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.