November 23, 2014

Victims can Become Victors—1 Example from Undercover Boss

I  am working on a monster edit of my book, Accept No Trash Talk. Within the next week and a half, I should be able to publish the second edition of Accept No Trash Talk: Overcoming the Odds. My self-help book cites many examples of how everyday people (including myself) and celebrities have conquered tremendous odds. The trials referenced in my book usually include bullying (overcoming low expectations) and illness. 

In the example listed below, a direct quote, I examine two important points: bullying is often only a blip on the radar of our lives and victims can often turn their sorrows into victories:

We shouldn’t feel the need to worry about the good opinion of people who we’re likely to lose track of within the next five to ten years. 

People move on and get new lives. Does it make any sense that we’d trouble ourselves with the good opinion of every person who has a temporary connection with us? I don’t even keep in touch with many people with whom I was sure I had formed a lifelong bond, let alone people who marginalized me during my school years. Why would I? Yet, their opinion seemed to matter so much at the time. Why should we allow callous words, spoken in haste, by passing acquaintances, to wound us so deeply? It doesn’t make any sense if we look at the big picture.

When everybody's lives have moved on, how important will the earlier disrespect we were shown seem? Will the feeling of being disrespected be worth carrying with us for an extended period of time? How long do we want to live in darkness, hurting no one but ourselves? Granted, some people are subjected to long-term abuse that may take years to overcome. I’m not trying to minimize that. Thank goodness, some bullying will be less prolonged.

Colin--is a formerly bullied sales associate who was featured on Undercover Boss. He worked in a small store that sold print and digital media. Colin went beyond his duties by designating himself a purchasing agent. He would buy whatever print and digital media his research told him were selling well throughout the United States. He would also keep track of which products were selling in his store. Then, he would use that information to prepare his next order. The young man was intelligent, organized, and loyal, among other things. The visiting undercover boss, Tom, immediately determined the employee was underemployed.

The most inspiring aspect of Colin’s stellar work ethic was the fact that he was taking on vast responsibilities when he hadn’t even completed his high school education. He had dropped out of high school due to bullying. He got a GED (General Education Development) in lieu of a high school diploma.

Colin is probably more successful than most of his former bullies. His success is due to the fact that Tom insisted he go into management training, which would provide a 35% salary increase. In the meantime, I wonder what happened to the people who abused him. Are they earning barely above minimum wage somewhere?

People who forge past bullying are inspiring to us all. They teach us that we don’t have to accept labels or be held down by our past. It matters little if we don’t achieve in the traditional time and manner; everyone has their own timetable.

Besides, the slow starters are often the strongest finishers. Think of the Aesop fable of The Tortoise and the Hare!

What challenges have you overcome?

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