Pick on Someone Your Own Size! from the School Yard to the Boardroom, Bullying Never Seems to Go out of Style. Luckily the Antics of Some High-Profile Bruisers May Have Finally Inspired a Revolt

By McCormick, Patrick | U.S. Catholic, September 2005 | Go to article overview

Pick on Someone Your Own Size! from the School Yard to the Boardroom, Bullying Never Seems to Go out of Style. Luckily the Antics of Some High-Profile Bruisers May Have Finally Inspired a Revolt


McCormick, Patrick, U.S. Catholic


LAST YEAR AN R RATING KEPT MOST TEENS FROM seeing the best movie about adolescent bullies to come along in a good while. But even from the distance of middle age, the scenes of school yard aggression in Jacob Estes' Mean Creek were enough to remind adults of the long-forgotten terrors of knuckle-dragging bullies.

Unlike most bully films, Mean Creek isn't a formulaic revenge-fest in which the downtrodden victims of bullydom rise up to crush their tormentor. Instead, Estes' film does what few American movies do: It asks why people become bullies in the first place and warns of the dangers of fighting fire with fire.

In the post-Columbine era, when we know the catastrophic results of teenage revenge fantasies, these seem like good questions. Nobody wants their children terrorized, and nobody wants to see lonely, haunted victims turning into brooding vigilantes who bring automatic weapons to school.

To address and prevent this domestic terror, children are now schooled in conflict mediation and resolution, and dozens of resources help parents and teachers deal with classroom and playground bullies. Bestsellers include The Bully Free Classroom: Over 100 Tips and Strategies for Teachers K-8 by Allan L. Beane (Free Spirit), Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do by Dan Olweus (Blackwell), and The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to High School--How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle of Violence by Barbara Coloroso (HarperResource).

BUT BULLIES AREN'T JUST AT SCHOOL; THEY'VE ALSO FOLLOWED us to work. An unsettling number of bosses bully their employees, screaming, intimidating, embarrassing, threatening, harassing, nitpicking, tormenting, and sabotaging those beneath them like some banana republic tyrant.

Five years ago researchers at Wayne State University in Michigan reported that one in six U.S. workers experiences bullying on the job, while business consultant and anti-bullying trainer Richard Wellins believes that "one in 10 leaders across the country cross the line into bullying their employees." Clinical psychologist Jane Middelton-Moz takes a dimmer view of the situation. The author of Bullies: Playground to Boardroom (HCI) believes that about 90 percent of all workers have had dealings with a bully boss and that most of these bosses get away with their offenses for a good while.

The business section at the local bookstore, which usually shelves a host of advice from triumphant CEOs, now includes offerings for those faced with the bully in the corner office. The most popular include Noa Davenport's Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace (Civil Society), Gary and Ruth Namie's The Bully at Work: What You Can Do to Stop the Hurt and Reclaim Your Dignity on the Job (Sourcebooks), and Susan Futterman's When You Work for a Bully: Assessing Your Options and Taking Action (Croce).

Companies have good reasons to be worried about boardroom bullies. According to surveys conducted by the Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute of Bellingham, Washington, nearly 90 percent of those bullied at work end up losing or leaving their jobs, while more than 40 percent of them suffer from clinical depression, and a quarter contemplate violence or suicide. Corporations end up spending millions to treat stressed and depressed employees or train their replacements and have to deal with all sorts of morale and productivity issues.

Still, bully bosses usually continue their workplace reign of terror with impunity. Less than 5 percent of office bullies stop their harassment after being punished or sanctioned, and less than 10 percent are transferred or fired for their bad behavior.

ONE REASON WORKPLACE TYRANTS have free reign is that there are no laws against bullying. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Pick on Someone Your Own Size! from the School Yard to the Boardroom, Bullying Never Seems to Go out of Style. Luckily the Antics of Some High-Profile Bruisers May Have Finally Inspired a Revolt
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.