The Wall Street Journal recently publish a snarky expose' about an extreme form of abusive behavior permeating our present work culture, destroying individuals, traumatizing entire workforces. "The Fall of The Workplace Jerk" (July 2, 2009) suggests this wonderful recession will flush these evil doers or "jerks" out the door. Nothing could be further from probability.
Those of us who advocate for targets of workplace bullies know well of lost careers, nervous breakdowns, suicides, bankruptcies, and destroyed lives caused by bullies, often psychopaths, who often rise to the top. We Americans and present law fail to recognize or correct work abuse. We need to grow, now more than ever.
The trivializing term "jerk" is defined by Microsoft's dictionary as "somebody who is regarded as behaving foolishly." A "workplace bully" is defined by the Workplace Bullying Institute as a person who commits "repeated mistreatment in the form of verbal abuse; threatening, humiliating, and intimidating conduct; sabatoge which interferes with work; or some combination of the three." Would the Wall Street Journal publish satire about child abuse, spousal abuse, or animal abuse? Perhaps WSJ editors still regard, "Pow, Alice! Right in the kisser!" as a humorous punch line. Most of the rest of us have grown up and do not.
Wall Street is rightfully blamed for having pushed and shoved 5% or more of American workers right out of their jobs. It's of little wonder that the business rag Wall Street worships would make light of the workplace bullying plight of the little people. What is the tally of mortgage borrowers who were bullied into buying houses they could ill afford or into subprime mortgages when they qualified for prime? This abuse hurt our country and the global community immeasurably. Perhaps the Wall Street Journal might publish a snarky article about the abuse of borrowers by lenders and their bullying agents? Abuse comes in many forms. At least a few of us have brought workplace bullying into the light of day.
We bullied workers are "mad as hell and we're not going to take it anymore." Remember that punch line? How ironic. It was spoken by a character portraying a news man.