Workplace Violence-Your experience and thoughts

Discussion in 'Annie Le' started by SuziQ, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. SuziQ

    SuziQ Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
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  3. Jersey*Girl

    Jersey*Girl New Member

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    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"?
     
  4. SuziQ

    SuziQ Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  5. SuziQ

    SuziQ Well-Known Member

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

    nursebeeme Registered User

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    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.
     
  7. nursebeeme

    nursebeeme Registered User

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    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...
     
  8. nursebeeme

    nursebeeme Registered User

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    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...
     
  9. SuziQ

    SuziQ Well-Known Member

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    That's a scary statistic!
     
  10. JBean

    JBean Retired WS Administrator

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    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!
     
  11. Chili Fries

    Chili Fries Man Sleuth

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

    TexasLil New Member

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    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.
     
  13. Emily Booth

    Emily Booth New Member

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    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.
     
  14. concentric

    concentric New Member

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    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.
     
  15. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    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.
     
  16. Labrat

    Labrat New Member

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    Universities take sexual harassment extremely seriously. I'm starting to hear more and more about workplace violence too.
     
  17. Sola.N

    Sola.N New Member

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    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.
     
  18. eyes4crime

    eyes4crime Go Chicago Bears!

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    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?
     
  19. esqgerl

    esqgerl New Member

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    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.
     
  20. MLE

    MLE New Member

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    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.
     
  21. PrayersForMaura

    PrayersForMaura Help Find Maura Murray

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    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.
     

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