Burger King took on bullying in this video featuring actors and real customers. The idea was to test whether (1) anyone would step in to rescue a teenage kid being bullied in the fast-food restaurant and (2) what would happen if the customer’s sandwich got bullied by the person making it. Check out what happened in the video below.
Hero, Pretender or Victim?
Burger King customers witnessed a bully effectively working the Eddie to the Grandiose attack on a kid who’s supposed to think this is all funny. So, as a customer, you see a teenager having his lunch ruined when the bully pours a drink onto his tray. Would you be a hero and try to help in some way? If so, what would you do?
There’s no right answer. Every situation is different. Your personal safety is always paramount. Don’t become a victim by falling into the trap — set by the bully.
a) Quietly order the kid a new lunch and have a Burger King employee deliver it to him – Hero
b) If you feel safe, ask the kid if he needs help – Hero
c) Let the manager know that someone needs to do something. When you — as an adult — pass responsibility to someone else, the Teenage Bully caught you in his trap. He blocked you from expressing your power, so you handed the problem to someone who can, hopefully, do something. The Bully put you in Victim position because he took you out of the game. He doesn’t have to worry about you. You present no threat to him. This hand-off option is neither wrong nor right. It’s just how you responded. And it’s better than doing nothing.
Very Important Note: Children and teenagers should always look to a grown-up for help, in any situation. Run and hide is a perfectly acceptable option. Safety first!
d) Throw disapproving looks in the direction of the bully and the kids laughing – Pretender (made an effort, but no impact)
e) Video the situation as it’s happening. Ask the kid if he wants a copy of it sent to his parents so they can follow-up – Hero, DramaGuru cornerman-style
f) Take a protective position by sitting opposite the kid to defend him from any more bullying – Hero, Agent September cornerman-style
Does an agreement exist between you and the kid being bullied?
Ah, that is the question that bothers me the most. The customers didn’t know the kids. Are adults automatically responsible for the behavior of other people’s kids in public places?
People will only do something if the:
- behavior impacts them.
- kid were being physically harmed or if the taunting got out-of-hand (an obvious subjective evaluation).
- adult wants to get involved. Like the woman who joined the kid at his table.
- person has some authority over the situation. Someone has to clean up the mess the kids made. Plus other guests were disturbed by the bad behavior.
Do you agree or disagree? Who is supposed to step in and manage this situation?
It Only Matters If It Impacts You Directly
…Like when your lunch order is delivered to you, smashed and torn to pieces. The person preparing the food decided to “bully” the sandwiches before serving them to customers. Not surprisingly, people complained immediately because their trust was violated.
What was the difference? High Risk vs Low Risk
An agreement exists when you exchange money for the promise of goods and services. In this case, lunch was promised. But instead of having a respectful exchange of money for a sandwich, disrespect happened when the sandwich was brutalized before being served.
Even though this situation seems out-of-control, it isn’t. There’s a structure for handling customer complaints and employee behavior. There’s no risk in taking an action to put things back in order.
“Stop playing games and make me a new sandwich!”
The rules are clear. The agreement is established. There’s a decision-maker involved. Punishment will follow.
When a bully changes the game, how do you avoid falling into his trap?
If you get involved, you might get hurt. It feels like a stale-mate, right? And if you do try to intervene, how do you avoid falling into the trap?
The bully set a masterful trap by knowing that most adults freeze up in the face of dealing with kids they don’t know.
Parents don’t have blanket agreements about what is supposed to happen when their little darling is breaking rules and bullying kids.
As a member of the audience, you have to deal with your own confusion. You got played by a kid — and another kid had to suffer right in front of you.
All you wanted was a quick-lunch. Instead the whole experience was uncomfortable, filled with tension and someone messed with your food.
How do you defeat a Black Belt Bully?
The Collector feeds on your fear. The bully understands the game better than you do. He or she pushes you into fearful positions to dominate you and steal your energy. Get busy learning how to analyze the situation, identifying the real problem and decide what to do to move power away from the bully.
It’s not easy to avoid a trap set by a Collector. The bully gets better with practice. As they age, they get more power and they bully more people.
How do I handle this situation? I don’t know what to do!
The more they bully and dominate you, the more confused you get. The threat of a bully shifting his attack to you, pushes you into Ostrich position. So confused. With your head in the sand. And your butt in the air wondering how this happened. When all you wanted was a quick-lunch, to be left alone and to go about your business.
Bullies love to strike when you least expect it.
If you don’t know what to do, how do you expect your kids to do the right thing when they see bullying happen?
Practice Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) for your mouth. This article is a black belt DramaGuru lesson.
All DramaGuru Revelation cards designed by Cheryl Ragsdale