Of course I’ve been interested in all the talk recently about “trolls” online and while I don’t think I’ve ever been the victim of online bullying, I know plenty of people who have and famous cases aside, it hasn’t been getting the attention it deserves. It does start with education – you can ignore, block or report these people.. which is so easy compared to the offline world.
I’d love to ignore those in my every day life who are bullies.
Instead I wonder if their hands hurt when they strangle the passion of others. I wonder if they worry about flesh on the heels of their shoes as they tread on heads. I wonder, how long this time will it be before the bully is promoted, leaves for fresh head pastures or gets tired of smashing ideas.
Bullies in the workplace have never failed to bring me to tears. That’s right, a grown woman.
The first bully I encountered was a bully because he didn’t really understand the web and didn’t want a little student $15ph web programmer like me being able to do online what his big heavy VB application took thousands of lines of code and his high priced skills to do on a server. I didn’t know how to cope. I endured 12 months before I cracked it and left the company.
The second bully I encontered, thought she knew a lot about the web and was angry because swinging her ample chest in my direction did not have the same impact it had on the male engineers. She stomped her high heels a lot and shouted a lot too. No well constructed emailed reason of why she couldn’t have an all-singing-all-dancing-widget on her CD 2minutes before launch to 400,00 customers made any difference. I cried a bit. I then gave her a nickname and stuck to the plan of always responding to her long emails in multicoloured font until the day I heard she’d been promoted or left the company.. I had endured her torment for 9 months.
I’ve since experienced 2 other bullies who have impacted my work life and both times I have been incapable of standing up to them. I am ashamed at my lack of fortitude in the real world.
So bring on the cyber bullies and trolls.. who I know can never make me dread going into work, who can never make me feel devalued as a person, who are never my superiors and who have no control over me.