No, not “Buckle up” as in we care about your safety, but rather the unhelpful admonition someone trying to be helpful gives you when you feel beaten down by life, feeling bruised by the harsh world and the bullies in it. I have experienced this sort of thing and once I realized what was making me so weak and lacking of energy I began to do some research into bullying. Did you know that 1 out of 3 people who work for others suffers this at some time at the hands of (mostly) supervisors? And did you know that most of the bullies in such places are women? Think about your own experiences and I bet you can see this, if not directly, you must have witnessed bullying of others at your job. There are lots of statistics now and most of them come from a report from Australia which is in the forefront of workplace equity and harmony and legal issues concerning mobbing, the correct word for bullying gone viral. That is, most of the mobbing is more than one but less than four supervisory people making life hell for one worker under their thumbs.
If you are someone who suffers from low self-esteem or would rather leave your job than find out about the company policy on bullying, hopefully Zero Tolerance, perhaps what I’ve learned from my own experience can help to ease your mind a little while you take back your life from the schoolyard bullies who used to take lunch from hapless kids but now take salaries from family providers or worse cause workplace chaos, violence, and even in some cases, suicide.
Here are some helpful suggestions I learned the hard way:
1. Don’t forget there is a God in heaven for everyone, not just people of one certain religion. First pray hard for justice, peace and resolution to your problems.
2. Report abuse in the workplace whenever it pops its ugly head above the desks. You are not a little child afraid to tell on a bad grownup. Some bosses sugar-coat their bitter tongues and you don’t realize for some time that they are what have been called,”snakes with two heads.” It is hard to decide at first if it is in your imagination, so document everything you find unfair, biased, prejudiced or just plain illegal for when you file your report.
3. Also, Keep a notebook of positive quotes to supplement your courage during the trials you will undergo as more employees, even those who were once friendly but now are afraid for their own jobs, begin to shun you. Here’s one of my favorites by Paul Bunyan: “If my life is fruitless, it doesn’t matter who praises me, and if my life is fruitful, it doesn’t matter who criticizes me.”
4. Be perfectly certain that you have not done anything wrong, or serious enough to cause censure, pressure to leave or shame at work. Usually, bullies and mobbing result from jealousy, envy, prejudice against age, race, and the rest of the list of illegal reasons for prejudice at work and almost every incident is based on false accusations, gossip and just pure hatred.
5. Remember that most victims of abuse are those the “big” kids think vulnerable due to size, lack of outside support, and weakness. Surprise them by quitting the toxic environment and take the bullies down as you go by reporting them to the top tier of operations who understand only too well the cost of workplace chaos.
6. Remember that the world is full of really good people who get along easily with others, respect talent and experienced people of any age, race or any other difference. You will find a better place no matter what your condition. Unless, of course you allow yourself to be wrecked by these cruel, sick people. I have a rock star friend who wrote a song once called “Scum Floats.” This was inspired by haters who claw their way to the top and spit on anyone else trying to climb up there with them.
7. Remember that “cream rises to the top” as well, and trust the good people in leadership positions. If you are lucky you will find a workplace where the top echelon of supervisory personnel are good leaders who know what makes a company thrive, moving forward into the future on the strength of the smart, talented employees who love their work..
8. Get a good distance between you and the company that looks the other way when you find yourself in a mobbing situation, and be thankful you are out of there. It is not worth a fight to the end; you don’t have to be Django Unchained and see that every hater is wiped out before you ride off into the sunset. There are too many jealous nincompoops who are inept at their jobs in any company. Everyone talks of excellence, but few average workers want to see anyone rise above their mediocrity. When you are outnumbered, leave.
9. Native Americans in the movies were the attackers, but in real life they chose their battles and found no shame in ignoring the call to fight. Te Ata, the great Chickasaw princess, taught me long ago that it is pride of self that makes one walk away, not cowardice. Think about your own dignity and refuse to engage in worthless battle where you will not change the way things are even if you win a pyrrhic victory.
10. Here’s a great quote to help you distance yourself from the fray, crazy-making jealousy that others are hurting you with –while you walk calmly through the chaos:
“If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a multitude of experiences that are not meant for you at all; they are meant to make you useful in His hands, and to enable you to understand what transpires in other souls so that you will never be surprised at what you come across.” —Oswald Chambers.
If you are being bullied it means somebody wishes he/she were you.
Stand tall and walk proudly away where decent people will welcome you into their world. It is a very big world with millions of wonderful, kind, smart, understanding, ethical, generous, and upright people with strong self-esteem who have no need to “cut you down to their size.” Refuse to reduce your bright, talented, innovative self to the dull bulbs that barely shine enough light to see the status quo let alone change it. (Old teacher says.)
Mean people are easy to spot as kids who will grow into bullies if nobody civilizes or enculturates them into the human family, so as the world grows meaner and meaner, remember “You ARE a swan; what are you doing in the mud with the ducks? Fly away! It’s beautiful higher up.
(I’m not disparaging ducks; it’s just that maybe you don’t need to hang with them if they take to pecking you for being “different”?)
Feel free to comment on any of my posts, and you may quote me, but give me a little credit somewhere?