The Finer Points of Harassment
- a feeling of intense annoyance caused by being tormented; “so great was his harassment that he wanted to destroy his tormentors”
- the act of tormenting by continued persistent attacks and criticism
My students and I were talking on our break about harassment. I have three female students; all of whom state that they were victims of sexual harassment. We also talked at length about hostile work environments.
I have been the victim of all kinds of harassment over the years. Since I am of Amerasian descent, I never seemed to fit into any kind of racial category. I am an amalgam, in a country of those who, like their forebears “were kicked out of every decent country in the world”. When I was young, I seemed to fit into a category that many women deemed “exotic”. Now, I am one of so many who are a plethora of races all balled up into one body. Yet, I am still dealing with occasional harassment in the workplace.
What I find fascinating, is that when I was in the service, I created teams. My job was to take the sweaty nineteen year-old young manager, who only knew how to yell at his peers, and turn him into a bona fide manager — one who watched over his flock like a caring shepherd, his other eye always on the lookout for anyone who tried to disrupt his territory.
I hear the horror stories of many small busineses today, where the owner is condescending, bitter, paranoid, or even manages through intimidation. In the case of a business where one is subjected to a person with a coercive management style, what can be said about such a manager? Or for that matter, a person who acts in such a way? A good manager is one who fosters respect. I have a perfect example in mind…I only wish I could give you his name in this blog.