By Robert A. Vella

Many years ago, I worked for a large private business run by executives who treated their employees with great disdain.  The working environment they created was extremely authoritarian and tense, and the turnover rate of employees was very high.  We all felt terribly unappreciated, and fully understood that an impassable wall existed between us and management.

In a wider effort to gain even more control over workers, they hired a new supervisor for our department.  He was recruited from the far away east coast, and was a stranger to our regional industry.  He was a large man, intimidating and arrogant.  He acted like a schoolyard bully.  We immediately took a disliking to him especially since he didn’t appear to know what he was doing, but we were all wary of any confrontation for fear of losing our jobs.

Troubles began to mount.  This new supervisor did not understand the business, and had no appreciation for good workplace relations.  When he started sexually harassing our younger female coworkers, rumblings of retaliation intensified among our staff.  I feared that eventually this anger would trigger a violent incident.  So, I reported it to my department head without identifying any names.  The department head reported it to upper management who in turn came down hard on me like a ton of bricks.  You see, I had dared to climb over that impassable wall.

I was called before a meeting of 15-20 managers, executives, and their lawyers.  I was alone without any representation or even any allies.  I was ruthlessly interrogated and asked repeatedly to identify the names of my coworkers who had expressed hostile sentiments about the new supervisor.  Each time, I refused;  and, each time their demands became more forceful.  Unable to get that information, they suspended me for several days.  However, I never returned to work because I knew they would find an excuse to fire me sooner or later.

Shortly after my departure, my former coworkers informed me that the new supervisor had been terminated without any explanation.  They said I shouldn’t have quit, but thanked me for being brave.  I replied that it wasn’t bravery, just a personal responsibility to uphold basic human principles.

I’m sharing this story with you today as an analogy to President Trump and the Republican Party.  Bullies get their way through intimidation.  They know that most people won’t stand up to them.  When challenged, however, bullies get scared because they realize their tactics aren’t working anymore.  The bully puts himself on the highest pedestal possible, but the higher it is the easier it is to be pushed off.  That’s their Achilles heel.  Think of Trump as the new supervisor in my story.  Think of the GOP leadership as those company executives in the story.  They hired him to do their dirty work, and as long as it works to their benefit they’ll back him up.  But, when it no longer works to their benefit they’ll dump him in an instant.  This is the way of business and politics.

To precipitate Republicans’ realization that Trump is hurting them, sacrifices will have to be made.  Honorable people will have to take one for the team and fall on their swords.  It will happen eventually, it always does.  Trump is not the omnipotent aggressor that so many people believe.  He is but a paper tiger, an image of grandiosity devoid of substance.

Keep all this in mind as you read the end of this week’s news developments:

Trump played key role in coordinating hush money payments to Daniels, McDougal: report

Trump, arriving in Paris, lashes out at Macron over defense remarks

Trump Says He Will Not Meet Putin This Weekend, Contradicting the Kremlin

As Acting Attorney General, Matt Whitaker Now Oversees Investigation Into Own Murky Past

Trump denies knowing the man he appointed as the nation’s top law enforcement official

Flake slams Trump for doubting vote count: There is no evidence of ‘electoral corruption’

Florida’s Vote Counting Controversy Spells Trouble for 2020

Whoops! Brenda Snipes’ office mixed bad provisional ballots with good ones

19 thoughts on “Pushing the Bully off his Pedestal

  1. Robert, your personal story is a great and appropriate simile to what’s been going on in the White House — really all throughout tRump’s entire career before federal politics. Well done!

    If I may, I have two thoughts I’d like to share:

    1. — It is quite easy to identify a bully, authoritarian, megalomaniac full of himself. In the first few minutes, hours or days of meeting such a grandiose personality, their dead giveaway is what they talk about most or always come back to after (very!) briefly talking about other subjects/points. They talk about themselves, the world THEY have created, and how oblivious they are to the reality that there was no way possible they could/can do it solo. It is impossible to become a form of greatness or success WITHOUT the help of several/many others! But these bullies, authoritarians, megolomaniacs seem to NEVER talk about others in any great length or detail — 98% of the time it is all about themselves.

    2. — At a previous job similar to your story Robert, I had a cubicle (amongst some 50-60 cubicles attached to each other) that filled one entire 8th or 9th floor in north Dallas (Addison) in a very wealthy business area and high-rent tower. It was essentially a sales job, but disguised as Debt Settlement. In the late 1990’s into the 2000’s this was a VERY LUCRATIVE business/industry! Most middle-class and poor Americans were heavily leveraged and struggling then. The two brothers (in their 50’s) were already very successful and growing fast over their 6-years in business. Also, keep in mind that Texas is an “At-Will” labor state where ALL POWER rests squarely in the hands of the owner/employer. Employees have practically NO PROTECTION from unscrupulous, corrupt, manipulative owners/employers.

    Sorry for the great length, now to my point. We “Senior Debt Analysts” had to pretty much be on the phone talking with leads our full 8-9 hour shifts, i.e. making 70-80 calls per day. I was placed in the cubicle next to a former swim-suit model from small town Louisiana. She was a sexy sweetheart with that Cajun accent of hers! Most of my work-day there were TONS of male Sr. Analysts constantly walking by (down our aisle) to chit-chat with her! I had to request from my Sales Team Manager — also a SUPER HAWT female! — to be moved somewhere quieter. The problem? There weren’t very many other locations AWAY FROM really great looking women! I shit you not. Then it hit me. The light-bulb went off.

    About a week after I resigned — purely because favors and preferrable treatment went to the physically endowed and pleasing-to-the-male eye Analysts — I was told by a male-coworker friend that an email correspondence between one of the brother/owner was accidentally left open at one of the general computer/printer stations by the brother/owner’s ex-girlfriend(?) who was also super hot and “model status”, and printed. Basically the email promised to her another “gift” of $1,000 not to leave — the Sr. Debt Analyst position was 100% commissions and she was struggling bad.

    See, THAT is just ONE major moral, ethical problem with not only (Republican favored) “At-Will” labor laws and authoritarian megalomaniacs, but obviously what has crippled and destroyed many a man and woman, as well as corporations and nations throughout history — “the face that launched a thousand ships” to quote Marlowe and follow your “Achilles heel” analogy Robert. Those type of unprincipled, self-absorbed, addicted-to-total-power personalities will never learn, never change until they fall and fall in the most humiliating ways. They must be utterly broken to snap out of their delusion of grandeur about themselves.

    Liked by 3 people

      • HAH! Agree… what women can do to hetero men’s minds — even if you’d think that those “minds” and intelligence can’t be dumbed down any further! LOL 😄 Obviously we have a MAJOR design flaw! When those “hawt women” are placed in front of us or within a 50-yard radius of us, all 5.5 quarts of blood RUSH to one spot, one organ and leave our cranium MORE empty! Geezzzz. 😖

        😉 hehehe

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “He was a large man, intimidating and arrogant. He acted like a schoolyard bully.”
    ~ I, too, have had such a boss. In my case, he was the manager of the retail store of a nationwide company. When I submitted my resignation, I was asked to fill out a comprehensive form about my work environment and reason(s) for leaving. On my last day at work, we learned that the manager and the deputy manager had been fired by the Head Office in California.

    “Think of the GOP leadership as those company executives in the story. They hired him to do their dirty work, and as long as it works to their benefit they’ll back him up. But, when it no longer works to their benefit they’ll dump him in an instant. This is the way of business and politics.”
    ~ I totally agree. I’m waiting to see when they will find their moral fiber–for those who still have any–and put our country before the interests of their corporate donors.

    “He is but a paper tiger, an image of grandiosity devoid of substance.”
    ~ An excellent description of his true character.

    Keeping up with the pace and barrage of “news developments” has become mentally exhausting.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Your experience directly relates to mine. It’s pretty common, I think. Thanks for sharing that.

      For Republicans, I think it’s less of a matter of finding their moral fiber than acting in their own self-interest. Since day one of his presidency, Trump’s antics have increasingly become a political liability for the GOP. Their defeat in the midterms will be remembered over the next two years.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great story and I love how you compare it to tRump and his goons. Thanks for keeping a level head in all of this. It’s so easy to get swamped over with negativity due to how friggin’ awful tRump is. We actually did much better in these midterms than the talking news heads have let on. A few of the MSNBC hosts have pointed this out very well. It’s a rough road ahead still, but we MUST keep fighting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, and it was quite unnerving at the time. Sitting there all alone in that meeting room with all those cold, menacing eyes fixed upon me was an experience I’ll never forget. It taught me the essential nature of authoritarianism.

      Liked by 3 people

      • That took quite some courage and at least the conditions improved somewhat for those who had been unable to speak. It would have been much better if they didn’t hound you out of office

        Liked by 3 people

        • I surely didn’t feel courageous at the time. Rather, I felt more compelled and obliged to do what I did. When I decided not to return to work, it was a tremendous relief. After seeing up close what kind of people they were, there was no way I wanted to work for them anymore.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. Thumbs up to you for your courage to stand for what was right. I have gone through two similar situations and it is not easy, but we remember that at the end of the day, we all must live with our own conscience 24/7. Trump is the very definition of the word ‘bully’ and this morning when I heard Kellyanne come out with yet another blatant lie to defend the indefensible, I cringed. Perhaps some people actually don’t have a conscience?

    Liked by 3 people

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