Know Your Rights: Defend Yourself Against Professional Bullies
Today my girlfriend registered to vote at the local RMV (which is like a DMV, but for Massachusetts) and she was indirectly bullied for choosing to affiliate with a party. It doesn’t matter which party, the fact of the matter is that when she handed in her form, the woman helping her said to her coworker, “Ugh, another [one]. I should just stop registering [that party] to vote.” It didn’t end there, either.
Being in that position is difficult. My girlfriend chose not to say anything to the worker in part because it wasn’t a discussion she should be having, and also because it was a humiliating situation. The fact of the matter is that not only was the worker’s behavior unprofessional and rude, it’s also illegal.
Speak up if this happens to you.
Know who to contact. Unfortunately, e-mails aren’t often taken very seriously, so write a letter. In this case, we have options: We could write to the supervisor of the branch, but this isn’t our first time receiving rough treatment at the RMV so we’ve chosen to write a letter to the head of the Department of Transportation.
Googling a department will usually take you very quickly to a government page where you can find the information you need. It’s easy to find out who you’re looking for, but you do have to look.
Don’t be quiet about it either. If the behavior is really offensive, don’t be too embarrassed to contact your local paper. You don’t have to write the story or have your name in the story (should they choose to run it), but getting word out is important. It teaches people their rights and lets them know not to take any bullying. It also lets the businesses (or state) know they can’t treat us like that.