Daily English 372 - A Bully at Work

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Dialogue/Story

Wanda: I can’t take it anymore. I try to put up with Robert, but I’ve had enough!

Dana: I’m not surprised. That guy is a big bully and it’s time somebody stood up to him. What has he done now?

Wanda: This was the last straw. We’re both managers and we’re supposed to work together, but Robert looks for every opportunity to put me down in front of our employees. This morning, I presented an idea about upgrading our computer equipment and he jumped down my throat.

Dana: What did he do?

Wanda: He said that the idea was stupid and that he couldn’t understand how anyone could propose it. He said this in front of everybody. I was too stunned to respond, so I just stood there.

Dana: That’s totally inappropriate and unprofessional.

Wanda: He’s arrogant to everybody, but especially to me. He always says he’s just being honest when he makes a biting remark, but I’m realizing that that’s just his excuse to be rude. He treats everyone with contempt. I really don’t know what to do.

Dana: I know people like Robert. They’re so insecure that they have to belittle everyone else to make themselves feel better. They have really poor social skills and don’t know how to have a conversation or to disagree without being a jerk.

Wanda: That may be, but what should I do about him?

Dana: There’s only one way to handle a bully.

Wanda: How?

Dana: You have to call his bluff. If he criticizes your plan, ask him to back it up with evidence or a specific reason. If you disagree with him, keep your cool, but tell him why. Most bullies back down when someone stands up to them.

Wanda: Okay, it’s worth a try. I’ve been trying to keep calm and maintain a professional atmosphere in the office, so I haven’t confronted him, but I will if you think it’ll help.

Dana: I do. And if that doesn’t work, tell him to act his age, not his shoe size!

Category: Business


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