Saturday Thoughts on Bullying

An electrician hooking up a generator to a hom...
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Saturday Thoughts on Bullying

Sometimes men speak very loudly when dealing with me and when they do this it hurts my ears .I see and hear men doing this to other women as well from time to time. The other day I was at my new house where I am interviewing men to work there. I would have liked to hire only women but it seems there are only male electricians and plumbers which are what I need. I do have a female architect who I like very much as well as a great designer but that’s about it in terms of people who will restore my lovely house.

Actually it doesn’t need much restoration as the lady who lived there was as in love with her house as I am now. It does not have wiring and plumbing and heating that match this century, however, and I need those things. I am a big fan of electricity, heat and hot water. There’s nothing I like better than a nice hot bath, a good book, a glass of wine, and central heating. Well, maybe popcorn.

Anyway the other day I interviewed another electrician and he was a very loud talker. He fired off technical questions as if we were on a quiz show and I was a contestant. AMP’s, BTU’S and CAT 5 were flying all over the place. I felt refreshed and stimulated by this interrogation as I batted the terms right back at him and stared him straight in the eye. Wow! It was fun! Though he was much larger than me in every way I felt as if I were just his size and that we were very well matched. St the time I didn’t really take notice of how much fun this interaction was but in reflection I see I enjoyed it as I wasn’t being bullied. I might have been had I not responded as I did but I didn’t take that road.

Probably this guy had bad experiences working with women who didn’t have a general contractor working with them. Maybe it took too long for him to explain things and this frustrated him or maybe he simply was a bully or maybe he is just kindove gruff. It really doesn’t matter. What mattered to me was how much I enjoyed not allowing myself to be bullied and how it wasn’t even an issue.

So I have learned something, I think. Some of the time, anyway, we allow men to bully us and it really isn’t helpful to the man or to us for this to happen. I went to a conference on abused women and the focus was on how to help the men who did this. I went, initially, because a friend of mine was working on this cause and invited me. I was prepared to be disgusted and unsympathetic but left with more understanding of why this happens.

I still think the men who do this should be locked up for a long time but now I have a little more of a perspective on the dynamic of it all. I liked feeling as big as that man and at the end of our interchange I know we respected each other. I hope his bid comes in a good range as I would like to hire him. I found that learning how to be strong verbally is almost as good as learning to shoot was.

Life gets better as I get older. Others worry about aging and losing power and being alone. I share those worries at times. It is a strange time to be alive. Everything is changing yet so much is the same. Hope is in the air. The other day there was an article in the New York Times talking about how people are learning to solve problems and face the future by being inclusive in their communications. How wonderful is that? Arguing for the sake of winning seems a foolish exercise while discussing for the sake of a more agreeable and profitable outcome seems very sensible, indeed.

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