Bullies and bees

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This work carry's the memories of Rhapsodie M. This event is as realistic as remembered, it hopefully inspires actions that are good.

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Bullies and bees

  1. 1. McClintick1 RhapsodieMcClintick October 14, 2012 Bullies and Bees During playtime in kindergarten, two girls were discussing how one was being bullied. They had both moved into a private corner so as to avoid observation. Imagine the feelings of these young people. A bully had altered their calm and ordered lives. While in this corner, the girl that had been bullied noticed a bee buzzing near. The bee frightened her very much. The other young girl tried to protect the bullied timid one from the bee by standing in front of the timid girl and closer to the bee. She whispered, “Stay still, don’t move,” to the timid girl. The bee continued to buzz and landed on the nose of the protective girl, it buzzed a little more and flew away.While the tension dispensed the timid girl was asked by the protective girl, “what are you afraid of more: the bully or the bee?” Bullies have become as prevalent in society as bees. The power of these bullies is repeatedly mentioned in accord with business. Who are bullies, what do they do, who are their victims, and how can they be diminished? Shapiro provides a concept of bullies. “Bullies . . . believe . . . that they have the power to bully” (114).Further definitions provide further understanding of bullies in the workplace: “The Workforce Bullying and Trauma Institute (WBTI) defines bullying as ‘repeated illegitimate mistreatment of a targeted employee by one or more persons characterized by acts of commission and omission which impair the target’s psychological and physical health and economic security.’”(Haley 192) While “[a]n informal survey across the corporate world revealed a definite presence of bullying.” It also includes a description of common bullies in the workplace. Bullying “. . . is commensurate with the perpetrator's qualification, training, experience and affluence”(Workplace). Along with those words the same article says “[T]he basic purpose of bullying is to hide inadequacy”(Workplace).“The two key factors to our conceptualization of workplace bullying are the repetition of the bullying event and the fact that the behavior is unwanted as it causes psychological stress” (Heames).“In 2000 . . . WBTI conducted . . . a research project on workplace bullying, . . . The study found that bullying is evenly split between men and women—half of all bullies are women and half are men. However most of the victims (77 percent) were women.” (Haley 193) Information in “[t]he survey found that 81 percent of bullies were at least one level of management above their victims. One in seven bullies (14 percent) were the same rank as the victim” (Haley 193).“Someone who isn’t nice, who doesn’t try to be nice, or who
  2. 2. McClintick2 doesn’t care whether other people think he or she is nice or not,” are defined as bullies (Shapiro 8). “Physical Aggression, Verbal abuse [including] . . . screaming, yelling, or publicly humiliating[sic][c]onstantly criticizing or belittling[sic] tearing down an employee’s confidence[sic] placing excessive emphasis on unimportant details of the job[sic] controlling resources to prevent . . . successfully completing projects[sic] gossiping about an employee, manipulating others’ impression of a coworker, or criticizing an employee to superiors or upper management” (Haley 192). These are traits that demonstrate a bully’s attitude towards other people. And the experiences of some individuals demonstrate the variety of bullying in the workplace. “Fred Nachbaur . . . spent a year and a half as the assistant to a . . . marketing director who scolded him in public . . . and left ‘gross’ half-eaten candy bars on his desk”(Lynch).Fred’s replacement Pearson“was greeted each morning with a 15-page to-do list” (Lynch). This bully also asked for other favors from her employee, and “afterPearson received a small promotion, told her she didn’t deserve it”(Lynch).“Bullying is behind all forms of harassment, discrimination, prejudice, abuse, persecution, conflict and violence” (Workplace). The workplace with its intermix of people is a prime location for bullying to occur. “A study by Wayne State University in 2000 estimated that 16.8 percent of American workers experience bullying in the workplace” (Haley 192). A more recent survey published by the Chartered Management Institute” determined that “middle managers are most likely to be bullied” (Causon). The U.S. Hostile Workplace Study “survey [from 2000] found that 84 percent of victims had either some college experience, an undergraduate degree, or an advanced degree” (Haley 193). Haley continues by discussing some of the reasons behind the bullying. “The U.S. Hostile Workplace Study. . . asked respondents what caused the bullying [the victims] experienced. In 58 percent of the cases, victims said they were targeted because they resisted being controlled or dominated by the perpetrator. Over half the victims also felt the bully envied their competence at the job.” (193) The actions of the bullies may demonstrate their lack of security at the workplace. As is demonstrated by more facts and figures from the survey Haley used previously. “Other frequently mentioned reasons for bullying include envy of the victims popularity or social skills (49 percent), retaliation against the victim for reporting unethical conduct by the perpetrator (46 percent), and the fact that the bully had a ‘cruel personality’” (193) And “[u]nlike everyday conflicts at work, bullying is a long-lasting conflict, where one person is systematically harassed by one or more colleagues or superiors, resulting in severe damage to the victim's psychological and physical health” (Workplace).
  3. 3. McClintick3 The actions of the bully might occur frequently, but the bully may never be punished. In fact the bully may cause the victim to lose peace, security, and at times their job.The toll extends beyond the life of the victim at work. “These behaviors take a physical and psychological toll on their victims, but they also cost businesses millions of dollars in lost productivity and legal costs“ (Haley 187).Businesses recognize this as is demonstrated by “the startling comment from Tim Field, who manages the site [bully online, is] that ‘the serial bully ... is the single most important threat to the effectiveness of organizations’”(Mann). “A study of 9,000 federal employees in the US estimated the cost of workplace bullying and harassment activities to be $180 million in production days annually” (Heames).These costs are a large factor in dealing with bullies for businesses. The bullied individual is not the only victim “the study, led by Pamela Lutgen-Sandvik” notes that “negative effects are widespread: employees who witness others being bullied suffer secondary harm, reporting high levels of stress and low levels of work satisfaction” (Journal). “It is vital that staff can report inappropriate behavior and be confident that the issue will be dealt with” (Causon). Even though people say they will report abuse if they know of it, Causoncontinues with information from the study, “38 percent of those who had been bullied reported no action had been taken. . . The type of the organization and the personality and style of those in positions of authority are all factors that should be taken into consideration.” But “bullying at work is a problem that is gaining increasing recognition by managers who are beginning to count the cost of workplace bullying in terms of absenteeism, illness, quality reduction and even litigation” (Mann).The individual cost might not seem that important, but Shapiro describes the why one of the victims continued to live with the situation of being bullied. “She needed the job. It paid well, very well . . . And the boss . . . knew it. So she accepted what amounted to battle pay. He [her boss] felt he had bought the right to abuse her. . .Virginia said she felt trapped, wanting to escape but held hostage by money.” (110) Shapiro writes of the one question that was asked to the woman who was suffering the terrible boss. “Is the amount of abuse you are suffering worth the extra dollars?” After considering this question she realigned her life and “rethought her priorities . . . and found a way to budget her life on a lower income. That really changed the power balance, because she now had a ‘walkaway position’”(115). Then this woman was provided with “an audit of her value in the equation,” by the question “Realistically, what would happen if you left?” (Shapiro 115).Shapiro shares her altered perspective. “Without her, his life would be a shambles again” (115). Shapiro goes on to describe how an understanding of a bully’s personality will often help a person cope with and deal with their actions. “Diagnosis is 90 percent of the cure. You have to know what –or who—you are suffering from before you can treat the
  4. 4. McClintick4 problem effectively” (21). An alternate view of reality might help an individual break out of the victim mode. Shapiro describes asking a bullied victim, “What have you done to balance the power? She couldn’t even fathom that she had a shred of power, let alone enough to balance his,” but her options were altered because of this question (114). Shapiro states, “[i]n fact, people only have power if we give it to them” (114). This helped her “. . . open to the idea that there might be other employment alternatives . . . she was taking back a good deal of his leverage and creating her own power” (114). Facts and figures demonstrate the percentages of bullying, and the cost factors to individuals and businesses from the bullying. The type of people who are bullies are often ones who are not confronted with an alternate view of their power. Each victim suffers and the suffering may be altered with the help of friends and compatriots. But there is power that each victim has as Shapiro repeatedly mentions. Along with this, the strength that can be gained from looking at the situation with an alternative view may cease any more bullying. The first young victim saw a different picture after the experience with the bee. When she was confronted with the bully again she started laughing. The bully said “why are you laughing at me?” His previous victim said, “You don’t have a stinger, and you do look like a bee.” He was stunned by her demeanor and her laughter. She had diminished his power by gaining a greater understanding of herself.
  5. 5. McClintick5 Works Cited Causon, Jo. "Pressure is no excuse." Nursing Standard 21.29 (2007): 64. Academic Search Complete.EBSCO.Web. 8 Nov. 2010. Haley, John. The Truth About Abuse. New York: Facts on File, 2005. 212. Print. Heames, Joyce, and Mike Harvey. “Workplace Bullying: A Cross-level Assessment.” "Journal of Management Studies research: Bullies have their way in U.S. workplaces." New Orleans CityBusiness. 13 Jun 2007: ProQuest.Web. 8 Nov. 2010. Lynch, Jason, et al. “Tag Team Terror.” People17 July 2006:Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 Nov. 2010 Mann, Sandi. “Internet News.”Leadership & Organization Development Journal. 2000:ProQuest.Web. 8 Nov. 2010. Shapiro, Ronald M. Bullies, Tyrants, and Impossible People: How to Beat Them Without Joining Them. New York: Crown Business, 2005: 276. Print. “The Workplace Bullies.” Businessline. 20 Jan. 2003: ProQuest.Web. 8 Nov. 2010.

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