Tag Archives: bullies

Gotcha!

In two ways. It’s night and Zoe and I were asleep and she started to get sick to her stomach. I got her to the bathroom where she got sick on the tile floor. I picked it up and cleaned the area. She’s now lying on another bed of hers, by my desk and seems OK but lost her entire dinner. I’ll watch her tonight and tomorrow and talk with my husband when I decide whether to go to the vet. I gotcha off the carpet, Zoe!

The next is more sinister. I’ve had three real bullies in my life, and two who just wouldn’t let me do the job I was paid to do. Age 8, the F brothers took my winter hat and passed it around, then ripped it in half. When I got off the school bus, sobbing, I was sent to the principal’s office where I had to identify the perpetrators. I knew I’d be dead the next day. Our neighbors, combined, had ten kids which was over half the school bus. They let the brothers know in no uncertain terms that I was never to be molested again. Thank goodness for the children of dairymen! Not a blow was thrown, it was words and good people.

The second is this third-rate chief of staff for a committee chairperson in the legislature. He made my life a living hell, through words and deeds. He’s still on my list. Recently I found out my former boss, who became head of the entire brigade, has been out for this guy’s hide for decades! Thanks, K!

Third is someone who should have retired years before I ever met him. He didn’t want me at my client location so would trick me, calling me at home late at night, into fake meetings and say to the chairman of the board that I called the meeting when I showed up at 8 a.m. He must be dead now. Nothing I could do about that at the time but get a grant so I wouldn’t have to deal with him and a requirement that either the President or Chair would be with me if I had to do so. It was their requirement, not mine.

Now there’s another Gotcha! A son of a long-term businessman nearby kicked me out of his automotive shop. I’ve been a good customer there for years. He then bragged to fellow mechanics about how he kicked me out and he had already doubled his father’s estimate for an oil change and checking fluids and brake lights. Word is he wants to make it a bar for motorcycle enthusiasts.

This one I dealt with all on my own. I found a new mechanic who did the work for 1/3 of the “get lost” price. I talked to everyone in the neighborhood who has used their services. I gave them a scathing local review about lack of proper customer service, nothing wrong with car service in the past. Now he has found me and wants to be my friend on a business social media site. He lost a customer, I lost a mechanic and found a better one for our two cars. Now he is trying to find me through business-related social media. I’m ignoring him.

Oh, I also alerted zoning people about using pricey real estate zoned for an auto shop for a bar. That may have him riled up a bit as well. His rant toward a long-time customer was the first I’ve ever encountered. I lost a mechanic but he may lose his business by how he is overcharging, yelling at, threatening and kicking out female customers. Plus having an after-hours biker bar.

Find your words, ladies. You’ll need them, even if you’re as old as …. Dee

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Dear Reader,

I was so shy I let bullies be bullies, until my neighbors stood up for me on what school kids called the “retard bus” because it had to traverse 20 miles through the countryside to pick up the farm kids. One might call me a hobby farm kid.

My aunt gave me her vintage 1957 Smith-Corona electric portable typewriter as a high school graduation gift, a gift that took her into teaching English to high school kids. I was the envy of the dorm. Of course this was pre-computer and laptops and everything else.

I was afraid to write, afraid to think or speak my mind, or sing. Writing 500 words was a challenge for me back then. Now I can do it in ten minutes if I know what my mind wants my fingers to type.

Sixth grade, I skipped tryouts after school for choir solos. The next day my teacher asked me to stay after school and look out the window. She played a note on the piano and asked me what it was. I told her. She made me sing a phrase from “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and made me lead off at the concert in front of family, friends and other parents.

I have had the gift of a great family and teachers and friends. Kids, do something that means something to you, it may be music or writing or computer code or math or being a doctor. Don’t bottle it up inside because people think women are inferior and don’t want to hear their thoughts. We are all important in this world. Dee

Typing

There are more ways than one. First is sorting people by type at first glance and making a decision before a word is spoken. Second is the infernal machine called a typewriter, now called some form of computer.

When the typewriter was invented it was surmised that only men could achieve mastery of this device. The pay was high, then the guys got bored and gave the job to women, thus making it a pink collar job with a cut in wages.

When I graduated from high school my dear Aunt L gave me the 1957 portable Smith-Corona typewriter that helped her through college and to become a venerable teacher. It was the first year anyone made a portable electric typewriter and I still have it and move it everywhere we go. It’s very heavy and now goes for $6 on E-Bay but I’m keeping it.

I was the envy of the dorm and after I wrote my paper I lent it out. I should have rented it just to pay for ribbons! Now I can’t even find those. After college graduation I was advised by several prominent women to never let anyone know I could type, lest I be assigned a secretarial role. Sexism. That was before computers.

With a potential book in my head I wonder if I should exchange my keyboard for the old Smith-Corona. I think I’m too prone to computer editing to do so, sorry. I don’t think there’s enough white-out in the world for that debacle.

Typing of another kind comes to mind. If I was asked about family I’d say we are intelligent, some book-smart and some street-smart. While our parents weren’t necessarily progressive, they were tolerant of differences and encouraged us to be so as well. That said, I didn’t meet a black friend until freshman year of high school, or my first gay friend back in grade school but I’d no idea and just protected him from his sister and mine and other students because he was being verbally abused. I didn’t know about such things so had no clue, only that he needed my protection.

I thank my parents for my education in many ways, and tolerance is high on the list. When one is labeled as a gangster, druggie, gay, mentally challenged or called any religious name in a bad way, you get the picture.

In grade school I took the mini-bus. We lived way out in the country (five miles out of town) and our bus picked up all the farm kids. It took a long time so we had to get to our bus stop early. When we pulled into the school all the other kids said we were on the “retard bus.”

One day two boys in a large family of boys took my hat. I was eight years old and stood up in the aisle while they threw my winter hat over my head several times then ripped it in half. As we pulled in I was crying and the lady who made sure all the buses and all the kids arrived safely at school took me aside and took me to see the principal.

The principal made me identify the boys and I did, all the while wondering if I could ever take that bus again, in fear of my life. The next day everything was fine and the F boys never bothered me. My neighbors, two large families with a dairy farm down the hill, were more in number, strength, might and right to make our school bus a model for all to see and I don’t think they even had to throw a punch. They saved me and my little sister. I love farm boys, especially from a dairy. I married a physicist who grew up on a dairy farm.

Now there’s another type or label, farm boy or geek, or both. Perhaps my book should be about this. Gals want the hunk in English class who is getting passing grades because the prof knows he needs to get them to play football next season. I waited a few years and polished the rough edges from a diamond who brings everything to the table and has been my best friend for over 12 years. He once had only Dr. Pepper and individually packaged string cheese in his refrigerator and he now opines on the difference between four-year and five-year cheddar. Yes, I created a food snob.

That person, my dear husband, was not content with my laptop. Over my objections he got me a large monitor, arthritis-friendly mouse, and wireless keyboard. I fought each one and now cannot live without them, or him. Please type on your phone, whatever you do but create something. And please do not judge a person summarily.  In hope of a better world, Dee

Bullies and Bully Pulpits

I recently read about a mother who told her young daughter that if someone hit her, to hit back. That second child is no longer welcome as a friend at school. I don’t know if that’s the cost of political correctness but I do think it is the cost of the long-lost art of language.

When colleges and employers laugh at literary arts majors, that undermines our culture’s language skills, which are needed in this technological and terrorist age.

Yes, I equate bullies with potential terrorists, because if they are allowed to get away with this behavior it will continue into adulthood. Bullies are insecure so will use their tactics in the workplace and in the home. These are our home-grown terrorists. No, they don’t make bombs, they just create dysfunctional families that perpetuate the activity because the kids don’t know a better way to communicate.

My aunt is a retired English teacher. There was a dictionary in her powder room and every time I used it I had to open a page and look up a word and tell her what it meant.

When I was a child my allowance was fifty cents per week. So was my sister’s. If we called each other dumb or stupid we were docked a nickel every time. That was a candy bar. We stopped that and started talking. Of course we fought all the time but never, ever laid hands on each other. We wouldn’t even think of hitting one another.

In the end there were four siblings who ended up smart, didn’t hit each other or anyone at school. There was one incident where some boys took my winter hat off me on the bus and ripped it in half. I was sobbing so was brought to the principal’s office where I promptly identified the wrongdoers. I was eight years old and very shy.

To identify them was a watershed for me. It was short-lived (they had no phone and no principal’s note ever made it to their parents) but the kids on the bus protected me from then on. No-one ever fought, it was just made clear that this would never happen again because there were more good kids on the bus than a family of bullies.

Language skills are key. OK, if someone wants your purse and has a gun or knife, just give it to them, but it is key to teach children to talk through issues.

That’s where we get to politicians. Yes, it’s time for political ads and most are negative. If I were to want a political office, I would focus on what I could do for my neighborhood, town, city, state or country. All we hear today is how so-and-so voted against this and for huge bailouts et al.

These politicians are out at the flagpole at 3:00 ready to fight. The American people deserve better. I don’t want someone voting on budgets or health care who only wants to hurt his/her opponent publicly. I want to know their policy ideas and voting records and how they’re going to help my family.

I want someone with language skills who will state the platform, tell what party he/she is with and what will be done if elected. Is that too much to ask?

Right now I see one party that’s exclusive, one that’s inclusive and that’s been the battle for decades. I didn’t see that many years ago but then again I was only a committee analyst, never a politician.

If we don’t force change on the negative tactics of our politician wanna-be’s and incumbents, it’s We, the People, who will lose. Going for the pretty face or hard core party loyalty, gone.

Right now all these politicians who have no platform except negative attack ads on their opponent are bullies, pure and simple.

Bullying is what we teach our children every day. Let’s put a stop to it. Language skills. Thanks AL and J, my English mentors, Dee