Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 22nd 2013 Contents B8
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt September 22, 2013
A few weeks before the opening
of schools there was much conver-
sation about bullying in our
schools, and it created great aware-
ness for parents and their children.
But what about workplace bully-
Being bullied as an adult is one
of the hardest things to deal with.
This treatment tends to create self-
blame; doubt—you come to believe
that you’re thoroughly incompetent,
when you were once an award-win-
ning worker with the certifications
to prove it; erosion of one’s self-
esteem and confidence. It’s a dis-
assembly of one’s adult personality
and it’s harmful.
Workplace bullying defined
It is repeated, health-harming
mistreatment of one or more persons
(the targets) by one or more perpe-
trators that takes one or more of the
• Verbal abuse
• Conduct which is threatening,
humiliating or intimidating
• Work interference, sabotage, which
prevents work from getting done
• Exploitation of a known psycho-
logical or physical vulnerability
What bullying is not ...
It is not incivility, simple rudeness,
or the routine exercise of acceptable
managerial prerogative. When abuse
becomes routine, the work environ-
ment is toxic. Quality work and
employee engagement are impossi-
ble. Neither is bullying conflict
between two equally-powered indi-
viduals who simply disagree over
Therefore, conflict resolution tools
are a waste of time. Wrong solution
for the improperly defined problem.
Bullying is violence and not sub-
ject to mediation.
Bullies are too
expensive to keep
Employers are reluctant to con-
front hyperaggressive managers and
staff. They fear lawsuits and difficulty
replacing the staff considered “indis-
The truth is that it is costlier to
fail to act than it is to pursue solu-
tions. Bullies are undermining legit-
imate business processes and harm-
ing people in secret.
Employers need to examine the
real costs of unwanted turnover,
absenteeism, and complaint settle-
ments. The bully is expensive.
So how should people deal with
bullying? What’s the best way of
doing it? Clearly they need to take
action, but this can prove to be dif-
ficult. So here’s a three-step model
which can be the road to positive,
good mental health and you have a
seven out of ten chance of losing
the job you once loved, so you’re
already at risk. You suffer no more
risk to follow these steps.
Step one: you’ve got to come out
of hiding—you’ve got to name bul-
lying. If you claim illegal harassment
or discrimination, you should be able
to go to Human Resources and say,
“I want to claim that I’m being
harassed.” The employer must take
it into account and must investigate.
But if you go down and you say
you’re bullied and there’s no policy
against bullying, some employers
will tell you, “You know, it’s a shame
what has happened to you, but we
don’t have a policy against it, and
sorry, there’s nothing we can really
That delegitimises the person.
They feel that they’re worthless
because of something that’s hap-
pened to them. So, as soon as people
name it, they suddenly know what
to call what happened to them; when
they can name the phenomenon,
they can point the finger to a wrong-
doer and say, “That person is the
source of the problem; I’m not.”
That’s the first step toward mental
The journey towards resolution is
naming it. However, it takes people
a long time to get there because of
their work ethic and their unwill-
ingness to complain and come for-
ward; they stay silent too long, but
step one is to name it. They need
to know they’re not alone; they need
to know they didn’t cause it.
To be continued....
Start naming bullying
JANICE LEARMOND CRIQUI CPC, ACC
Ideal Life Associate Certified Coach
Diamond Jim Hardin would be
asked, did he realise that he had
created Trinidad’s only indigenous
Carnival character when he created
his long-nose sailor that led to the
Fancy Sailor so many years ago?
To George Bailey, did you realise,
having been put out of Invaders
Steelband for not wanting to pay a
band fee, that you would become
one of the premier bandleaders of
a bygone era?
What would you say to those
charged with the administration
of the various bodies of our cultural
Forget self and have people who
really know about the various cul-
tural forms advise and document
for later generations all that’s being
done. Designate a readily available
space where researchers could work
Also set about getting our history
right. Many mistakes come from
the media, which perpetuate them
over and over. For example, let’s not
refer to the three ships on the coat
of arms as the Nina, The Pinta and
the Santa Maria. By the time
Columbus reached here, on his third
voyage, the last-mentioned had run
aground off Haiti, the lumber being
used to help build a fort on the
island. But this is a long story for
What would become of all the
information that you possess, both
tangible and intangible?
I’ve written several pieces for the
dailies most of which were pub-
lished, and I hope they will continue
to do so. There are several on stream:
one on the Sel Duncan story, the
abusive calypsoes that were recorded
by Houdini in the USA on our local
calypsonians, a commentary on
Cook’s J’Ouvert LP and my recol-
lections of Tunapuna as a young
A lot will be passed on together
with the collection. I do have some
very dear friends who will appreciate
having what is available on or close
to my transition.
What was the most difficult deci-
sion you ever had to make?
To return home to live, give up
my green card, and face the future
here. Andre Tanker’s Ah Come Back
Home was the inspiration, that and
several talks I had with him.
What daily motto/credo do you
Thy will be done.
How would you describe yourself
in three words, one beginning with
E, T, and P, your initials?
Efficient, Truthful, Positive.
What is/are the most important
lesson/s you’ve learned in life?
The universal law of karma.
What advice would you give to
the young people of T&T?
Learn as much as you can in as
many spheres as possible, then excel
in that which you enjoy doing the
most. Everything learned is always
How can our readers contact
For Edward Pinheiro...
It’s a labour of love for local culture
From Page B1
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