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Wednesday, October 20, 2010


A local newspaper has done an excellent job of capturing my answer to that question:


Yesterday I was in a business services shop. The customer ahead of me objected to the price she had been charged for a job. The clerk pointed to the posted rate schedule. The customer objected. The clerk expressed that perhaps the owner had given her a special price but that the amount quoted was the posted rate. The customer objected unkindly, loudly and implied the clerk was obviously pocketing the proceeds. The clerk explained, again, her requirement to charge the posted prices. Yes. You guessed it. The customer upped the accusation, volume and venom.

One of the challenges with bullying is this: if intervention is not done judiciously, it can actually get worse for the person being bullied. Yesterday my choice was to help build up the person behind the counter after the bully left. Funny: she didn't look like a bully. She was a middle aged woman of average build and dress. She might have looked average but her ability to fire off verbal vitriol was well above average. She left.

The clerk was almost in tears and I said, "You'll notice I'm not even ASKING what the price is for my job." Even though I said it with a smile she thought I was getting ready to launch into her. I caught her eyes. "I'm making light of a difficult situation. You did just fine with that other person: it was her issue, not yours. The prices are posted in plain sight." And then she laughed. The tension melted and we had a little chat about the effects of bullying. Interestingly enough, the writing (TheTrevorProject.org) on my shaved head never became topical.

As Steve Maraboli says, says, and says again, "One kind gesture, one person at a time, one day at a time." YOU can make a difference. S.T.A.N.D. Start Today A New Direction

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