Bullying, the cruel treatment of someone who has caused you no harm, is not just limited to political candidates and school boys. It intrudes in our hobby as well. About twenty years ago there was a very prominent and wealthy United States collector-Jerry. Jerry came to our office once to view an auction and the way that our office was set up in those days was that I could hear most of what went on in the auction viewing room, although I couldn’t see in nor be seen. We had a young man working for us then who had a slight mental disability. He was sweet and hard working and eager to please but he was mentally a bit slow. Anyway, he wasn’t getting auction lots fast enough for Lord Jerry and Jerry verbally lit into him with one of the most offensive verbal tirades I have ever heard, yelling egregious insults at this young man who was too slow to respond and needed his job too much to do so in any case. To my eternal shame I sat in my office and did nothing. Jerry stormed out of my office. A few days later Jerry called me and began excoriating my employee, telling me why I should fire him. I felt so fortunate that Jerry called. “Jerry”, I said “it’s not often in life that you get to have a ‘do over’.” I explained that I had heard the entire transaction that he had had with my staff member and that I thought he was one of the most unkind and hostile people I knew. And that he wasn’t welcome back and that I would no longer sell to him or have anything to do with him. Jerry went on to win several national gold awards for his stamps and sold his collection for several million dollars (proving that business success has nothing to do with being a decent human being). Jerry and I never spoke again. Sometimes people change and it is not always fair to judge people by one (or even several) incidents in their lives. But ask yourself this question-Would you have ever treated anyone, for any reason, like Jerry did? And what kind of person could?

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