So this guy has a job where he is at the front of a line of people passing buckets of sh*t to the next guy in the line.
A stranger comes along and asks him what he is doing–“what is your job?”
The man passing the buckets replies, “I am a manager.”
The stranger looks askew and quite puzzled, he asks, “What makes you think you’re a manager?”
The man at the front of the line answers “because I don’t take no sh*t from anybody!” 🙂
And so it goes, we work on “the line” whether passing buckets or pushing papers, and someone in the front thinks they are the boss or superior–and as someone from the military once told me, “I don’t take sh*t. I give sh*t!”
Unfortunately, for those of us who humbly go to work to do our jobs, the prevalence of workplace bullies–who push their weight around can make our (work) life very unpleasant and unproductive.
A Zogby poll in 2007 found that 49% of workers had experienced or witnessed workplace bullying–and this included all sorts of harassment such as verbal abuse, sabotaging someones job, and abusing their authority.
Workplace bullying is being called a “silent epidemic” with a full 37% or 54 million workers in the U.S. having suffered at the hands of a workplace bully.
The results, of course, can be devastating not only for the person’s job, but often they (45%) suffer adverse psychological and physical health impacts.
Further, as we know, when people suffer, their families usually suffer along with them, so the ultimate impact in terms of the number of people affected is disproportional to those those who experience bullying firsthand.
Aside from the people impact of bullying, the organization and its mission suffers in terms of elevated absenteeism, decreased morale, lower productivity, and stunted innovation.
This is why aside from the basic humanitarian aspects, an organization should be extremely watchful for and weed out bullies in the workplace.
However, when bullies, are front and center in the leadership ranks of the organization, the problem is all the greater, because others lower in the hierarchy, but also at senior levels may be hesitant to address the issue.
They are scared to confront the bully as perhaps they should be given the bully’s threatening posture and deeds.
But the answer is not to get personal, but rather to make it objective–know the laws and policies that protect you, document the events, identify any witnesses, discuss with organization representatives charged with investigating possible wrong-doing, and seek legal counsel, where appropriate.
Probably, the most important thing is to be clear that like the manager at the front of the line, you do not accept sh*t from anyone–that you and your family’s health and well-being deserve at least that much.
(Source Photo: here with attribution to EverJean)