Tuesday, April 30, 2013

That day the bully dropped by...

I don't like bullies, I never have - and after I left school (where bullying was rife, largely uncontrolled and always swept conveniently under the carpet by our head and deputy head - something that sounds shocking today) I thought I'd never see another day where a bully held sway over me or anyone else I was directly involved with.

Of course, you soon get to learn that bullies don't really change magically overnight like you see in the movies. In real life, Bullies usually grow up and merely sharpen their 'skills' in other ways - sometimes even at your place of work.

I lost my cool completely this morning. Something I've managed to avoid doing for the majority of the time I've been in my current role - mainly because someone in my office was being bullied (verbally, thankfully not physically) by someone else.

I flipped. I could probably blame a lack of sleep (didn't get quite enough sleep last night, one of those disturbed nights where deep sleep slips through my fingers like mercury), but it could also be because over the past 7 years or so I've seen this particular bully's modus operandii and method of exerting his bone-brained will on various people I work with. Normally I'd keep out of an argument if it didn't involve me but there was something about the language this person was using, the methods they were exerting over the person who couldn't stick up for themselves (or wouldn't), that pressed all of my 'Hulk-Out' buttons all at once.

To coin a phrase, I lost my shit, big time. It happens so infrequently that I actually felt like I'd gone into shock afterwards. I ended up in front of my boss, explaining the situation (and sounding pathetically like a kid whose opening gambit is 'he started it') and then again later apologising (though not to the bully - though a tiny voice inside me was telling me I ought to, just to prove I was somehow the better person).

I still don't like bullies. I detest the various excuses that creep out of the woodwork whenever a bully reaches the end of their reign of terror and people finally bring them to task for what they've done. I cannot stand the way that, deep down, though you'd hope the incident made them think long and hard about themselves and the way they deal with people - you secretly know that it's had the same effect on their thick skin as a flea has on a Sherman Tank. Most of all I hate the way I now feel like the lowest of the low, simply because I stood my ground and got pretty shouty (and sweary, ack) in the process.

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