sharing some food for thought about the bullying issue.
when we think back about our life, we probably can remember an act of bullying. perhaps you were the bully or the bullied. either way the reflection on this phenomenon has grown with us exponentially. we are only hearing about the cyber and school yard victims. we are forgetting how long bullying has been around. i can remember my first experience.
shortly after moving to the west coast and settling into a new position i started to take note of some strange behavior by a few staff members. it takes time to adjust to your new surroundings after a move and new job. but, your fresh eyes on the situation that was masked prior can help in solving everything from sales quotas to human resource issues.
the most polite and meekest member of the staff was also the best groomed and tardiest. always well informed and willing to help without being asked. the model employee. another unusual staff member was the exact opposite. loud, late and less informed i would wonder how he got hired. it was these two individuals that collided and resulting in my first hand knowledge of bullying.
the younger brash person would – believe it or not – place a stinky insole into the polite person’s lunch bag everyday. the polite person would try to hide the bag. but, the brash person had some inside knowledge of where the bag was hid everyday. the polite person would then leave the business to purchase lunch everyday. at minimum wage this worked out to be approx. 12 to 13 % of their monthly take-home. that’s a lot of money when living on minimum wage.
i didn’t want to intervene between the two until i found out who else was involved. i found out that the brash person also was bullying the other staff to find the hidden lunch bag everyday. i started to befriend the polite quiet person and would take my lunch break at the same time. i would also offer to buy their lunch every time. i would always say that one day they could return the favor.
several weeks later during pay day i was handing out cheques. i gave my polite friend their cheque and passed out the rest throughout the day. the brash person wanted to know the next day why the cheque wasn’t in their staff mailbox. i said we used it to buy lunch for the last several weeks. i thought that was what you wanted when you decided to take the liberty of placing a stinky insole into a lunch bag. i thought that was your way of saying – i’m buying some sole food’.
dear reader: i handed the cheque and 2 weeks severance. don’t tolerate bullying.