Bully for me…and for you!



(Portrait of a Bully)

Fob Ford, scaring the crap


Rant du jour: Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. Sadly they’re in our lives to stay, because there will always be damaged human beings and egos that need constant feeding on the entrails of a kinder gentler folk.

Big and bold; Some bullies are larger than life, like Toronto’s jackass mayor, Rob Ford (ROFO) and his dumb ass brother, Doug (DOFO.) You might get the idea that I don’t care for Toronto’s mayor…I tried hard to be subtle.

Vicious in black: Some bullies come in tiny packages, like Sister Alicia, the 4 foot 8″ nun in a black and white habit who tormented students daily in the girl’s school I attended a half a century ago. Bullies like this feast like gluttons on the intimidation and fear they create in our lives.

Unbridled ubiquity: During my life, I have met threatening and abusive doctors, nurses who ran their own domain of terror, Nazi receptionists, barking-mad grade school teachers, obnoxious waiters, engineers with explosive egos, pit-bull lawyers, alcoholic bosses, and on and on and on…you get the picture. Bullies come in a variety of disguises in all professions. Sadly, we meet them on a daily basis.

Badge of honour: After surviving decades as a female-executive in the male dominated war-zone of banking where testosterone saturates the boardroom, I developed a wonderful life-saving condition called BBS…or to the lay person, “Bully Block Syndrome.” This condition took years to develop and has now left me immune to the slings, arrows and emotional tactics of any bullies I now meet in my life. In short, they can’t hurt me anymore. I don’t fear them and as an added advantage of this condition, I can smell a bully at a hundred paces.

Dangerous liaisons: Bullies have different modus operandi. Most of us vividly remember the bullies who taunted us in the schoolyard with hard knuckle punches to the nose and even harder verbal punches to our feelings. But bullies aren’t always an overt threat, especially as they age. Young bullies often grow up to be professional bullies, where they work covertly in stealth mode and become even more cunning and more dangerous.

Bully spotting: Some bullies merely stand in a confrontational pose with fists clenched and a hard stare (like ROFO), daring anyone to challenge them. Others use their positions of influence to bark orders at underlings and leave no room for being questioned (like ROFO). Some intimidate and threaten their long-suffering wives into submission (like ROFO.) Many avoid sharing knowledge, in an effort to overpower and keep others dependent on them with a tight grip on their control, (ROFO has no knowledge of anything). Some take the coward’s route behind the anonymity of the computer through cyber-bullying, (ROFO doesn’t know what a computer is). And still others take every opportunity to treat you as a friend, while they secretly discredit you behind your back. (ROFO has no friends.)  These are all the acts of a despicable bully.

Prime targets: While children are thankfully being taught all about dealing with bullies in school…you know what? As a senior, we are just as vulnerable to bullying, because they… the grown-up professional bullies…think we won’t fight back. We’re much too weak , too stupid, too old.

Pushing back: Well they’re wrong! We all need to stand up, face them nose-to-nose and hold our ground.  And we can’t be shy about it. Call it what it is. We’ve lived long enough not to have to put up with that crap anymore.

Speak out: So the next time you snag a bully in your bully-radar, tell them exactly what you think of them! You’ve earned the right! And so have I. And as a final word…if you live in Toronto, for everything that’s holy…don’t even think of voting for another “FORD MORE” years of  that red-faced  buffoon below!

See you between the lines…Pat Skene

Rob Ford red face

Ford ford finger

12 responses »

  1. Well I’m guessing you won’t be buying a ford for your new car! Too bad the Ford brothers declined my rsvp for dinner when you and Bob were here. It would have been an exciting time! Lovely choice of flattering pictures of the future mayor of Toronto. He does know how to put his best foot forward.

    Good job!


    Sent from Windows Mail


    • I think he declined your dinner because you weren’t serving his kind of hash! In fact, I believe he spent the night in a drunken stupor. And as far as his best foot? It’s always in his mouth! Thanks for reading!


  2. Love that phrase “bully block syndrome” ….will have to teach that one to my grandson!
    Totally agree about what a BUFFOON he is!
    Oh….he does keep” us all entertained though!
    Very well written!
    Will look forward to more of your rantzes about him!


    • Hey Britt Girl. Tell your grandson to be patient and stick with it, because he won’t develop BBS overnight. It all comes with the courage to hold your ground, speak your mind – and not pee your pants when faced with the obnoxious behaviour of a bully. Thanks for reading!


  3. I’m in southern california so I am beyond ignorant about politics/politicians in Toronto but I DO know about bullies! I just wrote a piece where I recalled the bullies in my classroom…and the teacher was even worse. “Barking-mad,” as you so succinctly put it. But to this day I’m not very good about standing up to them…Your words will give me courage.

    A thought. And sometimes we are ‘bullies’ to ourselves, aren’t we?


    • Yes, Jenine, sadly sometimes we are our own worst bullies. But as we age, I try to find the courage to say yes to the things that feel right and a good solid no to those things that don’t. As my old parish priest used to say every single Sunday of my childhood…”Let your conscience be your guide.” Yes, I thought it was interesting that we both wrote a bully piece. Good article too Janine. Bully for us!


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