An open letter to bullies in the workplace

Dear bully,

You didn’t win, because what didn’t kill me made me stronger.

Here’s how I’m now a better candle than before I started working with you.

1. I know how to prioritise. When you are given a bazillion things to do (by yesterday, please), you get awfully good at sorting the wheat from the chaff.

2. I don’t catastrophise. When the Losada ratio (the ratio of positive to negative comments, ideal in businesses is 3:1, in relationships 5:1) at your workplace is closer to 1:10, it becomes commonplace to ask yourself “will this really matter in a week’s time?” and “how much worse can it get anyway?”

3. I set very high expectations for myself. You can never please your superiors so you do everything you can to please yourself. This means going the extra mile. And then some.

4. I am abreast of all the cutting edge ideas and latest research. When they are preached, incessantly, it’s not surprising that you’re implementing things months before teachers at other schools have even heard of them.

5. I am super organised. When you could be questioned at any moment and asked for evidence of program A, project B or policy C, your records consequently are impeccable.

6. I am an experienced leader. When  everything is delegated, you get a chance to do things usually reserved for admin and senior staff.

7. I have an instant support crew. I know that in times of need, I can call on any staff member who has been where I’ve been, and they will understand me. We are bound together eternally by a common thread of discord.

8. I am super resilient. After years of criticism, everything becomes  water off a duck’s back and you get exceptional at picking your battles.

9. I don’t buy into staff room gossip. When complaints repeatedly fall on deaf ears and you see clearly that some people just are the way they are, there is no point wasting your time with whining (wining, on the other hand, is encouraged.)

10. I am optimistic for the future. I have learnt so much about what kind of teacher I want to be and what kind of workplace I want to be part of.

And, last but not least…

11. I am a survivor!



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