Air-Travel Bullying

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

Like everyone, I’ve witnessed and experienced mistreatment while flying.

It’s as bad as it looks on TV.

I recently flew from my little town to NYC, where I lived 30 years ago. I don’t remember the rage that I felt at Kennedy this time.

From the time I got off the plane, I was met with impatience, nasty looks, and irritated remarks such as, “Look at the signs!”

I felt stupid and I’m a well-educated former college professor who has traveled all over the world.

I felt alone and lost. I’m 80 years old. My husband just passed away. I traveled to be with my family.

People were barking at me to get in line and use the machine for my tickets. I didn’t understand that and I used to be able to get a Skycap.

I was worn out before I got to the gate. I accidently stood in the first-class line and was angrily told that I wasn’t in first-class. I wanted to tell the gate agent that he wasn’t acting first – class. I was livid.

The flight attendants were nice but not gracious or helpful. I was scared to ask for anything.

I sat quietly and miserably. Then I had to do it all again to get home.


No more flying in the unfriendly skies

Dear No more,

We’re sorry your trip was miserable, especially after losing your husband.

When I (Rhonda) was a flight attendant in the ’80s, it was at least civil.

Dr. Cheri has also flown all over the world and is sad to say flying has changed.

Flying will be more enjoyable if we remember:

Blame and shame does not make a good game to play – no one wins

Be civil – considerate, courteous, and caring

Come to the airport prepared – with understanding and compassion

Remember your kindergarten teachings: say thank you, please, and excuse me

Follow the rules. You know you’ll have to take your shoes off, bring an appropriate carry-on, have liquids in three-ounce containers

Read a good book or listen to relaxing music (but be mindful of announcements)

Avoid group hostility

Help others. It’s your job too.

Airport personnel:

Please be civil. You never know others’ personal stories of tragedies, angst, and sadness

Smile until it hurts

Help others. That’s why you were hired.

Air rage is like road rage. Stop it!

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

Change yourself, then change the world

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

I work for a corporation with a nonprofit that helps kids with cancer. I’m in my 20s and have a master’s degree in sociology.

When I was in high school, I was horribly bullied by a particular girl, just for being fat.

She and her friends were popular. She tortured me with put-downs, made up stories, and took pictures of me which she edited to make me look worse. They wound up in our yearbook and I can’t ever escape them.

Surprise! She’s now a manager at the same corporation I work with.

I’ve lost weight. I’m not skinny like her. However, I dress well and I have great friends at work.

Lately, I’ve seen her whispering to people at work. I don’t understand why she’s doing this. It’s making me so anxious to think about what she’s doing and saying.

I came to this company because I thought I could make a difference for kids around the whole world. Now, I don’t trust what she’ll do … ruin my life again?



Dear Ruined,

We understand that an unwelcome blast from your past seems unbearable. Ruin means that someone can reduce you to rubble.

As hard as it may be to swallow, she can only try to make you a victim. But you have the power to choose not to participate in her made-up stories about you. That’s much mightier.

If you choose to step away from her, you can become the captain of your own ship. You’ll remain untarnished by her character flaw and unstuck as a victim.

Say something like this: “I’m sure you don’t want to battle a strong woman like me with a mission to help kids. After all, we were kids once and it wasn’t great being your victim. We’re grown-ups now, who can contribute to the building up of kids, instead of tearing them down.”

Our Triangle-of-Triumph™ is a program that takes you from being a victim to a survivor to a leader.

By choosing not to stay a victim and loving yourself, genuinely complimenting others, talking about the important things in your life (such as family, integrity, civility), you will be able to engage with “healthy people.”

This is your life. Choose to own it and express your greatness. Love yourself. Choose to un-tether yourself from her victimization. Claim your power of love.

Become an excellent leader with our 5 C’s- Civility, Courage, Confidence, Creativity, and Communication.

Change yourself, once and for all, and you’ll find yourself changing the lives of your kids in all the world.


Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

Mean girls can grow up to be mean bosses

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

Bullying isn’t confined to just children. “Mean girls” grow up and become mean women.

I know a company bully who’s threatening my family member. She is new to the company and vulnerable.

Why are so many small town offices (which seem to be predominantly female) run by a bully? Whispering, gossip, innuendo, and lies are used to control their coworkers.

Supervisors are oblivious to the bully who manages to get rid of anyone who doesn’t bow down to her.

The bully appears to be a great team player, but intimidates and undermines victims who try to keep out of office politics.

What recourse does a victim have to keep their job when they become a target? HR and management are clueless.

When my family member thinks the bullying is over and gets comfortable, then it starts all over again.

She gets depressed, and it’s almost impossible for her to feel any happiness at work.

She’s terrified of losing her job.

Signed, Family advocate

Dear Advocate,

You are correct: “mean girls” can become bullies as adults. However, bullies come in both genders and can be found in all sizes of companies and towns.

If they got away with it in childhood, they learned that undermining, trashing someone else’s reputation, and playing a victim works.

Popularity was the impetus of high school bullying, while career advancement is usually the motivation for the workplace bully.

Office bullies try to ruin the brightest, most creative, and hardest working employees.

Oftentimes, they ruin the plain goodness of co-workers.

Tell her to be direct with the bully, and that she isn’t afraid of reporting bullying to every manager up-the-ladder or food-chain. And mean it!

If nothing is done, she should go to Human Resources or to the manager or owner.

Tell her she cannot afford to be fearful of losing her job. There are more important things to lose such as dignity, integrity, mental, emotional and physical health.

Workplace bullies impact every level of business, from morale to bottom-line productivity. It gets rid of the employees that companies want and need!

She must not gossip about the bully. It only fuels the fire in the bully and gets mud on her.

Then, if she has done everything she possibly can to rid the company of a ticking time-bomb without success, she will have to switch positions to a different one within that company … or switch companies.

Signed, Rhonda and Dr. Cheri