People Math

Years ago our oldest daughter worked at a diner type restaurant.  Toward the end of her stay, she encountered a bully. Her manager.

To give some perspective, it was her first job in this industry – a challenging one for sure. And her personality was timid at best, particularly in situations where she had little confidence.  Two weeks prior to Easter, she gave her two week’s notice – a gift to the employer – since being part time; a two week’s notice is hardly common place. Anyway, she did, but a communication slip between when she told her supervisor (not the bully) and when the supervisor actually told the manager (the bully) ate into that two weeks timeline. Now, understand that she gave her notice in order to be done before the holiday so that she could join her family for a change. Her manager called her into her office and told her that she would have to work over Easter since she (the bully) was not told (by the supervisor) until that day – several days later. Remember, Britt tried to explain the communication mix up, but the bully would have none of it. I really think she liked the intimidation. Sick. When my wife picked her up, she was in tears. Good thing Amy didn’t turn the car around and “meet up” with the manager! Amy is a very soft spoken, non-conflict type personality as well. Unless you mess with her kids. Kind of would have liked to have seen that! But she didn’t. They came home and told the story to me. I’m not that big on confrontation either, but this is our daughter. I got on the phone and point blank asked the manager why she bullied Britt – a part-timer, who she knew was easily intimidated by her and was in tears in her office! After a few lame excuses and recognizing I was not a push over, she hung up. Nice. I called back. She took the call, and we’ll stop there.

In life we come across adders, subtractors, dividers and multipliers. I call it people math. 

Adders – add value to people; they enhance relationships and improve team performance by working with, not through, others.

Subtractors – only see negative; they point out what’s wrong with you and the situation – actively and even worse, passively; they take away from every relationship – though it’s usually not by intention – usually it’s just their default. That’s not an excuse, by the way. We all have the ability to become more aware of how we affect those around us.

Dividers – these people do what subtractors do, but they do it intentionally; they plan it – usually for their own self-serving purposes. They poison families, teams and cultures.

Multipliers – these people not only grow relationships, they grow others who in turn grow the team and relationships around them. Positive change and growth occurs through their influence even when they are not around.

What are you?

Care to guess where the bully falls in this list? Well, that was years ago, so let’s hope the label has changed.