|Posted by Gwen Williams on November 28, 2005 at 7:00 PM|
Kids don't always play nicely. A little wrestling is Ok but it always goes too far no matter how many times you say, "stop before someone gets hurt". It is a wonder that children survive childhood. When my children were young, I felt more like a referee than a mother. I am now discovering that if you have more than one pet, the dynamics between pets is similar to those between children.
Monster is my nine pound Mini-Pincher and Bandit is my nine pound Siamese cat. Both are similar ages, approximately one year old. Just kids. When the pets are resting they cannot let peace and quiet reign for very long. Bandit lies close enough to stretch out her paw and touch Monster. Monster reacts by biting Bandit's tail. Bandit then tackles Monster by wrapping her paws around Monster's midsection and lying on top of her. The fight is on. Soon fur is flying accompanied by yelping and hissing.
On Sunday morning I was alerted to how adults don't always "play nicely" either. CTV news had a special report on Workplace Bullying. According to the Canada Safety Council (http://www.safety-council.org/info/OSH/bully-law.html) and related links, highly skilled employees are often the targets of bullying. Bullies who are insecure and lack social skills, feel threatened and "take-out" their targets using slander campaigns and strategic moves to render the target unproductive and unsuccessful.
Victims of workplace bullying suffer a wide range of stress related problems. When targets complain, they are often perceived as "the problem". Targets of bullying are often forced to leave their jobs because they succumb to the effects of stress or are the recipients of a constructive discharge (a case fabricated to have them fired). Over time, the effects can be long term and tragic.
Techniques used by bullies include focus on exposing the target's minute flaws or inventing errors in the target's work. Bullies focus on defaming the reputation of the target. The nasty stuff that is often mislabeled or dismissed as "personality conflicts" or "politics" is bullying. Canada's Bill C-451, once passed, will amend the Canada Labor Standards Code to prevent workplace bullying. This Act is cited as the Workplace Psychological Harassment Prevention Act.
Bandit and Monster are learning to play nicely with the introduction of a deterrent. My third pet Trigger is a ten year old ninety pound Doberman mix. When he has had enough of the fighting, he breaks up the episode with loud barking and intimidation. Trigger wouldn't hurt the little guys but barks within a few inches of their ears and has a row of teeth more than half the length of their little bodies. Their heads must vibrate from the impact of the sound waves. Headaches and big teeth are great deterrents.
I wonder if Bill C-451 will be a deterrent for us human adults?