Bullies are everywhere, but I am still surprised when I encounter one.
I was in a business meeting yesterday with 20 executives. We were holding a strategic discussion, talking about the future of the company, analysing options that would have impacts of greater than $50 million.
In the middle of a discussion, one of the men turned to me and made a snarky comment about something a person on my team did that could have been handled better a few weeks ago.
He had an audience, he had a piece of information, he wanted to take a shot and I assume prove that he was smarter than everyone else. The comment had nothing to do with the topic at hand and was a small matter in comparison to the ideas and solutions we were discussing. Oh yeah, and I just met him that day. I remarked calmly “Oh, I wasn’t aware our objectives today included taking shots at others.” and I turned away.
I got through the next 6 hours without any issue or interaction with him. We then had a dinner for all the people who had participated in the meeting.
At the end of the night still not having talked to this person, he walked over to say good-bye to me and made the following remark “It was nice to meet you. I’m really not as big of an asshole as you think I am”. I gave a slight smile, shook his hand, and said calmly “I have no idea what you are talking about.” And then turned back to the person I was speaking with and left him standing there.
Go bully someone else buddy. I’m not afraid of you.