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Can You Hear Me Now?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Sticks & Stones

…will break my bones, but names will hurt forever.

There is a very quiet young woman at my work who is consistently apologizing for what she says, does, questions, etc. all day, every day. I remind her daily she does not need to apologize when she questions things or when she says things related to work. She even apologizes for her feelings. Admittedly there are times when it begins to push buttons with me and I want to remind her sharply NOT to do it…however, there is a group of older ladies at work, one in particular, who is a BULLY. She jokes with others’ about this other young lady and intentionally mocks her in front of her peers.

I feel strongly about not reprimanding others’ in front of their peers, but I am beginning to think the only way this older lady will learn is to embarrass her in front of her ‘posse’. I guess that’s sort of akin to spanking a child and saying: “we don’t hit!”

I do meet monthly with these ladies to give them ongoing evaluations and I will discuss it with her; however, my greatest concern is the long-lasting damage to this ‘target’. She rarely interacts with any of the other staff and when she does, it’s as though her opinion or thoughts are less important than theirs.

I’m not sure if it just reminds me of my past, though my temperament is such that I only took it for about 15 minutes, then I began to unleash my own ‘names’. Whatever it is it bugs me…because words really do hurt far longer and harder than any broken bones.