Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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( 'Nother Solent is this blog's good twin. Same words, searchable archives, RSS feed. Provided by a benefactor, to whom thanks.
I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)

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Friday, September 16, 2005
I felt a little pang of guilt about the last post. He's now a very rich little pang; I had to settle out of court.

OK, start again. I regretted that in the last post I had not stressed more that the trouble with that Telegraph article on workplace bullying and the survey it described was that both assumed that respondents' own assessments of how badly they had been treated should be taken at face value. It is sometimes difficult to know if one is being treated badly. One can be wrong in either direction. Sadly, some children grow up thinking that beatings and neglect must be what they deserve since that is what they get. Nearly everyone has seen, and all too many have experienced, marriages, "friendships" or workplaces where someone literally doesn't know enough to complain.

On the other hand... well, let me tell you a story. I was once done for misuse of power myself. But in the first minute of the hearing it became obvious that this chap hadn't told his own union rep anything whatsoever about certain events central to the case. I mentioned them. The union rep started to turn to face his client, then his brain visibly countermanded the order to his neck muscles. From then on he did his best but it was obvious that the meeting couldn't be about what he had thought it was going to be about. It trailed off, and later events made the whole business moot.

Afterwards I wondered why on earth my opponent had failed to tell his union rep the whole story. If the rep, who was good at his job, had known the weakest point in the case he had to make he could have prepared defences.

My guess (and it's only a guess) is that my opponent had wiped various painful memories from his mind. In their absence his memory presented him with a history that showed him as hard done by. People do that sometimes.

Perhaps he blogs the story differently. But that's the point. One's own assessment cannot be the only measure.