Cubicle Bullies

Feb 23

Cubicle bully no backgroundWe sit in our cubicles – crowded and close,
Ten of us here and most quite verbose.
Most are quite helpful – one’s rude as can be,
Obnoxious and nasty – when talking to me.
So I went to my boss after trying my luck,
Confronting this issue – and stopping this schmuck.
This bullying problem- covert around here,
Is killing my spirit and spreading more fear.
But my boss as a leader, or lack of he is,
Ignored my request saying, “Get back to biz!”
“Oh it can’t be that bad, your skin’s way too thin,”
And with that I gave up – and retreated within.
Now my cubicle bully – a smirk on her face,
Harasses and teases, at will without grace.
She never gets busted – I’m so uninspired,
I’ll do less ‘round here – might even get fired.
I came here to work and answer my calling,
But leadership here is weak and appalling.
With my boss playing chicken, a bully in my face,
I’ll just put in my time… ‘till I’m out of this place!


Image Above: Courtesy Elliot Dahl Designs – Image Below: Nikita Krushchev – Russian Dictator. Courtesy of Wikipedia. Who’s dictating at your company? Who uses fear in your organization to get his/her way?

Isn’t it quite amazing that in this world of high technology, communication training and a deeper understanding of what makes a business successful that we still allow fear and intimidation to fester unchecked in many organizations? Isn’t it mind blowing that bosses, peers, and others can say and do things to other people that are beyond rude and obnoxious and yet they are allowed to get by with it? What is the cost to an organization that allows abusive behaviors to continue? It’s enormous. Beyond dollars and cents, little things like brand, culture, and reputation Nikita_S._Chruschtschoware tarnished.

More importantly, those employees who came into the organization with passion and enthusiasm suddenly find themselves being just the opposite. Biding their time until a better job comes along or worse yet, resigning themselves, collecting a paycheck, and saying the hell with caring about the quality of work, the importance of their position or the well-being of their company.

Bottom line, fear works. Ask Hitler. Ask Castro. Ask Krushchev. Fear motivates people while the the gun is pointed. Drop the weapon for a minute and you better not turn your back. There is little creativity nor loyalty when fear is present. How does your organization foster open and honest communication when their is fear? Does it matter? Having worked in environments where fear and intimidation runs rampant, I have seen the toll on the human spirit, the personal health of employees and the cost to those invested in the success of the company.

Whether it’s an asshole of a boss or an intimidating co-worker, it’s costing the individual, the business and our society a very high price. What price are you willing to pay – whether you’re an employee or the employer? What can you do? What will you do? If you’re an employer, do you really know who uses fear and intimidation to motivate the troops? You might be surprised. Those who use fear are master manipulators and have learned to put on a friendly face as needed.

I would love to hear your thoughts.


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Why Try Fit in?

Jan 19

Why stay in the lines when you’d rather draw big?
Why dress like a dog when you’re really a pig?
Why put on a smile when you’re grouchy as hell?
Why keep a secret when you’d much rather tell?
Why polish your shoes when you’d rather go bare?
Why shave both your legs when you’d rather grow hair?
Why muzzle your mouth when you want to be heard?
Why marry a stud when you wanted a nerd?
Why paint black and white when you’ve color to share?
Why act like you’re shy when you want them to stare?
Why whisper so low when you’d much rather shout?
Why try fit in when you’d rather stand out?

– – – – – – – – – – –

See more of Marilyn Huerta’s amazing art. 

Copyright 2013 Steve Dahl


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Releasing a Predator – Lion or Douglas Badger

Jan 12

My thoughts on releasing repeat offending sexual predators: The sexual predator that is about to be released in San Diego will follow a very expected course. I am a very forgiving person but I’m not stupid. Sometimes bad DNA takes over a person’s behavior and the only way to help that person is to confine that person. Not unlike the wild animal who has DNA designed to kill.

We can spend a lot of time calling Douglas Badger a creep and a freak but the one thing we know for sure is that he is an animal, like all of us.  But, he has slightly different DNA than most. His is designed to attack. I wouldn’t get into a cage with a natural born predator and we shouldn’t let them roam our neighborhoods either. The image of Douglas Badger is courtesy Fox News 5 San Diego. 


Releasing a Predator

When raising wild lions we’ve caught,Lioness with a bloody muzzle
Inside a steel-barred cage,
We calm him down, we feed him,
And ignore his inborn rage.
Not a rage that comes by simple choice,
But rage from DNA,
A rage that cannot be undone,
Or simply wished away.
Why are we shocked when lion’s strike,
And hurt the ones who care,
It’s in their cells to do these things,
We can’t be unaware.
Predators have a thing inside,
That cause surprise attacks,
Like felons hunting girls and boys,
To do horrendous acts.
 Sexual Predator Douglas Badger 300px
The predators of the human kind,
No different in their way,
They cannot stop from hunting though,
It’s in their DNA.
It’s why we lock these creatures up,
And keep them from their range,
One cannot stop a lion’s urge,
Or hope that he will change.
Copyright 2013 Steve Dahl 
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Intentions Planted

Jan 06

Sometimes our intentions are all it takes to set our life down a specific path. Sometimes we don’t even think about what we’re thinking about. In this piece, I try to demonstrate that all of us have that unique ability to create our own future, yet when we focus on it too much we can still screw it up! Stop for a minute. Breathe. Think. Intend.
Sprouting seedling narrowWhat are your intentions today?


Intentions Planted

Buried in the darkness,
Deep in the earth,
I plant my intention,
For all that it’s worth.
Who knows the season,
That sprouting takes place,
I’ve planted my vision,
I don’t know the pace.
Concern for the harvest,
Is not on my mind,
Intentions will sprout,
When given the time.
Pushing through darkness,
Struggling toward light,
My vision will blossom,
And all will be right.
Copyright 2013 Steve Dahl 
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I’m a Con Man

Dec 19

I’m a con man, a gangster,
I will sell you this pill.
I will fool you and bribe you,grim reaper
And tempt you – I will.
I’m a surgeon, so invasive,
I will slice my way in.
I get deep in your wallet,
And under your skin.
I’m a lover and a hairdo,
And a car you must have,
And I tug on your heart strings,
‘Till you want me so bad.
I’m a restaurant, your new shoes,
But I’m not who you think,
I am slippery and smooth,
Like a happy hour drink.
TV Remote Control
I’m your ego, half a minute,
I’m a very good liar,
I’m the ad on your TV,
And I’m spreading desire.  



Copyright 2013 Steve Dahl

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My Shameful Story

Oct 14

Brene Brown’s research and writing on the impact of shame on our lives inspired me to write this piece. Her bottom line to getting over the shame so many of us feel is simply to speak it. Hidden shame is lasting shame. Speaking of shame is the healing of shame. So, let’s try it out! What do you think?

My Shameful Story 

The shame I’ve buried deep inside,
Festers there – it’s still alive,
a failureIt is not buried deep enough,
To hide me from my ugly stuff.
I know it’s in there, playing dead,
Imperfection in my head,
It keeps me small controls my heart,
This shame could tear my life apart.

I can’t control my shameful story,
All its pain and all its gory,
I cannot lose this shameful cloud,
Until I speak my truth aloud.
One cannot beat my shame to death,
It never takes a final breath,
To beat my shame, it must be heard,
And banished with my spoken word.
Copyright 2013 Steve Dahl
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