Degrading People is not a Management Tactic

by Frank Roche on March 23, 2011

in Management

“Pay attention to me.”

“I can’t hear you. Don’t walk away from me and keep mumbling.”

“If you don’t put that phone down right this second I’m going to f***ing take it from your hand and smash it.”

That’s from a mother to her teenage son at City Sports in Philadelphia this past Sunday. The mother had her Chanel purse dangling from one arm, her cell phone in the other, and malice dripping from her lips.

She was showing off. Degrading her teenage son because he didn’t want to look at the 20th pair of warmup pants she showed him.

“What size are these?” she said to the clerk.

“Um, medium,” he said. Mrs. Chanel Purse was too important to look at the label like the rest of us in the store.

“They’re fine, mom,” said the teenager. He wanted it to be over. He’d take them to get out of there.

“You didn’t even try them on. Or look at them. Give me that phone right now,” said Mrs. Chanel Purse.

The teenager looked around. Caught my eye. Looked away quickly. This wasn’t the first time or the 100th time he’d been degraded by his mother in public.

I was *this* close to telling Mrs. Chanel Purse about how she needed to knock it off. How embarrassing a teenager is an unforgivable sin. How being disrespectful has long-lasting effects.

But then I thought about it. She’ll get fired as a parent. That kid will be gone soon. And he won’t be coming back.

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