Disturbing behavior
Friday, December 17, 2004

There comes a time when everyone makes the choice between family and career. But when your career involves your family, what do you do?

Disregarding everything I've always been careful with concerning online identity (because, honestly, I'm not sure I believe it anymore), I'm just gonna say it outright, because the details are what's important.

I work in an Internet Gaming Center, like an Internet Cafe, where people come and pay to use our computers to play online multiplayer games. We also host Magic the Gathering tournaments on Fridays and casual play at all other times. My older cousin is a big guy. He comes in to play Magic, and, as family, has a VIP account on our system, which gives him unlimited time on the computers. Pushing 6 feet tall, he's also very muscular, and tends to use his size to intimidate people, though not maliciously.

Now, I'm short. Barely 5'4", skinny too. But I've always been unusually resilient. I was a shoe-in for sports, since I could run faster than anyone else, and get back up from a hit that would make others dizzy. My resilience has acted as a buffer between his actions and my feelings about them. I never thought he was too rough, because I could take the rough-housing and give it in return, but his actions towards others recently have opened my eyes.

Apparently, when I wasn't here, he twisted a kid's arm, and has done it before. I'm thinking he made sure he didn't do it in front of me, because, first and foremost, this is a place of business, and needs to be a safe environment for youngsters.

The next time my cousin comes in, I'll inform him that he's lost his computer rights, and that he should take a voluntary leave of absence from the Gaming Center for a month or so, until he can sort out whatever makes him feel the need to mess with people the way he does.

What's more, my family actually owns the Gaming Center (and the local ISP), but he's related to me through my mom, and it's my stepdad's business, so that adds new angles that may or may not prove troublesome. And to top it all off, I think I'm in love with the daughter of the manager of the Center, my 3rd cousin by law... (not really, but that'd make a bitchin' Springer episode, wouldn't it? )

What I want to know is, have I done the right thing? Was I too harsh, not harsh enough? How do I react when we're at my grandparents' house, away from my place of business? Should I try to mediate situations where he will be in the same place with my paternal relatives, and vice versa, or just stay out of it?

Eternally confused,


Tuesday, December 21, 2004 8:33 AM


Thanks, needleseye and Rabit. I know I made the right decision, but somehow that doesn't make me feel any better.

Monday, December 20, 2004 3:29 AM


You did the right thing, in my opinion.

At family functions, you're best bet is just be yourself and don't worry about it. The issues at the job aren't the issues with the family - even when family is involved. I was working for my brother-in-law a few years back, and we always made a point of keeping work at work and family with family.

What he's doing is wrong, and the response you gave is actually kinder than he'd get at other places. Letting him know that might even help him deal with it a little better...


Saturday, December 18, 2004 2:49 PM


You made the right decision, don't budge!
All it takes is one more kid taking abuse from your cousin and then reporting it. Then you could get a lawsuit that might result in closure of your business. Don't let it happen.
I have zero tollerance for bullies of any extreme.


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