The only way to stop bullying is to call the bullies out when we see it happening. There are a lot of anti-bullying campaigns going on in society today, but that doesn’t mean it has entirely disappeared. People still say terrible things because “it’s funny” or do awful things because “he’s a loser.” The only way to actually stop a person from acting this way is to call them out – and sometimes, if they are so dense that they still think it’s funny, you have to take drastic measures…this guy had no problem getting himself in the middle of this fight…
(A co-worker and I are out to lunch on the weekend with our boss. We’re all really good friends and we are chatting with each other when we notice one of the waiters, who is thin and short, getting harassed by a group of teens.)
Rude Teen #1: “Haha, look at that waiter, ****ing up like he always does!”
Rude Teen #2: “Ha! What a ******!”
(The waiter is doing a good job ignoring the kids, but it’s very obvious he’s feeling upset. He’s walking towards us when one of the teens trips the waiter. He falls face first into the food he is carrying.)
Rude Teen #1: *laughs hysterically* “Oops, don’t fall!”
(The waiter gets up and wipes his face off, but it’s very obvious that he is crying. Having been bullied myself for being gay and being appalled at what’s going on, I stand up and approach the table. Note, I’m 6’3″ and very strong. I stand in between the tables the kids and the waiter.)
Me: “Do we have a problem here?”
Rude Teen #2: “Mind your own business, man!”
Rude Teen #1: “Yeah, **** off! This kid deserved it!”
Me: “I suggest you stop right now, or else…” *I push up my sleeve and flex* “…you all and I are going to have a problem.”
(The two teens slink down into their seats, and I walk the waiter over to his co-workers.)
Me: *to the waiter* “Hey, if anybody ever tries to harass you or hurt you again, call this number. I know what’s like for being bullied because you’re gay. Just remember: I’m here to help you.”
(I give the waiter my phone number. He hugs me and starts crying on my shoulder. While he is, the manager of the store comes by, and I explain the situation to him and point out the two teenagers. After the whole ordeal is done, the manager and the waiter come over to our table and give me a $100 gift card for helping them out. I tell them they don’t have to reward me for being a decent human being, but they keep continuing to offer it. Later that night I get a phone call from that waiter, but it wasn’t about being bullied. Eleven months later, I’m now engaged to the waiter that I protected that day. You never know where life will take you if you stand up for those who need it.)
The best part of this story is the happy ending. The other customers could have just called the manager to deal with the situation, or even worse, done absolutely nothing and ignored everything that was going on. Most people take on the air of “it’s not my business” and keep going about their day as if nothing had happened. I’m so glad this guy stood up for the bullied waiter – hopefully those kids will think twice before acting so shamefully in the future!
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