This article was written by our good friend Jared Owens.
Perhaps it is necessary to ask a few preliminary questions, since after all we‚Äôre talking of bullies and what we‚Äôll do to them. I‚Äôm not one to be rash you see. I prefer to be cold and calculating, shocking the workplace bully to speechless disbelief and stammering immobility.
So, do you love your job or hate it? Depending on your answer, I might recommend finding a new job, because in fact, it seems everyone in your workplace seems to be ‚Äúbullies‚Äù and you‚Äôre probably right; the world is against you. ‚Ä¶So how are things at home? I‚Äôm sorry. The truth is you have bigger problems.
Now, perhaps you enjoy whatever it is you do at your job, but there is this one person whom you speak to very little because inevitably, when it is you do speak, there is a conflict. So, you know with very little interaction you are dialectically opposed to this person. Well, maybe you don‚Äôt know that‚Ä¶ because so often these are the things we detect long before we know how to describe them. Needless to say, after a very short time you most definitely can put words to why you find them unbearable and why your job is, shall we say, unpleasant. So, I imagine this is the way of it. You have to work with this person. It‚Äôs mandatory that you coexist in some workplace vicinity for at least a defined period of time.
Initially you don‚Äôt know exactly why you are ‚Äúdialectically opposed‚Äù. BUT THEN the defining moment comes, probably in the first week of eyeballing and brief exchanges, a verbal power skirmish. When you were a child, and didn‚Äôt go to the workplace, maybe you promptly pushed your peer to get your way, or maybe your peer was a beast and the normal protocol was to flee‚Ä¶ always. Well now that we‚Äôre all so grown up, it‚Äôs not politically correct to knock sense into the idiot, so we verbally vie. And perhaps‚Ä¶ because I love to postulate and say ‚Äúperhaps‚Äù, this is where we are not savvy.
When I say ‚Äúwe‚Äù, I mean all those still grappling with keeping a cool head while very precisely cutting apart the competition. You see, most probably, the bully makes life miserable in one of two ways. He whispers little bad things in the boss‚Äô ear, hoping to gain power in the work place, or he is unabashedly condescending and tells you he hates you to your face whenever it is convenient.
I can think of three things to do. The first is to spit on him or bump him off a ladder. (I‚Äôve been working on ladders with bullies.) You will be workplace free of the bully. Secondly, if the problem is he is poisoning the boss‚Äô brain, be assertive. You must confidently make yourself known to your boss. He‚Äôs got the power. Thirdly, if the tasteless bully is so brash as to belittle you at every turn, use his words against him. Grin at him sometimes and take nothing personally. He‚Äôll see you‚Äôve practically forgotten about him. Then when you need to communicate (you, not him), you have set the precedent and have the power. Do not be so affected that you let little people under your skin.