Kindness always wins…
I was bullied in the workplace but I don’t think I should take it personally. Wait, before you cry me down, let me explain… kindness might be the way to go.
You see, I think some people are just career bullies. These kind of people are willing to stop at nothing to get a raise, or promotion or some sort of recognition even at your expense! So I say don’t take the bully personally because he/she would bully whoever was in your position. I’m an advocate of forgiveness. Read here about it.
I had got the news I was dreading that a close relative had died! But with a pile of work on my desk I decided to go in to work for the next two days to just attempt to shift them before I went off to plan the funeral and take care of family matters…
The first day I went in was really supposed to be my day off anyway so I thought, wear jeans (not normally worn at my workplace) and just lock yourself in your office and get to shifting the stuff (paperwork). No one had seen me come in as I came in long before the work day even started, locked myself in, shoved my earphones in and tried to concentrate on the task at hand. But my mind was busy, taken up with the death, the funeral planning and so on.
By mid -day I thought I really shouldn’t have come in as I was basically wasting too much time and getting very little done. And then I heard the footsteps. Those very familiar krum krum krumming down the corridor towards my office. Who did she think she was, I found those footsteps intimidating and hoped she’d just pass by and leave me alone. I had resented her even though I tried hard not to. I prayed about the situation often and told myself, okay, I hate her ways, not her. I knew it wasn’t true though. I. Hated. Her.
The twist of the doorknob startled me as, although I knew she was right outside the door, I was too taken up in my thoughts to realise what was happening. I thought for a moment about holding my breath and sitting still so she’d think I wasn’t in there. But then again, she had a key! So what if she opened it and confronted me about not opening it? So I did.
When I acted surprised and half happy to see her (after all she was my supervisor) her initial facial expression was not one of sympathy but one of shock. And then her mouth revealed what she was thinking. “How can you come to work in jeans?”, she asked.
“It’s my day off!” I said in my usual humble tones. She turned red faced immediately and, without acknowledging my conscientious thinking of coming in to catch up on my day off she just looked at the spreadsheet I was working on and said “oh yes, I need those for the meeting this evening”. I felt like I could strangle her (mind you, I rarely have violent thoughts!).
“I’m just trying to get through as much as I can before the funeral”, I said. She made light of what I’d just said and retorted, “sorry about your dad, luckily for me, my mom and I weren’t close when she died, so I just buried her and got back to work”! I was mortified. She doesn’t have a heart, does she? No wonder she treats her colleagues with such disrespect and coldness!
Thankfully I’ve not had many people to deal with like that. But I know that in every country and in almost every workplace there are people like her working. Men and women who are so driven to ‘succeed’ that they are absolutely heartless, loveless and passionless. And no matter what you are going through, it doesn’t matter to them as long as they’re still on top with the facts and figures and the money in their accounts.
The bold and the not so beautiful: how to stop them in their tracks, with kindness
Keep your integrity in tact.
Never be forced to play the heartless game
When you’re climbing the ladder of success, be careful how you treat others, for they are the same ones you’ll meet on the way down
Never sacrifice your family time for work or else one day when you get home, there’ll be no family there
Don’t play nasty, you’ll never beat the bullies at their game
Be considerate of others, bully or not.
Be friendly and polite in the workplace; workplaces need many more like you
Do a fair day day’s work (and a bit) for a fair day’s pay
Kill the bully with kindness (for in so doing you will heap coals of fire upon their head)
I know you be might be saying that these steps will never stop them in their tracks! And you know what? I agree. But knowing me, I prefer the soft approach. What would your advice be? Share them in the comment box below.