Taking the Bull Out of Bullying

by elizabeth cassidy • More.com Member { View Profile }

I am the first to admit that I was a bully as a child. This sweet little girl with the curly blond hair, who staged her own Broadway musical productions in her parent’s living room, used to tap-dance around with her dark side. At age four, I decided that if anyone crossed my path I would, without warning, bite them. Under the eye.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to all the kids in Bayside, New York, who spent their summers with a band-aid under their eye. I am truly sorry. I also believe the statute of limitations has run out, so don’t go hiring a lawyer. And besides, I am a creativity coach and the literal translation of this means “woman without money.”

Stock in Dial soap plummeted when I outgrew biting unsuspecting kids. But payback was a bitch. I became the one to be stalked by two mean girls who were hell-bent on making my life miserable in the fourth and fifth grade. And I had to live with it because people assumed it was just a phase they were going through-–sacrificing young virgins on the playground?

I even became a pacifist who abhors any form of violence or cruelty on TV, in the movies or between Kathie Lee and Hoda. I wanted to show by example that I had driven away my demons and become a productive person who wants to leave her mark on the world. My teeth need not apply.

Thinking I would ease into a bully-free life as an adult, I foolishly entered the job market. The thugs of yesteryear were now wearing suits and cheap shoes. And instead of threatening to tell everyone that I ate butter sandwiches (don’t knock it till you've tried try it), these bullies held my paycheck ransom unless I played victim.

These overgrown bullies seem to have reached a level of authority by impressing the crap out of likeminded bullies or intimidating scaredy cats who were hiding out in a corner office. I spent several years dodging their acerbic barbs and threats because I needed the job. Life in a refrigerator box held no appeal to me. I will also admit that my job performance suffered because I could not thrive under a reign of terror. My colleagues and I were suffering from PTSD from Monday to Friday. And here I thought being a bully was just child’s play.

In my case, blessed Karma raised her perfectly manicured hand and bitch-slapped the offenders. They lost their jobs. Sadly, it was not because the company became altruistic. Oh, please. The economy took their power away. I would like to thank our country’s recession for lifting the chains off so many of my co-workers. As for me, I now work for myself and I have a time-out corner at the ready in case I start to give myself some attitude.

Can we get rid of all the bullies in the workforce? I doubt it. Can we make them card-carrying members of Bullies Anonymous? Yes and while we are at it, I say slap their pictures on milk cartons. Let our kids read about their dastardly deeds while chomping down on Captain Crunch. Let’s scare them into nice kids.

And if that doesn’t work, I will personally go into their offices and slap the iPads out of their hands, wipe the smug expressions off their faces and say, “I am your 2 o’clock meeting. I just came from my dentist’s office and my incisors can cut glass. Shall I make myself comfortable?”

What’s your reaction?