Friday, January 28, 2011


Okay, I'm going to try and do this post without getting bitchy or gossiping. The last is hard, mostly because someone can say that talking about anyone at all is gossiping, especially if it's things that they don't want known. But then, none of you know the people I'm talking about, so is it gossiping? Also there's the harm factor - keeping quiet about it in real life has the possibility of allowing or causing harm, at least in the emotional sense.

When we hear the word 'bullying' we think about children being bullied in school. It seems like such a kid thing to do, really. To choose someone who is smaller, weaker or more vulnerable and isolated than oneself to vent our negative emotions on. Bullying has a multitude of forms, but it's all about power. The bully typically feels powerless in their own life. They may be living in an abusive home. They take all their own pain and helplessness out on someone else because that's what they've learned is acceptable. The strong attack the weak.

But it's absolutely possible for people to be bullied as adults.

We have such a situation at my work. D is bullying H2.

Look at that chart. Except for a few, like the physical attacks and stealing her things, these are all things that D is doing to H2. She blames her for everything. She bad mouths her to others, hinting that H2 is stealing from the till, cheating on her time punches, lying, taking drugs, stealing from the government. Please don't get me wrong, H2 has problems in her life. She's not perfect by any means, but that doesn't mean she deserves this treatment. No one deserves to be talked about and accused behind their back. No one deserves to be mocked and made fun of and insulted to their face. H2 has psoriasis and it's gotten much worse in the past couple of weeks.

She feels awful about it. She hates it already and has issues with her body and liking herself because of it. It's an easy wound to poke, and D has. I didn't know that until today, of course. I've known that D doesn't like H2, for no reason that I can discover except, perhaps, jealousy over some things, and I've known that she tries to start rumors about her. We all know it and we don't enable or encourage D, and we call her on it when we're there to hear her tell other people about H2's 'crimes'. But we're not always there. And I didn't know that she'd started insulting H2 to her face now.

Our boss knows, and is going to 'deal with it', whatever form that might take. But right now we're just sitting her wondering how someone can be so vicious and petty as a grown adult to do such childish things.


  1. I'm always amazed at how long this stuff goes on. Adults always tell bullied kids that it will get better after high school, and it does, but the bullying and mindgames and cliquishness are still around, just not as visible and hopefully not as often. A woman who worked with my mom (actually, sort of her boss) was always incredibly cruel to her and would tear her down, make accusations against her, and sometimes steal credit for her work. My mom could never figure out the reason, but everyone outside the situation could tell the boss was worried b/c my mom's work was always being praised and the woman was always afraid she would be replaced.

    Up until the past couple years when my mom started having health problems and was advised to do more hands-off administrative work, she loved being actually in schools with the kids and would never have dreamed of taking that job (superintendent). But when that person quit and mom was the top choice for the position, the old superintendent actually went to great lengths, sabotaged her and called in favors to get another candidate who hadn't even applied into the job. Ridiculous. So...yeah. All that to say I don't get it either, and some people never grow up and don't seem to care that they're messing with other people's lives.

  2. Wow. That is some long term crazy that woman had going on.

    I just do not understand how people can remain so childish and vicious as adults. And, to make it worse for me, the woman who is doing the bullying claims to be a good Christian. I mean, clearly that is not the case, but the insane level of hypocrisy going on in her head...boggling.

  3. You should tell her what the Bible says and if she is the one who takes it literally, she should get the message. Or one would hope. Crazy! :(

  4. Susanne,

    It's the same lady, yes. Nergh. And if all the time she spends in church, etc. isn't getting the message through, I doubt anything I say would do the job. Especially considering she doesn't think I'm really a Christian because I don't believe exactly what she claims to believe.

  5. Ack, isn't it frustrating how people are so quick to judge if you don't have the exact same views as themselves? Really sad.

    And yes, adult bullying is definitely a real problem, and, just as in the case of kids, is usually done by people with low self-esteem and self-worth.

  6. It really is frustrating, especially since I've put so much work into coming to my views! Okay, no, I lie, it'd be frustrating even if I'd just pulled my views out of thin air.

    I don't think people realize how much of a problem adult bullying is. I certainly never even thought about it until it hit me that that's what's going on here.


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