Friday, May 6, 2011

My Office Bully

Bullying - To treat in an overbearing or intimidating manner.  To make (one's way) aggressively.

We talk about bullying in schools, bullying on the internet, bullying on the playground, etc. But, what about bullies in the work place? I never really thought about it until recently. I have an office bully. He has bullied me for years and years. I never thought of him as being a bully, but it makes total sense. He fits the definition to a T. The light bulb came on when a co-worker/friend said “don’t let him bother you, he’s just a bully”! I guess I thought once you were a “grown up” you didn’t have to worry about bullies any more, except to protect children.

This guy is unbelievable. I’ve tried everything. I’ve gone the really nice and kind route (killing with kindness doesn’t really work on evil people). I’ve tried the passive aggressive route. I’ve tried the getting mad approach. I’ve reported him to HR. I’ve even tried not speaking to him. But, as with most bullies, this made no difference and trying to ignore him was almost impossible. I’ve seen this guy berate his assistants into tears. Heck, he even bullies his wife on the phone. What I don’t understand is why he is allowed to act like this in the office. Maybe it’s because others haven’t looked at this as bullying. Maybe they need to be enlightened. Sometimes, we think things change once we become adults. But, I’m filing this in the “high school never ends” category. The more I think about my working years, I realize that I’ve encountered quite a few bullies along the way. (Male and female.) I wish I had realized they were bullies at the time. I probably would have handled things differently.

I wonder if my current bully was always a bully or if he was bullied growing up. I suspect the later. I used to think of him as a giant jerk that always seemed to get his way. Now I realize he is nothing more than a grown up bully. Not sure why that would make such a difference to me. I suspect it is because I really can’t tolerate bullying of any kind. (I was bullied all through school.) When I believed he was just a “jerk”, I let him get under my skin, upset me, and make my life miserable. Now that I realize he's just a bully, it’s like he doesn’t matter. I can easily dismiss him and his antics. I wish I had realized that sooner. Bullies get no respect in my book.