Your Problems Solved, With Holly Harper

14-10-09

Dear Holly,
I'm a manager, but my staff don't respect me at all, and are constantly making me the butt of their jokes. At first I just ignored them, but over the last few weeks it has got worse. I constantly find post-it-notes saying things like 'twatmuppet' and 'knob-gobbler' stuck to my back, and the other day, I came in to find my Winne the Pooh desk mascot hanging from the ceiling in some kind of mock-execution. I know I'm a grown man, but I can't help feel like I am being bullied. How can I regain my authority?
Darren,
Swansea

Dear Darren,
You need to promise me, that no matter how bad the bullying gets, you don't tell your mum and dad about it. They might seem like they want to help, but let's face it, they're probably the reason you're being bullied in the first place. (If only your dad hadn't insisted on picking you up from the school disco half an hour early, striding on to the dancefloor with the dog and calling for you loudly as you cowered in shame under the strobe lights.)

Once you let your parents in on it, it's only a matter of time before they're phoning the headmaster to complain, or worse, making your big sister walk you to school. As soon as you're out of sight of the house in the morning she’ll grab you by your tie and warn you through her teeth to walk at least 100 yards behind her, on pain of death.

If you want any hope of surviving this, you need to deal with it yourself. The best plan is to keep your head down and wait patiently until some other, more deserving loser comes along to divert the bullies' attention.
Hope that helps!
Holly

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