The Negative Power in Force of Habit

Posted: January 12, 2018 in Opinions and Observations
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Recently I was thinking about a work incident.  Not to go into details, but there were so many lessons to learn.  A co-worker with some minor authority over me tried to get me to ‘sacrifice something’ so that they could ‘benefit’.  There was no real reason that I could connect to this request – except that they thought they should get preferential treatment because they deserved it.

When I refused with a simple but unmistakable rejecting statement, the ‘bully’ came out.  Intimidation, threatening, and harassing behavior flew rapidly in my direction.

I am a rather easy person to get along with.  I do not get into gossip, rumors or status.  I just want to do my job, have a little fun if I can, and go home.  Sometimes that is not possible, and the occasional confrontation will creep in.  If personal friction happens, I will usually smooth it over and try to let it affect me as little as possible.  I would rather forget it and start fresh the next time I meet the other person.  But this time I wondered about being that passive and easy-going.  Was I improving things?  Did it make the day or life in general better?  Does it really help to let people take advantage of my flexible attitude and/or position in life?

I came to the conclusion that it did not help or improve things at all.   If I let a bully succeed at threatening, intimidating and harassing me, they will take their successful strategy and slam it on the next guy or girl.  As a friend of mine put it; I am more likely to speak up if someone else becomes a victim than if I do.  In some way to connect to the #metoo movement without being insensitive to that real concern, I needed to find not just the ability but the benefit in raising my voice.  I went to company admins and filed a formal complaint.  Doing nothing and ‘rolling with the punches’ does not and should not always work.  At some point I learned I needed to speak up and highlight an event that in my age I could brush off easily, knowing others might not have the ability to defend or endure the hostile environment.

Is there a reason they feel so privileged and deserving of what others are denied?

I wonder why so many people in power feel it is OK to mistreat others.

Why do they think they can get away with this kind of behavior?

 

Because historically: they can.

I would like to break from history and change the future.

 

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