"Mom, I know what bullying is."
"Oh? Did you learn about it in school?"
"Yes. It is when someone is mean to you and picks on you. You should ask them to stop, and if they don't you should tell an adult."
Perfect! But, what happens if grown ups are the bullies? And it happens at work? I bring this up because there was a story on NPR, which perhaps many of you heard, about work-place bullying. (Yes, yes, I know - NPR again. Great place to evoke ideas... I love those guys).
I have experienced this myself at a previous job. Unfortunately, in my case, it was the person in charge. There was no escape (except changing jobs...) It was so, so stressful to go into work. I dreaded it. The work I was doing was great. The interactions with my boss, not so much. So, when the story began, I was riveted. (Ok, maybe not quiet riveted, but very interested).
They discussed that men are more likely to be bullies (which was the case in my case), but that men tend to bully men and women about equally. However, female bullies pick other women to bully 80% of the time!!! Come on, sistas! Whaaaat??? The reason, apparently, is : competition! Ladies, we have got to get our stuff together! How are we going to succeed as a group and move forward? We have so many contributions to make, so many causes to advance. It is hard to do it as a tweener! Don't we have enough stresses as it is?
Today alone before 9am I had to get the kids up, feed them breakfast, make sure their teeth are brushed or brush them myself, brush and "do" their hair, find shoes (NOT easy to find a match), find coats, find backpacks, don't forget the lunches, feed the dogs, let them out, let them in, give them love, get to bus on time, get to preschool, drop off car at body shop (a bully took out my passenger side view mirror this weekend), get a rental, and make it into work. Oh yeah. I also had to get myself ready (try to match my socks). Oops. Hard to squeeze in all the info.
My husband had to leave by 6:30am so I was flying solo, as is the case for a solid two weeks while he working in the hospital. I'm not even going to go into detail about my schedule at work (needless to say, fitting three 1-hour meetings into a two hour time slot is magic). Then let's not forget a parent-teacher conference, pick ups, dealing with dogs again, dinner, homework, clean up and making it on time to my daughter's first reconciliation class at 6:30 at church.
So, since life is stickin' it to me, why would another woman? In fact, don't most of us realize what we are all going through?
Amidst all this, however, a female co-worker came into my office and said, "If you need help with anything, even getting to and from the car rental place, let me know. We all support each other here. We do things like that for each other here."