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Bully Institute

Hi,

I came across this link for the Bully Institute
http://bullyinginstitute.org/

I didn't realize that 'bullying' was so prevelant in the work place.  Enough so that their is an institute and house bill in California.  Did any of you ever experience this kind of treatment in your workplace?  What kind of actions did you take to remedy your situation?

BartDude
Wednesday, December 17, 2003

It didn't use to be. in the past, bullies got sent to the principal's office to get their ass whipped. I mean that literally. If he did it again he got kicked out of school and would have to learn a trade assuming a relative would take him on as an apprentice. If he lived long enough to be an adult,he either mellowed out and learned how to be a human being, or he became wanted and was tracked down for his crimes and hung.

But in the 70s through today, this new generation got a new thing going -- bullies need self-esteem! So if you beat up some hapless Dexter, you got all kinds of special classes and attention. Tutors come to you house to help with your homework, you get extra time to finish your tests because it might be a learning disability that is making you beta up other kids.

In the old days, the kid beat up could learn to fight. And he would. And then he'd 'teach that bully a lesson'.  The system worked! Now he's told 'don't fight back, it'll only make things worse'. If Dexter does fight back, it will be decided that he's not got a problem with self esteem, he's just a troublemaker and the school counseler will attack and belittle him. The bully will be sent to a special summer camp for troubled youth and learn to ride horses, rope cattle, and go river rafting while picking up tips on how to manufacture crystal, pick locks and manipulate stocks from the other bullies and ex-bully counselers at the camp.

So now its cool to be a bully and you get rewarded. Poor Dexter sin't allowed to have the self esteem that comes from learning to fight and pushing back, so he goes on Prozac and later kills himself.

The bully moves on the the work place, clows his way to the top, and becomes the CEO of Tyco and Enron.

Ed the Millwright
Thursday, December 18, 2003

>I didn't realize that 'bullying' was so prevelant in the work place. ...<

I doubt that it is.  The "Bullying Institute" just looks like a nice piece of advertising for the featured book.  (The "bullinginstitute.com" address is registered to one of the authors of the book that is so prominently featured on the site, and the two "U.S. leaders" of the organization also happen to be, you guessed it, the two co-authors of the book.) 

As for the "California legislation," it's easy to get a bill introduced, much harder to actually get it passed.  Apparently the "Institute" can't find a single legislator who will sponsor the bill for the 2004 session:

http://bullyinginstitute.org/home/calif.html

Just a friendly reminder that you can't always trust everything you read on the web.  <g>

Robert Jacobson
Thursday, December 18, 2003

"Poor Dexter sin't allowed to have the self esteem that comes from learning to fight and pushing back..."

"The bully moves on the the work place, clows his way to the top, and becomes the CEO of Tyco and Enron."

If the bully grows up to be a CEO, does Dexter grow up to become a programmer?

BartDude
Thursday, December 18, 2003

"Apparently the "Institute" can't find a single legislator who will sponsor the bill for the 2004 session:"

Maybe the bill sponsors are afraid of being 'bullied' by their fellow sssemblymembers :)

BartDude
Thursday, December 18, 2003

Remember that Simpsons and the poindextrose chemical Lisa discovered.

Matthew Lock
Thursday, December 18, 2003

"In the old days, the kid beat up could learn to fight. And he would. And then he'd 'teach that bully a lesson'.  The system worked!"

Ed,

Great point.  Those were the good old days where you cut your teeth on your first fist fight in grade school.  Also it was a good time where your Dad would show you some basic boxing skills.  It's a shame the psycho-babble (and not to mention the drugs) they fill the kids with these days.  A good remedy to bullying was to learn self-defense skills (basic boxing and grappling skills).  Maybe you got your ass-whipped, but at least you still had some self respect knowing that you defended yourself.   

BartDude
Thursday, December 18, 2003

Well, I think the law applies to children as well as adults.

If a kid is beaten up, he has the legal right to defend himself.

If the school gives him trouble after that, then the parents can sue the school.

It's easy to say this, but hard to do. However, somebody may do it.


Thursday, December 18, 2003

When I was in 6th grade, one of our teachers taught us to be united when a bully attacks.

So, when a bully attacked one of us, many of my mates came near him to protect him.

These things never ended in fights, because the bully would just leave.

I don't know if one can apply this in the US, tough. People there are a lot more individualistic.

Jack
Thursday, December 18, 2003

> If the bully grows up to be a CEO, does Dexter grow up to become a programmer?

Only if you think that programmers sit there helplessly while the CEO takes what they have away from them.

Totally agree with your points on learning to fight. Life's tough and it's not a perfect world; there are plenty of crazies and bullies out there. When they go on one of their rampages, it's best to know you to handle them.

Me, I keep in shape doing texas cage matches for cash prizes down at one of the junkyards in San Ysidro. I enjoy it and it lets me blow off some steam while keeping in shape. Fighting back is good for you, even if you get whupped, as you said, at least you know you had the balls to defend yourself against a madman!

Passively taking it all while simmering deep inside is extremely bad for one's heath. Seriously. It's just not worth it to be so passive, it's really really bad for you.

Ed the Millwright
Thursday, December 18, 2003

Boxing and grappling ain't going to be that great when the guy pulls out a gun or a knife.

Bullying at school is way down on what it was up to the beginning of the seventies. Until that time the school didn't even think it was its problem; kids were supposed to be left to sink or swim. Every school I've taught at has taken it really seriously, which didn't happen when I was at school.

Now, it's quite probable that psychological torture is still prevalent in schools because it is so difficult to quantify. And, as an ex-headmistress of mine once told a mother who had come in to complain her daugher was bullied (this case was six of one and half-a-dozen of the other) you just can't imagine how horrible little children can be to each other.

Bullying in the wiorkplace will just be a reflection of attitudes in society in general, though you do get cases of bullying used by a small business owner to ostensibly improve his bottom line. It's probably more common however in a highly hierarchical organization, where people take out their sense of powerlessness on somebody weaker.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, December 18, 2003

Bullying in the workplace is common whenever someone in a position of authority lacks the ability to make themselves look good by their own efforts (i.e. they can't do their work well) and decides to make themselves look and feel better by making their subordinates look incompetent. The do this by (e.g.) diverting blame for their failures downwards,  holding those who work for them responsible for things they have no control over, concentrating on small mistakes rather than the things that are done well. Such people are generally personally insecure, poor at forming relationships and big fans of the "all stick and no carrot" school of management.

Anyone who doesn't think this is common has been very lucky in the jobs they've had. Anyone who thinks it's "normal" is part of the problem. A corporate culture based on covering your butt and deflecting the blame is where bullying flourishes. As for all being made up on the Web, if your company is big enough to have an HR dept, you'll find they take this sort of thing very seriously, though whether they can stop it, is another matter.

Anonymous for this post
Thursday, December 18, 2003

Hear hear Anonymous.
I believe the condition you describe is refered to as "unstable narcisism". I have also met a bully like this in the workplace, in a managerial position. HR was well aware about it but was helpless to do anything about it as this person was too high up the chain.
Even though I was not the target of the bullying, I quit in disgust.

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, December 18, 2003

I worked for an educated woman who thrived on bullying some of her staff.  I became aware that my colleagues had labeled me as being in an abusive relationship.  It took me five years to get out, but not before I'd confronted her and made several attempts at bringing this to the attention of HR. 

I had no success with HR.   

M. H. Hernandez
Monday, February 16, 2004

I am in need of an experienced attorney to represent me in Virginia.  I had to file my case pro se in Federal Court in order to preserve the claims listed in the charge with EEOC.  The right to sue letter was issued in February and I had to file the charge in June 2004 to preserve it.

I am a tenured college professor of 30 plus years. I filed charges against my employer. In 2001 the case went into settlement.  I rejected the settlement because I was right and I did not believe that I should be forced to retire in order to accept the settlement. Fortunaltly, the Governor of the State was kind enough to consider my request and he did not sign it.  My attorney thought that it was a good offer and he got the court to release him from my case.
Earlier, I had testified in another professor's case. The University lost that case.  I have been the target of their anger and frustration.  The administration has been found guilty of discrimination, and the evaluation practices have been found to be unfair. Yet these are the same practices that are being used against me.  They make policy as we go along even though I should be governed by the tenure policies under which I was tenured.

In my first case, I represented myself until I could find an attoerney. However, when we went to court the court would not grant a continuance  as promised in order for the attorney to become prepared to represent me.  I had to accept a non-suit. 

It is hard to fight a state university with all of the resources.  They are doing a lot of wrong things and they selectively follow policy.  No public comment periods are allowed at the board of visitors meetings.  I serve on another state board and we always have public comment periods.  I brought this to the attention of the Rector and he said that they may, but  don't have to.  This is not right when they are making policies that impact others.
 
I found more legal assistance and that was a problem.  The attorney who was representing me left the firm and started his own firm he was doing traffic and accident law.  The existing partner with whom I had never met, filed the charge in Federal Court and all of those claims were dismissed.  I could not appeal because the attorney's from the other side only agreed not to charge me $30,000 in legal fees provided I did not appeal the case. 

Since that time, the harassment has continued on my job. I filed an EEOC complaint about the continued retaliation.  I am the lowest paid full professor on the campus, I have not had a COLR in ten years, I have had all of my sick leave and annual leave taken away, I am denied promotions and equal consideration for employment, there is exclusion and the general harassment that goes along with being in a persona non grata status.  I currently have no contract for the fall 2004. I was wrongfully placed into post-tenure review with no due process.  As a tenured faculty member I should not just not receive a contract. This bullying is awful.  The chair is not a full professor and he was given tenure even though he was turned down by the University's Tenure and Promotions Committee. My evaluations have been worst with him since I refused to serve on his tenure committee because he did not meet the requirements.  The dean told the committee that he could get a letter to have the requirement waived.  I then requested to be removed from the committee.  The chair does what ever the administration wants him to do.  He was one of the chairs who did not sign the vote of no confidence in the administration, and thus he is usually protected by the administration.

Jean R. Cobbs
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

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