’t like, old, old, but he was up there, like in his 60s. And Aaron was in his 20s—like this is not a fair—this is not a fair fight, if there is such a thing. And he literally had no remorse at all, whatsoever. Aaron felt like, “That guy deserved it.” He got in his way. Or whatever his thought process was. So, that made me feel not safe around Aaron.

Everybody has bad days. Everybody gets in a bad mood and you can deal with that and, like, I’ve been dealing with people for the last 30 years, it’s not like I’m sensitive. I’m not. But when a person like Aaron is around you all the time and they are continuously in that band of like, anger and hate and hostility, that’s very depressing and oppressive, like it weighs on you.

He was given many chances to, you know—so many chances to change his ways, to fix his attitude, given the benefit of the doubt on so many instances of his misconduct. And yet, he was completely incapable of evaluating his own behavior, like at all.