I’m 25, and Being Bullied. Seriously.

3 12 2010

I never expected that, at the age of 25, I would experience my first real battle with bullying.

But, as I sit here in my office, surveying my desk–now devoid of several precious objects–I have to admit it:

I’m being bullied…by a bunch of guys who are bigger than me.

Oh, that’s not to say that I haven’t ever dealt with this issue of meanness. I went through middle school, after all–that horrible age when girls are ready to claw your eyes out and then pretend to be your best friend to your face as soon as you walk back to your seat from the pencil sharpener.

Or, in my case, threatened to break my legs and chop my long blonde hair off. And did things like smear Twinkies in my friends’ faces and throw sharpened pencils across the room at each other.

I first started dealing with bullies in grade school. First grade, to be precise. Somehow, I caught the attention of the grade’s biggest bully, Elizabeth–and we continued to battle like angry rams throughout the seven years I was at that school. I was pretty much the only kid in my grade that ever stood up to her–boys included–and when my popularity eventually eclipsed the web of fear she had cast over my classmates, I relished my role as the triumphant victor. My classmates were free from her tyranny, finally able to enjoy their lives, as I was the quintessential “good girl” who was nice to everyone (except Elizabeth, of course).

How did I manage this exceptional feat?

Long story short–she ended up stuffed in a trash can in the locker room.

And she never really bothered me much after that.

In the years since grade school, I’m actually surprised that I was never bullied again. Sure, there were a few isolated incidents here and there–for instance, the boys in 8th grade used to pull my hoodie over my head and tie my strings in a knot behind my back, so I helplessly flopped around the classroom like a patient from the mental ward with a few loose strands of hair and one eye peeking out between the folds of fabric.

And even now, I have to admit that it wasn’t a painful experience. In fact, it’s a prank I’ve been known to pull on some of my more aggravating students in the middle of winter. Shhh.

So you can imagine my dismay at this point, as I’m a quarter of a century old, upon finding myself being bullied.

I realize now, too late, that I’ve made several critical mistakes in working in an office setting:

  • I brought cool toys in, like a glittery bouncy ball that swirled magically, a cool modern hourglass, and a special zen art board.
  • I told people how much I liked these toys.
  • I told people that if these toys ever got stolen, my heart would be broken.

Naturally, now my bouncy ball and my hourglass are both gone.

And when I say gone, I actually mean “kidnapped”.

You see, the thief/thieves actually took pictures of the items, created Facebook pages and have been posting updates as the toys themselves, and have been making phone calls to me frequently–calls both from the toys, telling me how much they miss me, and from the captors, telling me to follow “a specific set of instructions if I ever want to see my toys again”.

I wish I was making this up. But in all seriousness, you can search Facebook and find “Cassie’s Ball” and “Cassie’s Hourglass” and add them as your friends, too. Currently, they have about 19 friends between them.

Unfortunately, I cannot pinpoint who the thief (or multiple thieves) is. He’s tricky enough to be calling me from a computer program that both disguises his voice and shows up as various staff members’ cell phone numbers–throwing me off the trail completely.

I’ve narrowed the suspect list down to a half-dozen guys I work with. And, in the last few days, I’ve grilled them–even going so far as to yell “hands up!” and make them all surrender their phones as I’m getting an incoming call from the thief.

No luck so far. But I’m confident that my detective skills will pay off in the long run. Besides, they don’t know about all the spies I’ve recruited to work for me.

They should’ve picked an easier victim. I am not going down without a fight.

I sometimes wonder if my life is really as random as it seems when I blog about it. I guess it is. Which, again, leads me to wonder–what would our office look like as a sitcom?

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