The Business End of Bullying

Imagine your alarm goes off and the idea of going to work is dreadful. The kids need you NOW and are clamoring for you to hurry to get to work early so you can LEAVE early to be at a school event. You drag yourself out of bed, drink several cups of coffee so you can drop your kids off and get to work. You get there early, satisfied that your work is caught up. Then the day starts. Your boss does not like a report you submitted. Has forgotten that you were to leave early. Questions your commitment to the job and your hairstyle. A coworker dumps another project on you. Your boss has you redo the report. You miss lunch. Another coworker will not take NO for an answer about going on a date and laughs at your rejection of his offer for an in office massage. Everyone goes to lunch leaving you to redo the report and with no time for lunch. Two meals missed now. You take a minute to call the pharmacy to see if your anti-depressant refill is ready; it’s not – they had a problem getting the insurance to process.  You get the report done. You are getting ready to leave (you WILL make it to the talent show!) and your boss returns stating that you need to revamp the report to its original status and present it later this afternoon because she has to leave the office for early drinks with colleagues. You miss yet another event with your kids. As you leave someone shares that you are responsible for the party decorations tomorrow. “Sorry, I forgot to tell you,” they say. Smile, I will post that crabby look you just gave me on Facebook! It’s dark, cold, you are tired and hungry. Your kids are angry and disappointed. Al, the security guy, is joking about people shooting up the places they work. “Can you imagine that?” He asks. “Hey, you look kind of down. See you tomorrow.” Maybe. Maybe not.

What does the scenario above have to do with RESPECT? We know that if children are not provided with accurate information and a variety of social skills and problem solving strategies, accompanied by resources and support from those who care about them, their problems in relationships with others can become more challenging, hurtful, and damaging. It can even pose a threat to their emotional and physical well-being.  These patterns of behavior, challenging social and interpersonal dynamics and the need for accurate information and support do not stop once a child or young adult leaves school. In fact, relationships often become more stressful to navigate once students enter “the real world.”This is why RESPECT is happy to announce our newest program The Business of Bullying written by RESPECT Artistic Director, Michele Philips.  This 90 minute program about the day in the life of a person who is being bullied and harassed at work follows the very successful model of staging conversations about healthy relationships that RESPECT has provided for over 17 years! It includes a 30 minute play performed by RESPECT actor educators, a panel discussion with resources to support the audience and components of role play and improvisation to help participants work through challenges, impact and solutions to bullying behavior in the workplace.

This is a great way to have conversations about workplace interactions, to prevent and identify potential problems and to support workers with solutions and resources. Additional workshops are available to support this 90 minute program and RESPECT is excited to launch this program in January!

If you or a friend’s organization or business would like to host The Business of Bullying, contact us at and we will get it scheduled.