A New Crusade – Rage Against the Bully

Bullies seem to be in style now – we all have our Trump.  And I have my own bully, my own personal bully – the kind one finds in a workplace.  Research teaches me that this is not my first one.  I simply have not recognized them.

In this new age of bullies – ones that torture children at school and through the internet, ones that get elected to high office, ones that lurk around the workplace – it felt reasonable to do a little online research to see if any of the pieces fit my situation, if any of the boxes could be checked.

All of the boxes could be checked for me as the classic target of a classic bully.  Oddly, the discovery is liberating.  I mean, even if I don’t escape the “attentions” of this person, I will still be free of the effect of those attentions.  With time, opportunity, and careful cunning, I may be able to convince my tormentor to move on to some easier target.

That may sound cold-hearted – wishing the bully onto some other poor soul – but, nothing will ever stop the bully from being one. Sadly, there is no guarantee against picking up another one – like I said, I recognize that I have had at least 2 in the past 3 years.   All one can do is shake them loose.  Fortunately or unfortunately, both of those encounters resulted in a job loss for me.  By the way, being the target of a bully in the workplace usually does result in the loss of your job according to research.

It’s not important to display details of this very stressful , insidious, and personal torture.  Bullies come in all shapes and sizes with all manner of psychological influences and motivations.  That one latches on to me (or you) is only a matter of matching up profiles.  It is almost neither person’s fault.  It is import to realize, also, that bullying is not illegal – it cannot be viewed as harassment unless it is clearly based in illegal discrimination.

The important thing for the target of the bully is to recognize what is happening and call it by its name.  That simple gesture alone will relieve a lot of unhealthy stress and put one in the productive mindset that will enable escape from any further damage, professionally and emotionally, by the bully.

I’m still learning and I will share an important website :

http://www.workplacebullying.org

If you suspect that you have become the target of workplace bullying, check out this very helpful website.

The Pelicans are Here at Seal Rocks

Yesterday and again today, I saw 2 or 3 dozen Brown Pelicans, Pelecanus occidentalis, on the large rock on the south end of Seal Rock State Park. The sky was breaking with blue and, as I walked north, I saw pelicans on Elephant Rock at the north end of the park. It felt like a gift to see them; they are my favorite seabird. It is my understanding that the Brown Pelican wanders between Canada (Southern British Columbia) and points south; a bit uncommon to see, they are related to cormorants as evidenced by throat pouches and webbed toes. Even so, the pelican’s pouch is enormous compared to any cormorant. They wander the Northwest coastline to follow food which they dive to reach and fill their throat pouches – releasing the water and swallowing the fish.

So, it is truly a gift for me from the universe to see so many and in one area. Spoken as a person who is thrilled to see 3 or 4 skimming the waves in view and then to disappear around a sea stack. I’m so happy to see them in such numbers here today!

Cruel Day for Ravens

Ravens, Corvus corax, are large sleek, black shiny, and extremely smart. A raven will assess a problem, figure out a tool and make the tool with another tool if needed to meet a challenge head-on. A trait I admire. Resourceful, clever, undaunted.

In Oregon, on the Central Oregon Coast, the Northern Raven inhabits the open and forested places.

Native people of the Pacific Northwest regard the raven as an incurable trickster, bringing fire to people by stealing it from the sun, and stealing salmon only to drop them in rivers all over the world. 1

Anecdotal evidence – isn’t that what you call it when someone tells you what they saw? – reveals that ravens can get a little rowdy and destructive when, in the autumn, berries ferment on the vine. Ravens eat them, as do other birds. But, when ravens eat fermenting berries which are, in fact, wine, the ravens get drunk and rowdy. They have been seen stumbling about the parking lot at Cape Perpetua looking around and spoiling for a fight. Normally the picture of pride and decorum admired and loved, the Cape Perpetua raven pair get berry drunk and attack inanimate objects that, in their state of drunkenness, are an annoyance or threat. For example, cars.

It has been observed, scientifically, that ravens form nesting pairs that stay together all year long. The pair then spends much energy defending what they view as their place in the world from all intruders. When a pair of ravens is berry drunk, even that raven in the side mirror must be repelled – beaten to a bloody pulp. Ravens can cause some damage. At Cape Perpetua, the resident raven pair caused damages to vehicles in the thousands of visitor dollars.

A simple observer, I only see the fine and noble raven. I smile at the male, he bows to acknowledge me (or so I would like to believe about his nod). He feels large, an imposing presence – a middle-aged raven maybe 5 – 7 years old – standing in the evergreen tree just a bit away from the door of the Cape Perpetua visitor center. Turning to lock the door behind me, I feel safe – like walking with a street-wise boyfriend on the mean streets – when I see the raven nearby.

But, you can’t hit and run in a blur of Autumnal drunkenness and get away with it every year, not even if you’re a clever and noble bird, not even if you’re a clever and noble bird who has been there longer than most of the people, not when dollars are involved.

This morning, October 31, 2013, a Forest Service employee raised a gun fitted with a silencer (so none of the nature lovers visiting the area would be disturbed) and killed the raven pair.

And, my co-worker aged 42 with wife and three children at home and a mortgage he can barely cover was fired from his job today, October 31, 2013. Fired from his job of 16 and ½ years.

It’s always about dollars. Tears, like mine, only prove one thing regarding ravens and co-workers – I was made for some other place.

1 The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/common_raven/lifehistory