This report in Reynolds’ Newspaper from 1896 details the case of an employer who was charged with flogging (whipping) his young apprentice worker.
At Sunbury Petty Sessions1 William Thomas Nash, 25, a baker, of Laleham-road, Staines, was charged with assaulting and beating Egbert Allen, fifteen years of age, by striking him on the body with a whip-stock. Prisoner pleaded “Guilty,” and elected to be dealt with summarily.
John Warricker, a builder’s foreman, said the prisoner struck the boy a number of times with the whip, and then he struck him full in the face with his fist and knocked him down. Afterwards witness found that the boy was bruised from head to foot, and his right eye was bleeding profusely2. Witness therefore took the boy to the police station where he was examined by a doctor, and later prisoner was charged.
Police-constable Scott said he arrested prisoner, and in answer to witness he said: “Yes ; I gave him a – good thrashing with the handle of a whip. He has been neglecting my customers.” After a short consultation, the Bench sentenced the prisoner to two months’ hard labour, without the option of a fine. Mr. Young said, under the circumstances, prisoner was entitled to appeal against the decision of the Court, and there were persons in court who would enter into recognizances3 for the appearance of his client at the next quarter sessions.
The Bench allowed the appeal, and the Rev. G. W. Briscoe and Mr. Charles Tolley, a master baker, of Staines, were accepted as sureties4.
1 court hearing
4 people who will make sure of the guarantees
The best way to deal with bullies at work is to group together with your co-workers and expose their behaviour, so they lose the power to terrorise.
Bullying can turn an idyllic job into something you dread. Whether it’s your co-worker or a boss, dealing with intimidation at work can leave you feeling constantly on edge, fearful, and helpless.
Bullies are generally defined as people who intimidate or control others to achieve their aims. They may collaborate when their goals are being met, but they lack fairness or honesty. Workplace bullies generally manipulate or terrorise those with status below or equivalent to themselves. They may also intimidate superiors, such as threatening to resign at a critical point.
People wrongly assume bullies have low self-esteem, but their behaviour is actually a response to internalised shame. Although some people who live with shame have low self-esteem, those who behave like bullies tend to have high self-esteem and arrogant pride. They attack others to take away their shame – which allows them to remain unaware of their feelings.
Early in life people form different ways of responding to shame. By adulthood, these coping responses become personality traits. Typical coping responses fall into four types: attacking others, attacking oneself, avoidance and withdrawal. When shame threatens people who bully – for example, when they risk looking incompetent at work – they will attack others.
At the extreme side of the scale, people become self-centred and deal with deeply-embedded shame by attacking others continually.
Psychologically, bullies cause shame to others by recognising and attacking their insecurities. The bully’s attack is his or her own shame, repackaged to target the victim’s own vulnerabilities.
Attacking others not only blots out the shame they are feeling, but it also stimulates the experience of power. Although bullies diminish others in an attempt to raise themselves up, they are not conscious of how bad they feel about themselves. Through their behaviour, their own feelings of inadequacy remain hidden. Diminishing others keeps shame out of their conscious awareness. If a bully underhandedly degrades a co-worker and the co-worker responds in kind, the bully will focus on the wrongdoing of the co-worker, and have no insight that the co-worker’s behaviour is in response to his or her own.
Adults at work are as vulnerable as children in the playground if they sympathise with bullies and believe they suffer from feelings of low self-esteem. Any approach to dealing with bullies will not work if it is based on the belief that a bully is consciously aware of his or her shame, or capable of remorse.
The way to deal with bullies is to unite with your co-workers. Grouping against a bully will provide victims with support for their feelings, since victims of bullies are at risk of becoming isolated. Through joining together and discussing the bully’s behaviour, co-workers can contain the bully, who, with their behaviour exposed, loses the power to terrorise – and faces the threat of isolation.
Meanwhile, bullies can only stop their behaviour once they develop the ability to tolerate distress – rather than acting aggressively – and learn to positively process their shame.