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Couldn't defend myself to older bullies ...


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I didn't defend myself well enough to older bullies at a volunteer organization...

 

This happened last night. The volunteer organization was comprised of older people in their sixties (I'm in my mid 20's), and I used to volunteer there for 4 years, and yesterday was my first time to visit them in a year- because they were offering a free event. Many people I've known very well didn't even mention my name when saying hello. They opted to say "I forgot your name..." How disrespectful, especially when I volunteered in 4 FREE years of my time there.

 

Then I had the most terrible encounter with the former boss. He walked toward me, and said "I haven't seen you for a long time" ... "So you left and haven't come back to any meetings." I got nervous, so I then told him how I helped out the organization that day by carrying their boxes, but then he said, "Are you still American or Al-Jazerra?!" I was then shocked to the point that I couldn't understand him very well. I stuttered then afterwards. I told him my name (like he doesn't know me already- he knew me for 4 years), and then he walked away and said, "You look like somebody I know".

 

This incident is still ringing in my head.

 

Has anybody here been bullied?

 

 

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This doesn't sound like bullying.  It sounds like some of those people didn't remember your name.  I'm sorry, but I'm in my 60s and if I don't see an acquaintance in a year, I very often forget their name.  So I'm not sure why you are calling this bullying.

 

olga

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I wouldn't worry that people didn't remember your name.  It happens at that age.  Hell, it happens to me, and I'm only 5 years older than you are.  Good thing they remembered your face, though.

 

OTOH, I'm not sure what the former boss was thinking when he asked you if you were "American or al-Jazeera".  I don't know if that was an attempt at humor, a racist overtone/remark, or both.  That was bullying and I'm sorry you had to go through it.  Almost makes me wonder if the moron has suffered a stroke since the last time he saw you. :glare:

 

And yeah, a lot of us MDD patients are/were bullying victims.  I could tirade into my whole life story (it involved my peers, occasionally a teacher or two, a couple of d*ckhead supervisors, and about 50% my own parents), but a long story cut short, yes I've been bullied and I know how it feels.  It's when the wrong people say the wrong things about you.

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I would consider the Al Jazeera comment to be verbally abusive and constitute bullying.  It sounded like he was trying to make you feel badly about not having been there.  I've had to suffer through racially tinged insults like that also.  The best way to deal with it is to ask the person who is harassing you what they mean by what they were saying.  It usually comes out when they try to explain their way out of the mess or just end up backing off what they said as bullies who are confronted often do. 

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I got nervous, so I then told him how I helped out the organization that day by carrying their boxes, but then he said, "Are you still American or Al-Jazerra?!" 

Wtf is that even supposed to mean? What a fucking idiot.

 

Yes, that is bullying and I'm sorry you had to put up with it. I would definitely never go back to anything or help these ungrateful pieces of shit with anything again. 

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Thanks for all the helpful advice and support.

 

Here's some clarification and reflection (after a couple of days thinking):

 

The "former boss", from my point of view, was trying to bully me with his remarks because I left the volunteer organization for a year and then came back. He was probably implying are you still loyal to us or a traitor? I think that was what he meant by "Are you American or Al-Jazerra?!" But during my 4 years volunteering, he did throw some racist remarks at me from time to time, and would put pressure on me. I felt my confidence lower as a result of his recurrent behavior towards me. Additionally, in the volunteer organization, I was the only minority (by age and race) there, and that contributed to me being discriminated and feeling alone at times. What made me stay there was what the organization was all about. But I wanted to move on (finish college and find paid jobs). Ironically, they were only interested in my skills and expertise, not to respect me as someone on their same level.

Edited by LonelyArtist
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Racial discrimination from clients may occur, and that sucks and I'm not sure what one can do about it. 

 

However, racial discrimination from a supervisor is not tolerable.  The politicking implied in your supervisor's al-Jazeera remark is also unacceptable of him.  I am very sorry for what you have been through; you may wish to file a formal complaint with respect to your supervisor.

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The racial comment just made me go WTF!? I am so sorry you had to put up with that and I can understand how you would've been flustered by it. Leaving a volunteer organization for a little while to live and get an education is setting good priorities for yourself if not goals. Be proud :) That said, the organization is lucky to have you. They're lucky to simply have volunteers and they need to treat them, regardless of age or race, or background etc, very well. This should be rule #1 for any non-profit volunteer organization. They're lucky that you came back to help. As for not remembering you... I don't think it's personal. I have a serious problem of knowing people's faces as familiar and despite my best efforts, forgetting their names. It's embarrassing a lot of times, but I try to tell people not to take it personally. Hang in there :)

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I am sorry this happened to you. The fact that people didn't remember your name isn't nearly as disturbing as your former boss & his idiot comments.

 

I am sure there are lots of volunteer organizations that would love to have you participate and treat you respectfully at the same time!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Re-visiting the topic, yeah, the al-Jazeera comment was a major WTF for me, as well.  Okay, so al-Jazeera (IIRC) is an unbiased, Qatar-based news organization in the Middle East.  However, it seems that your supervisor's remarks were pretty clear and an insult (both to you as well as al-Jazeera itself).  If you ever see this d*ckhead again, you might want to remind him that both al-Jazeera and you are insulted by his inconsideration.  Maybe he will re-consider.

 

Reminds me of a conversation I've had with more than one friend:

 

Friend: "You're studying IT? Does that mean you're gonna take our jobs?"

Me: "No, that means I'm gonna stop people in India from takin' our jobs.  My mom, who also works in IT, can testify."

Friend: "Is she takin' our jobs?"

Me: "Not to my knowledge.  She's complaining that her relatives back home are takin' her job."

Friend: "Wait, you mean that you're mad that like your uncle's takin' jobs from both your mom and you?!"

Me: "Hell yeah."

 

(okay okay, sometimes I think I'm more bigoted than the natives in my country...)

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