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SuziQ
09-17-2009, 06:03 PM
I've seen some really good discussions this afternoon about workplace violence. Many are sharing their own experiences or cases they have knowledge of. I thought it would be good to have all that in one place. Maybe this thread can teach us how to recognize and prevent workplace violence from happening.

Jersey*Girl
09-17-2009, 06:07 PM
Thank you Suzi. I have a question for anyone that may be in the know: If someone is being sexually harassed at work, and it ends up in something violent, possibly even deadly, could that be classified as "workplace violence"? Or would it be a simple case of "sexual harassment"?

SuziQ
09-17-2009, 06:11 PM
I'll tell what I've gone through in the workplace. By the nature of my job, everyone's mistakes land on my desk. I have to resolve them or the customer will not pay his bill. We are talking about big customers with accounts into the millions. People do not like having their mistakes pointed out to them, no matter how nice you are. I also am in the position of seeing any financial criminal activity on the part of employees. I've had my car vandalized, been screamed at, threatened and stalked. At one place it was so bad I would never drink out of my coffee cup if I had to leave it unattended.

ETA: most of my employers had the attitude that I should grow thicker skin.

SuziQ
09-17-2009, 06:12 PM
Thank you Suzi. I have a question for anyone that may be in the know: If someone is being sexually harassed at work, and it ends up in something violent, possibly even deadly, could that be classified as "workplace violence"? Or would it be a simple case of "sexual harassment"?

IMO, if any harassment turns violent it would be considered violence.

nursebeeme
09-17-2009, 06:17 PM
thank you for this thread!!!! We have a workplace violence "policy" at the large medical center I work at. We have to read and sign it once a year (at anual renewal) along with the sexual harrassment policy and all the other anual renewal stuff.

I can certainly say that the boundaries could be blurred between the two... Sometimes it could be both at the same time.

nursebeeme
09-17-2009, 06:23 PM
I got "work place violenced" by the mailman once! We lived on post in virginia and it was raining out so I clipped my outgoing mail to the underneath side of the mailbox so that it wouldn't get wet... they were bills I was sending in. Around one pm the doorbell rang and I answered the door with my one year old on my hip... there stood the mailman! He was bright red and screaming at me... that it was against mail policy to clip the mail to the lid like this and did I know how wrong of a thing I had just done! He than tells me I am dam lucky that he will even take my mail this time... I stood there with my mouth open... (I am usually a fiesty one! But I was in shock!) When he was about seven or so steps up my walk I slammed that front door so hard it shook the frame of the house! I than sat down and decided that this is what "going postal" must start out like and called the post office to report it.

In this case I have often thought that it went down in this sort of a fashion... that RC got mad about something minor.....something little but that HE was in control of.... and he went into a blind rage....

Sorry for so long of a post (I actually posted my theory in the ray thread, I believe... or could have been motive... it also had the swiping article in it.. how he moved thru the basement)

ETA: I often think about what could have happened to me and my little man that day if I were to have said, "eff off" or something of that nature... It makes me wonder if that is what happened to Annie...

nursebeeme
09-17-2009, 06:35 PM
Violence in the workplace is a serious safety and health issue. Its most extreme form, homicide, is the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injury in the United States


http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/

this has the OSHA standards.. very interesting... you know for all the times I have signed the damm paper at work I never really paid it all that much mind...

SuziQ
09-17-2009, 06:38 PM
http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/

this has the OSHA standards.. very interesting... you know for all the times I have signed the damm paper at work I never really paid it all that much mind...

That's a scary statistic!

JBean
09-17-2009, 06:51 PM
I was taken at gunpoint in my place of employment. It was not by a co-worker, but rather by intruders trying to steal microchips from another office in the building that worked behind locked doors.
So, the lesson I learned was if anyone in your office building has to lock their doors, beware!

Chili Fries
09-17-2009, 06:59 PM
http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/

this has the OSHA standards.. very interesting... you know for all the times I have signed the damm paper at work I never really paid it all that much mind...

The vast majority of those are workers getting killed during robberies at convenience stores or banks, that type of thing. Cab drivers too.

TexasLil
09-17-2009, 07:00 PM
I was taken at gunpoint in my place of employment. It was not by a co-worker, but rather by intruders trying to steal microchips from another office in the building that worked behind locked doors.
So, the lesson I learned was if anyone in your office building has to lock their doors, beware!

I take that to heart. Although I work for a reputable company the area we are located has gotten worse through the years. As of 3 months ago we are now locking the front door to our building (not the main building) because of so many stolen car busts happening at gunpoint literally in front of our building. Maybe time to look for a safer area IMO.

Emily Booth
09-17-2009, 07:09 PM
This is an important discussion. But, I also find it very sad that Annie Le was killed because of workplace violence.

My employer has a no workplace violence policy. We had an employee who made a threat against her supervisor. She said she was going to bring a gun to work. She was discharged but she got her job back 8 mos later right back in the office she formerly worked at.

I am always kind of nervous about some coworkers. Because you don't really know who you're working with. You don't really know what's going to send them over the edge or make them feel backed into a corner. I have worked with some very ugly individuals.

concentric
09-17-2009, 07:11 PM
I have been sexually harassed in many different employment settings. I have also been stalked in an apartment building by another renter (stranger). I have also been raped by an apartment manager.

One of the workplace incidents was when I was in college. I was working at a company p.t. to pay my tuition. One of the managers called me into the office to do some filing. There were two managers in there and they were telling "dirty jokes" in my presence. I reported them to HR.

HR manager told me that I should "expect" it because I was attractive.
One manager summoned me into his office and I refused.

He caused a huge commotion in the office when he threw a temper tantrum and started throwing files full of papers at me and all over the main area where everyone worked.

I'm the one who had to quit.

I know what it is like to be a victim.

Kat
09-17-2009, 07:30 PM
IMO, if any harassment turns violent it would be considered violence.

I agree Suzi and when harrassment becomes a rape or assault at work of any type ~ it is violence and should be included in the definition of workplace violence too.

JMHO.

Labrat
09-17-2009, 07:30 PM
Universities take sexual harassment extremely seriously. I'm starting to hear more and more about workplace violence too.

Sola.N
09-17-2009, 07:47 PM
My personal policy on workplace violence and sexual harassment, based on experience, is to notify the police along with Human Resources. HR is there to protect the company's interests, not that of individual employees, and if what's best for you is in conflict with what's good for the company, most HR people will screw you over without a second thought.

If someone hits you at work or makes terroristic threats or grabs you in a sexual way, they've committed a crime that can be reported to the police.

eyes4crime
09-17-2009, 07:48 PM
I have been sexually harassed in many different employment settings. I have also been stalked in an apartment building by another renter (stranger). I have also been raped by an apartment manager.

One of the workplace incidents was when I was in college. I was working at a company p.t. to pay my tuition. One of the managers called me into the office to do some filing. There were two managers in there and they were telling "dirty jokes" in my presence. I reported them to HR.

HR manager told me that I should "expect" it because I was attractive.
One manager summoned me into his office and I refused.

He caused a huge commotion in the office when he threw a temper tantrum and started throwing files full of papers at me and all over the main area where everyone worked.

I'm the one who had to quit.

I know what it is like to be a victim.

concentric I'm so sorry you have experienced the violent attack of rape. thank you for sharing. the rape you experience is rape - I don't know how it could be catagorized as anything but that. mho

I don't think it matters one bit where violence occurs or by whom. Murder is murder, rape is rape. We don't address the rape and murder of a woman jogging as a 'jogging rape' or a 'sports rape'. I'm appalled by the minimization of Annie's violent murder - the term work place violence simply tells you where the murder occurred and nothing more. An aspiring woman with her entire life ahead of her and murdered for whatever sick reason - should NOT be put in a category of work place violence. I wonder who in the media is responsible for such detraction and minimization of the murder of Annie? Who started that term?

esqgerl
09-17-2009, 08:13 PM
Hi guys. I don't have any personal experience of workplace violence. In my line of work (attorney), there have been death threats from a member of the public (not a co-worker) because they received an unfavorable decision or had some other bad experience in the courtroom. In my opinion, that is not workplace violence.

I had to do a study on workplace violence years ago, but I can't remember if I actually had to do a paper. Anyway, here's my point. This is a very serious situation but it often goes undetected. If I recall, workplace violence "incidents" have several common denominators. (1) A disgruntled employee; (2) employee usually has (or had) a job with no or little control; and (3) revenge.

Now this is sticky territory and I am not sure I can explain what I am thinking in words. But, I know they mostly are disgruntled and seek revenge. Usually, they have either lost or are about to lose their job or reputation at work.

Based upon this background as a starting point, and IF (a big IF) this is the motive for the killing, this tells me that sweet Annie was compliant with his simple requests at first, until they got a little bit over the top. One article said her responses were "conciliatory." Ok, if that is to be believed, she succumbed "nicely" and complied with his requests. This gave him a belief that he had control, which is what he probably sought his whole life. After all, the requests seemed reasonable to Annie.

As we all know, when this happens, some folks can take this to the next level. It happens at home, work, at the grocery store. When you give a little, people want more. It tells me she likely got to the point where he was really becoming more of a nuisance than anything else. She may have made some comments to the other animal techs like, "What's up with that dude Ray? He's so obsessed!" Or maybe she said, "If he doesn't back off, I am telling Dr. Bennett" type of thing. Perhaps not knowing the person she made the comments to were his family members (or perhaps not) and they discussed it over beers and dinner.

My point is that IF this was WV, then he was disgruntled and sought revenge. Those are usually the common denominators in these cases. Most of the time, they have already lost their jobs or just lost it. Perhaps he "perceived" that his job was going to be in jeopardy soon.

These are serious things and usually there are not really warning signs.

MLE
09-17-2009, 08:33 PM
I've never been directly involved in workplace violence, but I've witnessed the following:

A male truck driver taking a swing at a female manager for reasons I don't know.

One evening at work, I was in the men's room at the urinal and heard the janitor tell a guy in a stall, "Hey man, how about a courtesy flush?" After the guy in the stall didn't flush, the janitor stuck a can of lysol or air freshener over the stall door and sprayed it in, causing the guy inside, a driver, to come rampaging out with his pants still around his ankles and attack the janitor. A brief scuffle ensued.

A driver was having trouble dollying up the landing gear of his trailer and another driver was helping him. After a few minutes, the other driver had to leave in order to go deliver his load on time. The driver with the landing gear problems told the other guy that he needed to stay, that they weren't finished, and the other one replied, "I wish I could stay and help, but I have to deliver the load on time." As he was trying to drive off, the other driver jumped up on his running board, opened the door, and tried to drag him out with the truck still moving! The driver in the truck kicked him off and drove off and we fired the one who tried to drag him out of his truck.

At the apartment where I lived, my roommate at the time had a loud argument with one of the leasing agents. He said that when she turned and bent over to get something out of the filing cabinet, he wanted to rape her, but there were other people around so he didn't. He said the urge was very strong. A few weeks later, one of the other leasing agents, a really pretty blonde girl in her 20s was shot dead on the sidewalk of one of the apartment buildings. It was her husband who killed her and then he killed himself too. They left behind three young children. And this was at an upscale, luxury apartment complex.

PrayersForMaura
09-17-2009, 08:39 PM
I have been "bullied" at work by an egotistical male boss before and left that job. It was all mental and intimidation that caused me great anguish.
My work actually paid me money when I quit because I threatened a lawsuit. I was livid that this guy got to come to work drunk, harass people, get free trips, fancy dinners, break rules and GET AWAY WITH IT.
I loved that job and I always take my jobs very seriously, but I will not work for a company who can not protect me from physical or mental harm. I worked their nearly a long, long time, felt I was a part of that company ... and was floored at how they have stood by this guy even after I left ....

Workplace violence can be mental, physical ... intimidation, threats, stalking, harassment, arguing ... but when it turns deadly, WOW. I have no words to describe the horror.

Poor Annie. She did NOT deserve this.

PrayersForMaura
09-17-2009, 08:48 PM
Oh, I once worked as a leasing agent yeeaaaars ago. This girl who was my friend was competitive and we all got commissions on our leases. The person with the most leases each month got extra incentives. I was catching up to her leases and this guy signed with me one day, giving me the "lead" in leases.

She said that was HER lease and she talked to the guy on the phone before I did and she got really mad and violent and threw a stapler at me.

I was shocked. I almost forgot about this, too, but then read concentric's post about the guy throwing files of papers at her. Totally reminded me of this job I had.

I wound up quitting that place shortly thereafter. Very unhealthy place to be with the competitiveness. She's lucky she didn't hit me because then she would have been fired. She didn't get fired... got promoted a few years later, actually. I was gone way before then, lol.

Native New Yorker
09-17-2009, 08:49 PM
I have been bullied at work by two different female supervisors, both at libraries...both made sure we were alone, and then screamed at me...I now know never to go in for a conference alone with a boss....and I left both jobs, because they were so awful to me....

PrayersForMaura
09-17-2009, 08:50 PM
I got "work place violenced" by the mailman once! We lived on post in virginia and it was raining out so I clipped my outgoing mail to the underneath side of the mailbox so that it wouldn't get wet... they were bills I was sending in. Around one pm the doorbell rang and I answered the door with my one year old on my hip... there stood the mailman! He was bright red and screaming at me... that it was against mail policy to clip the mail to the lid like this and did I know how wrong of a thing I had just done! He than tells me I am dam lucky that he will even take my mail this time... I stood there with my mouth open... (I am usually a fiesty one! But I was in shock!) When he was about seven or so steps up my walk I slammed that front door so hard it shook the frame of the house! I than sat down and decided that this is what "going postal" must start out like and called the post office to report it.

In this case I have often thought that it went down in this sort of a fashion... that RC got mad about something minor.....something little but that HE was in control of.... and he went into a blind rage....

Sorry for so long of a post (I actually posted my theory in the ray thread, I believe... or could have been motive... it also had the swiping article in it.. how he moved thru the basement)

ETA: I often think about what could have happened to me and my little man that day if I were to have said, "eff off" or something of that nature... It makes me wonder if that is what happened to Annie...


Wow, that mailman reminds me of the BTK killer!! What a nutjob!!

esqgerl
09-17-2009, 09:03 PM
Workplace violence is usually a disgruntled worker, for whatever reason, seeking revenge. We know that does not have to be logical.

The fact that we are all looking at it logically? Well, that won't get it.

nursebeeme
09-17-2009, 09:12 PM
so many stories! It is certainly eye opening!

Vegas Bride
09-17-2009, 11:36 PM
I've run into quite a bit of work place violence but have worked in some dangerous places where that is expected (clients being mentally disabled) I've been verbally threatened, hit, kicked, spit at, bit, scratched, hair pulled, eye blackened, but it is from the clients and you try not to take it personally like you would if it was the average person you'd work with.

We did have 1 female staff member who was fired for threatning to blow the place up and there was 1 male employee who was just so sleezy no female there was comfortable around him, it was my job to do his performance review and some things needed to be addressed, he was not happy about that and quit not long afterwards.

I no longer work in that field. Now I work with inmates at a jail but only work with a few of them, so far there has only been 1 who I felt threatened by, I had to correct him a few times on things and he did not take very kindly to it, I reported him and he was removed so I didn't have to work with him any longer.

VB

rabidstoat
09-17-2009, 11:39 PM
No direct experience, but I work for a Fortune 500 company and we have annual training (a video webcast for this one, I think) on preventing workplace violence. At a job before that, a smaller company, we had a policy we had to sign at least once, I can't remember if there was an annual reminder. I'm curious if the research lab had anything like that, a policy in place about reporting smaller incidents or whatever.

I did have one male coworker who was very... intense would be a good word, I guess. I know he was undergoing a contentious divorce with his wife (kids were involved), and I know that a number of people reported difficulties working with him, to the point that he was 'encouraged' to 'leave to pursue other opportunities', which is the polite way of letting someone go without firing them, I guess.

Anyway, he was often yelling and ranting and getting very emotionally involved in things. He was in the cubicle next to mine. It was a small office, and one week there were a couple of days when it was just the two of us in his office. After listening to him getting all spun up and ranting on the phone during the morning, and feeling continually on edge and uneasy, I ended up saying I wasn't feeling well and leaving for the day. I worked that afternoon and the next day at home, after explaining the situation to my boss (who was out of the office on a business trip). I think it was a month or two later that he was let go.

Now, so far as I know he has never had a physically violent encounter in his past or sense, that was just a feeling I got and a precaution I took. On the one hand, I think, "Well, it's not like that I think he's going to attack me or anything, he's just unsettling to be around." But on the other hand, well, maybe a little part of me worried.

But back to the situation here, everything I've heard so far hasn't indicated he was violent in the workplace. I did hear about that encounter with a girl at school. And he was noted for being obsessively neurotic about protocol, but so far I've not heard anything about him punching walls or throwing things or threatening to kill people or anything like that. Maybe something will come out later, but I've not heard it so far.

nursebeeme
09-17-2009, 11:57 PM
But back to the situation here, everything I've heard so far hasn't indicated he was violent in the workplace. I did hear about that encounter with a girl at school. And he was noted for being obsessively neurotic about protocol, but so far I've not heard anything about him punching walls or throwing things or threatening to kill people or anything like that. Maybe something will come out later, but I've not heard it so far.
respectfully snipped and bolded...

workplace violence can be homicide (what happened to annie).. some media reports have had quotes by people that worked with him that said he was controlling, and the mouse area was his "fiefdome"... in other words the mouse room was his kingdom and he was the king.

it could be that this was his first actual "incident" of being violent in the workplace... he seemed to have a lot of signs that he could escalate though.. if hindsight were 20/20...

Sad isn't it...

nursebeeme
09-18-2009, 12:02 AM
What is workplace violence?

Most people think of violence as a physical assault. However, workplace violence is a much broader problem. It is any act in which a person is abused, threatened, intimidated or assaulted in his or her employment.
Rumours, swearing, verbal abuse, pranks, arguments, property damage, vandalism, sabotage, pushing, theft, physical assaults, psychological trauma, anger-related incidents, rape, arson and murder are all examples of workplace violence.

http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/psychosocial/violence_warning_signs.html

nursebeeme
09-18-2009, 12:14 AM
http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/psychosocial/violence_warning_signs.html

there are so many warning signs that I will only link a few that I found consistent here are behavioral signs:




Disregard for the health and safety of others
Disrespect for authority
Increased mistakes or errors, or unsatisfactory work quality
Refusal to acknowledge job performance problems
Faulty decision making
Testing the limits to see what they can get away with
Swearing or emotional language
Overreacting to criticism
Making inappropriate statements


Blaming others for mistakes
Complaints of unfair treatment
Talking about the same problems repeatedly without resolving them
Insistence that he or she is always right
Misinterpretation of communications from supervisors or co-workers

physical signs:



Red-faced or white-faced
Sweating
Pacing, restless, or repetitive movements
Trembling or shaking
Clenched jaws or fists
Exaggerated or violent gestures
Change in voice
Loud talking or chanting
Shallow, rapid breathing
Scowling, sneering or use of abusive language
Glaring or avoiding eye contact
Violating your personal space (they get too close)




other signs:

Threatening behaviour

States intention to hurt someone (can be verbal or written)
Holds grudges
Excessive behaviour (e.g. phone calls, gift giving)
Escalating threats that appears well-planned
Preoccupation with violence
Intimidating behaviour

Argumentative
Displays unwarranted anger
Uncooperative, impulsive, easily frustrated
Challenges peers and authority figures
Negative personality characteristics

Suspicious of others
Believes he/she is entitled to something
Cannot take criticism
Feels victimized
Shows a lack of concern for the safety or well-being of others
Blames others for his problems or mistakes
Low self-esteem
Socially isolated

History of negative interpersonal relationships
Few family or friends
Sees the company as a "family"
Has an obsessive involvement with his or her job

nursebeeme
09-18-2009, 12:29 AM
http://www.workplaceviolence911.com/docs/20081024.pdf

he seems to fit nearly EVERY ONE of the "unlucky 13 signs of workplace violence" listed above

~~~

He also would most likely have been seen as a high risk employee using these tools designed to help managers recognize a potentially violent employee!

http://www.workplaceviolence911.com/servlets/wpvDoc?action=display&key=1206

believe09
09-18-2009, 08:39 AM
I have had employees stalk and harass me at home, leave threatening voice mails and appear at all hours of the day and night. They were male and being a female boss can make negative interactions tip over into hostile. Now, for the most part the hundreds that I managed did not behave this way, lol. But there are three that stand out in my mind from 20 years of management-one ex military. What intrigued me most was how the various companies handled the employees and me after the incidents-the most outrageous and dangerous behavior I recall was actually rewarded with a transfer. That was a while ago-I suspect now a days he would have been canned with an offer of mental help.

In TX where two of the events occurred, there are conceal carry laws. That was truly our biggest concern; was one of these folks going to stand up and start shooting? Never happened I am thankful to say and several of my co managers thought it was perhaps because they knew someone would shoot back!!! ???

songline
09-18-2009, 08:55 AM
This is a slide show of Raymond Clark with his girl friend.
Seems this guy was "normal" and I still do not get a motive.
here are 10 photos of Clark and his girl friend.
"SEEMS NORMANL" what happened?

http://www.examiner.com/ExaminerSlideshow.html?entryID=579028

songline
09-18-2009, 09:06 AM
http://www.workplaceviolence911.com/docs/20081024.pdf

he seems to fit nearly EVERY ONE of the "unlucky 13 signs of workplace violence" listed above

~~~

He also would most likely have been seen as a high risk employee using these tools designed to help managers recognize a potentially violent employee!

http://www.workplaceviolence911.com/servlets/wpvDoc?action=display&key=1206


I have not read anything at all that indicate that this guy had any of the 13 signs mentioned above. :waitasec:
Nothing about violence at all.

I still say maybe it was an accident that went very wrong and he handled it badly by not contacting someone.
I know some of you think it is definitely him.
My mental jury is still out on that one. Maybe I want to see the best in someone and I'm still naive ?
MAYBE it just is not him? .

OK I have read more, and more, and there is DNA evidence that it is him.
I still would be interested in the motive.
I am finding it hard to digest this one.
Yes I know looks are deceiving.....But his girl friend seems to think he is a big hearted kind of guy.
Based on that - I have to assume - Accident.
but that is what I assumed right from the start.

maggieo
09-18-2009, 09:40 AM
I don't think it matters one bit where violence occurs or by whom. Murder is murder, rape is rape. We don't address the rape and murder of a woman jogging as a 'jogging rape' or a 'sports rape'. I'm appalled by the minimization of Annie's violent murder - the term work place violence simply tells you where the murder occurred and nothing more. An aspiring woman with her entire life ahead of her and murdered for whatever sick reason - should NOT be put in a category of work place violence. I wonder who in the media is responsible for such detraction and minimization of the murder of Annie? Who started that term?

Here, here. What seems odd to me is how LE is not just stating that it was WV, but rather aggressively advocating and pushing that interpretation. I mean, yeah, it happened in the workplace, and it was violent, but how does that explain anything?

Police are even speculating what she might have said to "set him off" -- that is just wrong, imho.

TrY
09-18-2009, 09:40 AM
My first job out of college was in the accounting office at a clothing manufacturer. The first day on the job I was on the teletype machine. Behind me was a guy who worked with the payroll. I was new on the job and didn't know anyone yet. So some random guy came out of nowhere and hit the payroll guy over the head with a hammer. It turned out the attacker was a jealous husband of one of a woman accounting employee who thought that his wife was having an affair with the payroll guy. I didn't see the assault as it happened while my back was turned. The guy ended up being tackled by security. I was interviewed by the police.

The guy ended up pleading and I think he was sentenced to some kind of anger management class. The payroll guy ended up quitting. The poor wife I think may have separated from the jealous spouse.

It was long ago, back in the early 1980s.

SuziQ
09-18-2009, 11:53 AM
This is a slide show of Raymond Clark with his girl friend.
Seems this guy was "normal" and I still do not get a motive.
here are 10 photos of Clark and his girl friend.
"SEEMS NORMANL" what happened?

http://www.examiner.com/ExaminerSlideshow.html?entryID=579028

Seems normal is the key. I'm one of those people who believe that pictures and video do not tell the real story. Susan Smith is an example I like to use. She looks like such a loving mom at her son's birthday party. Not long after she sent him and his brother to a watery grave. Ted Bundy has some normal looking pictures as well.

I can tell you when I look back at pics of my childhood, there's not a hint of the horror that was going on.

kaelee2
09-18-2009, 12:30 PM
I have experience work place physical and sexual assault twice in my work history. Once while working after hours and out of state executive wanted to assist with inventory of manufacturing. After most everyone had left the manufacturing floor, we started with inventory. While out of site of the door, he grabbed me in a bear hug from behind, proceeded to rub himself against me while kissing my neck. When I struggled and screamed, he pushed me, then punched me in the back. I left the facility immediately and on Monday (this was Friday and thinking about it all weekend), I discussed it with my General Manager. He in kind, contacted the Senior VP and within the day, this executive was fired.

The second experience was about 10 years later. I was in IT and working on a customers software in the lab. I was in the process of a bitter divorce. While working in the lab, the Sales Manager came into the lab and started questioning me about the customers software. When I got up to go to another part of the lab, he grabbed me and started kissing me. He said he knew I was getting divorced and thought I needed some attention. I pushed him off and he grabbed me by the hair, punched me in the head, telling me that I was not superior to him and he could do what he wanted. Once again, I left the building immediately, and contact my Supervisor. The next day, this person's office was cleaned out and I never heard from him again.

kaelee

gxm
09-18-2009, 01:42 PM
kaelee1, I'm so sorry to hear you had such terrible experiences but relieved to hear that both men were immediately fired.

gxm
09-18-2009, 01:51 PM
The only case of workplace violence I can remember was overhearing a loud argument between two co-workers. I was working late and only heard the argument, one woman accused the other of getting physical and even though there were no eye witnesses (other than the two women) the accused woman was fired.

OTOH my husband works for the Post Office and he has had several instances of co-workers threatening him. One time I joined him for an off hours going away party and one of his co-workers grabbed me and kissed me (in front of my stunned husband). I'd probably have more stories to tell if I didn't work with a bunch of sensitive artist types.

songline
09-18-2009, 02:00 PM
PEOPLE WHO KNOW HIM;
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/32910844#32910748

From his friends;
He is not controlling, he is a good guy, Known him since we were 5, he is a compassionate person,
He is average, funny.
His friends insist that there has never been anything about him that is anything less then nice person.

ChasingMoxie
09-18-2009, 02:07 PM
I'm moving this here because I think it's a more appropriate forum for my question, what do you guys think?


Not sure where to ask this, but it's relevant to the current line of discussion: does the "workplace violence" classification perhaps prevent this crime from counting towards an overall college safety rating in some manner? I know all colleges are required to track and report crime statistics for campus safety public records; I was wondering if maybe classifying this as workplace violence allows them to not have to check the "murder" box on their mandatory campus safety reports? I think this is a likely reason for the odd terminology. These are public statistics and murders likely have a major impact on national campus safety rankings.

BostonSu
09-18-2009, 05:48 PM
I've had a past supervisor (Dept of the Interior) throw a punch at me (I ducked), and a year earlier, he threw another woman off a dock into the ocean. Both of us filed complaints, both of us lost our jobs while he was promoted.

Everyone knew he has issues with women, and a violent temper and alcohol trouble, but his boss protected him.

SuziQ
09-18-2009, 06:43 PM
I'm moving this here because I think it's a more appropriate forum for my question, what do you guys think?

IDK. I think because it's ultimately a case of homicide it will be classified as such. Besides, this is such a profile case that Yale will always be associated with Annie Le's murder.

Skigirl
09-18-2009, 08:19 PM
I've only had one brush with workplace violence. I was in high school, working as a waitress. I'm pretty petite, and we had an assistant manager who was very large - over six feet and probably over 300 lbs. He was angry with me, so he called me into the manager's office and closed the door and started screaming at me while moving closer and closer and bending over me until his nose was almost touching mine. It was scary and I have no idea why I didn't report it. He was fired not long after that; no idea what grounds, but I was relieved.

cbcrime
09-19-2009, 09:24 AM
This is in answer to question about statistics. No just because it is workplace violence does not mean it does not count in the statistics. The determining factor for if it has to be reported is location. If it happened on campus - or in a university facility or on public access ways immediately surrounding campus - it must be reported.

I will clarify that if a university is unable to get the crime statistics for the public access areas - then they can report the information as unavailable.

I know I did the reporting for a university for twenty years. I hope this helps.

Texas Mist
09-19-2009, 11:35 AM
The owner of the company - where I got my first office job - would come up behind us girls when we were filing & push his whole body into us.....it was so creepy we'd let the stacks of papers to be filed get a foot high before we'd do the filing because we knew he'd be there in minutes to start rubbing on us...his wife worked there too but since she was in another room, it didn't bother him to do this with her 20 ft away....this was 'back in the day' before women could really speak up for themselves, especially in a small town, where everybody knew everybody, and the good ol' boys watched out for each other....needless to say, there was a frequent turnover.

My next job was doing collections for patient billing & one of the patients, a 75 y/o woman, threatened me on the phone & said she was coming to the office to 'take care of' me - and indeed within 10 minutes, she'd stormed into the room & immediately came behind my desk & was shaking her finger in my face while yelling & cursing...I stood up, she backed away, then I left the room to go get the business offiice manager.

Next job-- the owner was hot-tempered, and when he'd get mad we could all hear him huffing & stomping down the hall on his way to whoever was on his radar at the time....his face would get really red, beads of sweat would pop out on his forehead, and the buttons on his shirt looked as those they were about to pop....I once heard him tell the top salesperson (female) "it just burns my azz to write you this commission check"...I never heard him tell one of the male salesreps *any* thing like this....he always yuk'd it up with them, buddy-buddy style.

Two incidences of customers, while I was onsite: 1) customer wanted me to work on his LAN altho I was there to work on the call accounting software for the phone system...he asked me to go into the office with him, then he started yelling at me to 'sit down right there' while shaking his arm pointing to a chair....I told him I wasn't going to sit down, and in fact, was going to leave...he could take it up with the owner.
2) customer asked a question that I didn't know the answer to (regarding the sale & contract,etc) and I was onsite for technical reasons....I told him I could get the answer for him or he could contact the sales rep who would have it....he rushes to the desk (with a blue-red face from his rage, spit flying out of his mouth) where I was sitting with one of his employees, hits the $1500 telephone & attendant console we'd just installed, and sent it flying several feet onto the floor....I stood up, made it a point to get in his personal space (actually hoping he'd hit me in front of the 20+ people who were all watching this go down so that I could file charges on him AND sue him), and he was no longer so brave...I told him I was leaving which I did...went back to the office (almost puking driving back because I was so freaked out!!) & reported the incident to The Incredible Hulk owner, and he told me I had to go back!! I refused but days later did go back on the condition that the violent customer was not on the premises....the techs had already told me that they thought this customer was a wife beater, because they'd already seen & heard him yelling @ his wife, and she just quivered.

At my next job had a co-worker that all of us pegged as a psycho jerk...he also yelled at me in meetings (altho he was a jerk to everyone, we all recognized he had a problem with women in authority) & also yelled at me to sit down.....this same co-worker talked about how great his chili was, and then he cooked a big pot for our team...for obvious reasons, no one wanted to eat his chilli, which reeeeally pizzed him off....he got his pot of chili, went & the door & emptied the chili in the parking lot, while cursing & yelling about how ungrateful we were....we were all relieved when he was terminated due to his attendance & performance issues....we were truly concerned that he would 'go postal' on us one day.

Another of my co-workers had a customer in San Antonio threaten to drive to Austin to kill him....that incident was referred to security.

Thank goodness at my current job there's only been the one incident (I posted about it on another thread) with the co-worker raging- seemingly losing touch with reality....that was years ago & I'm glad there's been nothing else as unnerving (in terms of having the 'fight or flight' instinct kick in) since.

Sorry post is so long, but it's just my experience that people who want to control others - who refuse to be controlled by rage -can find themselves in scary situations, and even tho there is an office full of other people watching it happen, no one does anything -- not even men!!...guess they were scared, too.

concentric
09-19-2009, 11:45 AM
One common theme here is that once a victim is isolated, the violence by a perpetrator suddenly appears (Mr. or Ms. nice person turns into a monster) or it increases in intensity (it has already been displayed, but escalates).

My recommendation to anyone (having lived through some experiences) is that when working or in any other situation: try to avoid being in a place where you could be isolated and attacked.

I know it's not easy, especially when you are threatened with losing your job--it is a dilemna.

eyes4crime
09-19-2009, 12:14 PM
One significant memory keeps coming up.

One of my positions as a pharmacist was working in a methadone clinic - my team was specifically assigned to work with pregnant women and our goal was to keep mom, and therefore the fetus, from withdrawal. Threats on our life were rampant (Dr. Nurse, Pharmacist). Eventually we had security assigned to walk us to our car each evening. I finally reached the point where fearing for my life was occurring on a daily basis - I resigned and went to work elsewhere.

txmama
09-19-2009, 03:31 PM
I've had several incidents that have happened to me personally. In all cases it was in a position where one of the main focus of my position was to review others work. The most memorable two are below:

1. A male, normal acting and looking up until this point, employee had to be reprimanded by me because he had sent out an email that was deemed 'inappropriate' by the head of the company. I tactfully spoke with him about it and thought the problem was resolved and that he understood. The next day he brought a gun in with him to work and carried it around with him in his waist band all day. Upon leaving he lifted up the back of his jacket and flashed the gun to me. I asked him to do it again and he obliged. He left work. I called corporate security which immediately had me leave town (he knew where I lived) for the weekend (it was a Friday). He was immediately fired. He had also defaced company property that day (the bathroom). He was sent to a criminal profiler posing as a 'counselor' to determine the level of threat that he was to me. It was determined that the threat level was high. I was given armed body guards 24 hours a day until the company moved me to a new home (at their expense), moved my office and made appropriate security changes. I lived in fear until I moved out of that city several months later (the company ended up transferring me to another city far, far away). I had to learn to take different routes to work each day. Up until the day of the email, you would not have known that this man had this kind of anger/rage/whatever in him. He looked neat, clean cut and was a good worker generally. He was polite and did not show any signs that I could see. Apparently, he had a deep seated hatred of women and despised the fact that a woman was 'in charge' of him.

2. Different company...an employee sent me threatening emails. Some that just said "DIE!!". I reported all. Employee was only written up. This employee would also frequently yell at me, argue with me over his performance and would slam his fist into my desk when I had to coach him. Several incidents and only one write up even though I complained many times. I quit working there, my safety is too important.


It's interesting how the two companies handled the situations so differently. One impressed me, the other company got lucky (IMO. And that employee is still there, still behaving the same way and has still only been written up for his behavior).

LillyRush
09-20-2009, 12:53 AM
Here, here. What seems odd to me is how LE is not just stating that it was WV, but rather aggressively advocating and pushing that interpretation. I mean, yeah, it happened in the workplace, and it was violent, but how does that explain anything?

Police are even speculating what she might have said to "set him off" -- that is just wrong, imho.

I think they started putting that term out there to clear up that there was no romantic relationship or personal motivation. I could be wrong. But, I'm almost positive I read that they were putting the workplace violence issue out there to quell the rumors/speculation about any possible romantic relationship between them. I agree with you though that it does come across as though they're blaming her or minimizing what happened.

GarAndTeed
09-23-2009, 01:40 AM
This isn't my personal experience (not that I haven't experienced workplace violence/threats), but in 1991, IIRC, a physics grad student here at the University Of Iowa was po'd because another student got a scholorship he felt he should have been awarded. He was not native to this country (I don't want to get into race; I bring this up to show how easy it was for him to buy a gun); he went to a local sporting goods store & purchased a handgun...then proceeded to kill the student who got the scholorship, a U of I administrator,and 3 plasma physics professors. He also shot the temp. secretary for the administrator & left her (at 23 years old) quadraplegic. Then he blew his own brains out. I still shudder at the memory of that day; you don't think this kind of stuff happens in your town, if that makes sense. One of the profs was initially wounded & his students were trying to help him; the perp told them to leave the room or he would kill them all. Can you imagine??? I guess the prof. told them to leave, after which the perp finished him off. I ache for those kids. All over a da*m scholorship...what a hideous waste of human life & potential. Anyway, just thought the campus violence was applicable. Beyond sad...
It really impacted me, in that I had no clue that campus competition/politics/ or whatever his "excuse" was could result in this type of madness.
Thx,
G&T'd

Penelope
09-23-2009, 01:57 AM
Boy-- what horrible experiences. It makes you wonder if we really are safe when we are at work!

In the 1990's I worked in Manhattan in the advertising department of a major retail department store chain. There was this one copywriter who gave everyone the creeps. He married a mail order bride from Japan and the marriage ultimately failed -- he of course blamed her. He ended up getting fired from his job. I don't remember why, but I believe it was something to do with his behavior and being disrespectful to his supervisor. Security had to escort him from the building and Human Resources set up a security guard outside the entrance to our department because they were afraid he might try to do harm to his former supervisor and co-workers. After a few months, the security guard disappeared but we then had to key in a code in order to gain entrance to the department, and we were one of the few places in the building that had to do that at that time (before 9/11).

In my years working for this retail giant, we had a number of people who were fired and created quite a scene, uttering threats. But the one guy described previously was the scariest. He even had a fiction book published under a pen name-- a novel about a guy who buys a "haunted" suit from a second hand store and starts killing people when he wears it!!

Skigirl
09-23-2009, 07:34 AM
One common theme here is that once a victim is isolated, the violence by a perpetrator suddenly appears (Mr. or Ms. nice person turns into a monster) or it increases in intensity (it has already been displayed, but escalates).

My recommendation to anyone (having lived through some experiences) is that when working or in any other situation: try to avoid being in a place where you could be isolated and attacked.

I know it's not easy, especially when you are threatened with losing your job--it is a dilemna.

I think this is true -- at least I think it's a good analysis of what happened in my case. The thing that scares me as I look back on it now, is that he was REALLY furious, red-faced, spittle coming out as he yelled. I can easily envision the scene ending with him putting his hands around my throat.

I am sure that my old bosses' calling me into the office was impulsive, triggered by whatever thing I did to set him off (I don't remember, could have been not restocking the soup, not clearing my tables fast enough, not agreeing to stay late, could even have been something rude on my part, like sighing when he asked me to do something). The fact that he was bigger eliminated a counter-weight that might have kept his behavior in check.

In Annie's case, tension RC was feeling could have escalated without the inhibiting effect of fear for his own safety, as he might have had if he were arguing with someone his own size. Unchecked, it exploded. So may be that Annie's stature and sex was related to what happened without the crime being sexual or premeditated (in the usual sense of the word, not the legal sense).

JL50ish
09-23-2009, 07:06 PM
I got "work place violenced" by the mailman once! We lived on post in virginia and it was raining out so I clipped my outgoing mail to the underneath side of the mailbox so that it wouldn't get wet... they were bills I was sending in. Around one pm the doorbell rang and I answered the door with my one year old on my hip... there stood the mailman! He was bright red and screaming at me... that it was against mail policy to clip the mail to the lid like this and did I know how wrong of a thing I had just done! He than tells me I am dam lucky that he will even take my mail this time... I stood there with my mouth open... (I am usually a fiesty one! But I was in shock!) When he was about seven or so steps up my walk I slammed that front door so hard it shook the frame of the house! I than sat down and decided that this is what "going postal" must start out like and called the post office to report it.

In this case I have often thought that it went down in this sort of a fashion... that RC got mad about something minor.....something little but that HE was in control of.... and he went into a blind rage....

Sorry for so long of a post (I actually posted my theory in the ray thread, I believe... or could have been motive... it also had the swiping article in it.. how he moved thru the basement)

ETA: I often think about what could have happened to me and my little man that day if I were to have said, "eff off" or something of that nature... It makes me wonder if that is what happened to Annie...


I've always felt that some males will yell/scream at women (especially female employees), but wouldn't nearly go so "postal" if they were talking to a guy. I bet if your hubby had answered the door, the guy might have complained, but I doubt he would have been so violent-like.

JL50ish
09-23-2009, 07:20 PM
I've only had one brush with workplace violence. I was in high school, working as a waitress. I'm pretty petite, and we had an assistant manager who was very large - over six feet and probably over 300 lbs. He was angry with me, so he called me into the manager's office and closed the door and started screaming at me while moving closer and closer and bending over me until his nose was almost touching mine. It was scary and I have no idea why I didn't report it. He was fired not long after that; no idea what grounds, but I was relieved.


I once had a boss do that to me...I am small, petite, and look MUCH, MUCH younger than I am. Well, this boss kept screaming and screaming...he was very wrong about what he was screaming about, but he wouldn't let me get a word in edgewise to explain that another employee (a male) had done what he was accusing me of doing (BTW...he would NEVER yell at a male..ever).

Well, after about 15 minutes of this nonsense, I told him, "I quit" - he was shocked and said, "I don't want you to quit, you're one of my best employees, I wish I had 20 more like you."

What he didn't realize is that I don't "have" to work...my hubby makes more than enough money. When I told him that I don't have to work, he seemed to become very annoyed to find out that he couldn't control me with the fear of losing my job. He then acted as if I shouldn't have taken the job if I didn't "need it". I told him, "you should have known that I don't need a job, you know my address, and you know that I've been a stay at home mom for 20 years, you see the car that I drive, you see the 3 carat diamond on my hand - obviously, my husband makes a lot of money."

Once he realized that I was serious about quitting he calmed down. At this point, I told him that is was obvious that he didn't like working with women. When he responded with shock, I provided him some very specific examples of his mistreatment of the other female employees - he sat there dumbfounded. I then told him examples of male employees who were not "dressed down" even though they had done serious mistakes.

But, this day reinforced to me that there are some men who enjoy taking their anger out on what they perceive to be "weak people" especially women. I know - for a fact - that this manager NEVER yelled at any of the male employees - no matter how outrageous their mistakes were - but he would scream at female employees (there were few female employees) over the most minor offenses or even "non-offenses".

concentric
10-01-2009, 12:02 PM
I think they started putting that term out there to clear up that there was no romantic relationship or personal motivation. I could be wrong. But, I'm almost positive I read that they were putting the workplace violence issue out there to quell the rumors/speculation about any possible romantic relationship between them. I agree with you though that it does come across as though they're blaming her or minimizing what happened.

I understand what you are saying; but, we don't know the intricacies yet. It's not so clearcut, IMO. I still seem to think that if he killed her, which is probable, he had a complex of psychological motivations, that cannot fit neatly into a "romantic???" or "workplace" violence category. We don't know if he did INTEND on sexually molesting her, for example. I know it appears that her clothing wasn't taken off...he could have re-dressed her, for all we know. For me, that doesn't eliminate a possible intention he had in his mind.

SuziQ
10-05-2009, 11:41 AM
A good video from CNN on workplace violence.

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/crime/2009/10/05/costello.workplace.violence.cnn

When co-workers kill 3:42
Bullying and fighting are up at workplaces nationwide. Carol Costello reports about one woman's death.

JBean
10-08-2009, 07:12 PM
UCLA science lab students watched in horror as a male classmate slashed the throat of a female student (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/10/ucla-lab-students-watched-in-horror-as-classmate-slashed-throat-of-fellow-student.html)