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Building A Safe Workplace: Preventing Workplace Violence Reference Manual for Supervisors


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Title: Building A Safe Workplace: Preventing Workplace Violence Reference Manual for Supervisors

Building A Safe WorkplacePreventing Workplace
ViolenceReference Manual for Supervisors
and The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Building A Safe Workplace Preventing Workplace
Violence Reference Manual for Supervisors
I. Introduction A. Self B. Program
Objectives II. Awareness A. The
Supervisors Role B. Ensuring a Safe Place to
Work III. Preparedness A. Building
Employee Awareness B. Tips for Dealing with
Domestic Violence C. Behaviors to Watch For
IV. Intervention A. A SEAP Reminder B.
Dos and Donts for Supervisors V. The
Importance of Follow-up A. Reporting
Incidents B. Documentation Checklist C. Role
of the Workplace Violence Coordinator/ Team 1.
Taking Action 2. Threat Assessment D. Threat
of Violence Flow Chart E. Threat of Violence
Summary Steps Checklist F. How Trauma Affects
Employees G. Critical Incident Stress
Debriefing(CISD) VI. Closing

Building A Safe Workplace Preventing Workplace
Violence Reference Manual for Supervisors
A. Important Phone Numbers B. Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania Management Directive 205.33 C.
Reporting Data Sheet for Incidents of Workplace
Violence D. Definitions E. Statistics, Facts,
and Costs F. Critical Incident Stress
Information 1. Common Symptoms After a
Critical Incident 2. Things to Remember About
Trauma 3. What You can Do for Others 4. What
You Can Do for Yourself G. Exercises H.
Certificate of Completion Template
Program Objectives
1. Participants will understand the the specific
role of supervisory and management personnel
in maintaining a safe place to work. 2.
Participants will be able to identify action
steps relating to a report of actual or
potential violence. 3. Participants will be
able to identify resources available following
an incident of workplace violence. 4.
Participants will understand the impact of
violence on employees and the workplace.

Ensuring A Safe Place to WorkPrevention
  • Every Commonwealth supervisor is
    responsible for observing and reporting any
    workplace situation which may contribute to the
    occurrence of violence.
  • Develop, communicate, and enforce agency policies
    and procedures.
  • Identify and address potentially violent or
    difficult situations.
  • Report and respond to job performance concerns
    as they arise.
  • Involve employees in identification and
    resolution of potentially violent situations.
  • Provide management/ employee development through
  • Manage organizational change.
  • Provide performance evaluations and on-going
  • Evaluate new hire and exit interview process.
  • Take appropriate safety and security precautions.
  • Ensure a free flow of information and
  • Provide information regarding SEAP, wellness,
    mental health and chemical dependency benefit.

Participant Notes
Building Employee Awareness
1. Be aware of changes and how they occur
in people. 2. Be understanding of personal
situations. 3. Pay attention to behavior. 4.
Be truthful. 5. Know where to go for help.
Tips for Dealing with Domestic Violence
  • Let the employee know what
  • you have observed.
  • Express concern.
  • Make a statement of support.
  • Offer a SEAP referral.
  • Discuss confidentiality.

Behaviors to Watch For
  • Common indicators of workplace problems
  • attendance problems/issues
  • Issues requiring excessive amounts of
    supervisor/managers time
  • Decreased productivity and efficiency
  • Inconsistent work patterns
  • Poor on-the-job relationships
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Safety concerns
  • Poor health and hygiene
  • Unusual or change in behavior
  • Fascination with guns or other weapons
  • Evidence of possible drug or alcohol abuse
  • Evidence of serious stress in the employees
    personal life
  • Continual excuses/blaming others
  • Unshakable depression
  • NOTE The above indicators may be associated
    with issues other than workplace violence. Any
    behavior impacting workplace productivity and
    safety must not be ignored.

Participant Notes
A Reminder
Observed behaviors may be indicative of
potential workplace violence or require
interventions including a SEAP referral. Be
sure to report and follow-up on your
It is better to err on the side of caution than
to do nothing.
Ensuring A Safe Place to Work
  • Every Commonwealth employee is responsible to
    help ensure workplace safety.
  • As such, employees are to report any workplace
    situation which may contribute to the occurrence
    of violence to their supervisor in accordance
    with agency policy.
  • Supervisors are to take appropriate action and
    report back to the employee in a timely manner.
  • Inappropriate use of the reporting system is
    subject to disciplinary action. Any report made
    in good faith will be accepted.

Dos and Donts for Supervisors
Consider these general reminders when discussing
problematic behavior with an identified employee.
  • Dont...
  • try to diagnose the problem.
  • discuss drinking unless it occurs on the job.
  • moralize. Restrict criticism to job performance
    or attendance.
  • be misled by sympathy evoking tactics.
  • cover up for a friend.
  • put the person in the basement to file reports.
  • ignore the problem or the signs.
  • Do
  • point out that SEAP is available, confidential,
    and can help.
  • make it clear that the Commonwealth is concerned
    only with
  • job performance.
  • explain that the employee must decide for him or
    her self
  • whether or not to seek assistance.
  • remember that chemical dependence is a
    progressive disease.

The Importance of Reporting Incidents
Use the Reporting Data Sheet for Incidents of
Workplace Violence to report all occurrences of
workplace violence as soon as possible following
an incident. The Workplace Violence Coordinator
will review and evaluate this information in its
efforts to maintain workplace safety. The
following are some of the basic elements to be
included in each report Location of
incident Circumstances Name of victim Name of
perpetrator Type of incident Description of
injuries Who responded Description of
incident Contributing causes Where available,
reports may be submitted electronically. All
other locations shall be forwarded/faxed to the
Information Systems Support Division in the
Office of Administration at (717)
783-4429. Inappropriate use of this reporting
form is subject to disciplinary action. Any
report made in good faith will be accepted.
Documentation Checklist
Documentation should include specifics
to describe a particular incident or an
employees inappropriate behavior. When
preparing your documentation, it may be helpful
to review the following checklist to ensure
completeness and accuracy. Select elements which
___Did you record the documentation promptly,
while your memory was still
fresh? ___Have you indicated the date, time, and
location of the incident(s)
documented? ___Did you record the action taken
or the behavior exhibited? ___Did you indicate
the person(s) or work products involved? ___Have
you listed the specific performance standards
violated or exceeded? ___Did you record the
consequences of the action or behavior on the
employees total work performance and/or
operation of the work unit? ___Have you been
objective, recording observations and not
impressions? ___Did you indicate your response
to the action of the employees
behavior? ___Did you indicate the employees
reaction to your efforts to modify his/her
Workplace Violence Coordinator/ Response Team
  • Purpose
  • 1. Assess the vulnerability to workplace
  • 2. Reach agreement on preventive actions to be
  • 3. Implement plans for responding to acts of
  • 4. Recommend/ implement related training
  • 5. Implement plans for responding to acts of
  • Establish telephone teams.
  • Develop an emergency evacuation plan
  • Establish a second source of communication
  • Assign personnel to assist in calming witnesses
  • Increase security measures
  • Keep employees informed
  • Suggested Team Membership
  • Senior Site Manager
  • Human Resource Personnel
  • Legal Counsel

Taking Action
As a part of their function the Workplace
Violence Coordinator will activate pre-designed
plans and procedures for
Getting help Communication issues Legal
issues Media interaction (Coordinated through
Agency Central Press Office) Maintaining safety
Responding to a Threat Threat Assessment
In responding to a threat, the Workplace Violence
Coordinator will 1.Confirm the incident. 2.
Make an immediate investigation. 3. Call and
advise law enforcement/ security as
appropriate. 4. Activate the Threat Assessment
Team (where available). 5. Develop a
plan. 6. Conduct investigations and
interviews. 7. Coordinate internal and
external communication. 8. Coordinate with
SEAP to provide CISD services (in
consultation with the Office of Administration)
and SEAP counseling a s appropriate. 9.
Determine special care needs to be taken so the
situation is not escalated.
10. Determine duty to warn and inform target as
appropriate. 11. Debrief.
Threat of Violence Flow Chart
Incident occurs
Notify Personnel
Treat as emergency. Notify security,
then Personnel, management
Violence Coordinator(VC) and/or Supervisor assess
whether life threatening
Gather facts
Contact appropriate functions- security, violence
coordinator, management, SEAP,others on a need
to know basis
Expand assessment team to include legal, Medical,
others, as needed
Assess whether reasonable validity is established
to continue the investigation.
Develop initial action plan(e.g, determine
security matters, duty to warn, plan for
confrontation of employee, suspension issues,
medical evaluation needs
Bring to closure
Conduct more thorough investigations interview
witnesses, co-workers
  • Remember
  • Clarify confidentiality and anonymity
  • boundaries early
  • Document everything in writing

Assessment team to review all of the facts
and develop a long term action plan
addressing disciplinary action, security needs,
management changes, return to work plan,
prevention issues, etc.
Threat of Violence Summary of Steps
___ Threat occurs ___ Report threat to,
supervisor, manager, violence coordinator,
SEAP ___ Notify managers (need to know basis
only) ___ Establish confidentiality ___
Determine who will be involved in investigation
of incident ___ Gather facts speak with
witnesses, co-workers ___ Plan investigation ___
Establish immediate action plan (need for
additional security, co-workers
immediate issues, duty to warn) ___ Involvement
of other resources (legal, medical, SEAP,
public relations, external resources) ___ Review
facts of case as a team ___ Confrontation of
employee (present facts give employee an
opportunity to deny, explain bring response
back to team) ___ Notification of other
employees (advise of SEAP role, employee
debriefings, support groups) ___ Decision on
employee suspension ___ Decision on need for
medical evaluation (this may help with
the risk assessmentprovide understanding of
what happened from employees point of
view) ___ Review all the facts as a team ___
Long term action plan(decisions regarding return
to work, termination, other, disciplinary
action) ___ Debriefing of team (review case,
documentation, further work place needs
identified in this process restore morale,
How Trauma Affects Employees
Following traumatic situations individuals
experience normal reactions to an abnormal
event. Crisis reactions demonstrated by
employees who are victims and/or observers of
violent incidents generally fall into several
stages Stage One Emotional Reaction
Stage Behaviors are typical of a fight or
flight stress reaction and include disbelief,
denial, tearfulness. Physical symptoms may
include racing of the heart, hyper-vigilance dist
urbances of eating, sleeping, and
concentration. Stage Two Impact Stage Emotions
intensify and may include rage, anger, grief,
depression, guilt, withdrawal. Physical symptoms
may also intensify. Stage Three Reconciliation
Stage Individual has had an opportunity for
self-evaluation of the incident , begins the
process of reintegration, resolution and
Critical Incident Stress Debriefing
  • Definition
  • Structured informal discussion that provides
    education, validation, reassurance and support
    for participants reactions to a critical
    incident while allowing an opportunity to
    ventilate. Debriefings are not counseling,
    treatment or psychotherapy.
  • Purpose and goals
  • To facilitate recovery from traumatic stress and
    reduce or prevent post traumatic stress disorder,
    depression, anxiety or panic reaction, phobias,
    or other mental health concerns.
  • Process
  • Introduction
  • Facts
  • Thoughts
  • Reactions
  • Symptoms
  • Teaching
  • Re-entry

NOTE Requests for a CISD must be made by the
SEAP Coordinator and coordinated with the Office
of Administration- SEAP.
Training Evaluation for Preventing Workplace
Trainers Name ________________________
Date/Time ________________ Bureau/Agency
________________________ Location
__________________ Please circle your responses
and make comments or suggestions
below. Very Little Excellent Good Good V
alue Poor 1. What is your OVERALL opinion of
this course? 5 4 3 2 1 2. The course MATERIALS
were 5 4 3 2 1 3. The course ACTIVITIES
were 5 4 3 2 1 4. The instructors
PRESENTATIONof the information
was 5 4 3 2 1 5. The instructors KNOWLEDGE of
the the subject was 5 4 3 2 1 6. Would you
recommend this training to co-workers? YES NO
What did you feel was the most useful?
What did you feel was the least useful?
What changes would you recommend to improve this
Comments, questions and concerns
Important Phone Numbers
VIOLENCE COORDINATOR ________________________ TEL
Workplace A workplace is any Commonwealth owned
or leased property, location where Commonwealth
business is conducted, or site where an employee
is considered on duty. Commonwealth vehicles
being utilized for Commonwealth business are
included in this definition. Additionally,
work- place violence can occur at any location if
the violence has resulted from an act or
decision made during the course of conducting
Commonwealth business. Violence Violence
connected to the workplace takes many forms.
Incidents of workplace violence include, but are
not limited to threats in person, by letter or
note, telephone, fax, or electronic mail
intimidation, harassment to include sexual
harassment, mugging, robbery,and attempted
robbery, and destruction of Commonwealth
property. Cases that are considered extremely
serious include, but are not limited to,
physical assault, rape,or murder, and
bomb threats. Incidents may take place between
employeesl employees and clients employees and
acquaintances/ partners and employees and
strangers. Incidents of workplace violence may
occur either at or away from the workplace. The
determining factors in assessing whether an
incident constitutes workplace violence are the
individuals involved and the relationship of the
action to the workplace the location of the
incident and/or if the violence is a result of
Commonwealth business. Assault To attack
someone physically or verbally, causing bodily or
emotional injury, pain and/or distress. This
might involve the use of a weapon, and includes
actions such as hitting, punching, pushing,
poking, and kicking. Domestic violence A
reference to acts of physical and
psychological violence, including harassing or
intimidating behavior, that occur as a part of a
personal relationship such as marriage or other
intimate relationships. Included in the concept
of domestic violence are spousal abuse, abuse
among intimates, as well as physical and sexual
abuse of children and/or the elderly or the
Definitions (continued)
Intimidating or harassing behavior Threats or
other conduct which in any way creates a hostile
environment, impairs operations, or frightens or
inhibits others. Psychological intimidation or
harassment includes making statements which are
false, malicious, disparaging, derogatory, rude,
disrespectful, abusive, obnoxious,
insubordinate, or which have the intent to hurt
others reputations. Physical intimidation or
harassment may include holding, impeding, or
blocking movement, following , stalking, touching
or any other inappropriate physical contact or
advances. Threat Any oral or written
expression or gesture that could be
interpreted by a reasonable person as conveying
an intent to cause physical harm to persons or
property. Statements such as, Ill get him or
She wont get away with this are examples of
threatening expressions. State Employee
Assistance Program(SEAP) A program for state
employees designed to assist employees and
families with substance abuse, emotional, family,
financial, marital, and/or personal problems.
All employees, supervisors, managers and union
stewards are encouraged to utilize the services
of SEAP when personal problems first develop
regardless of any job performance
concerns. Policy and procedures are contained in
Executive Order 1996-10, Management Directive
505.22 and Manual M505.3, all titled State
Employee Assistance Program. Management
Directive 205.33, Workplace Violence,
6/22/99 US Department of Health and Human
Services, HHS Guidelines Understanding and
Responding to Violence in the Workplace, 11/96.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
As of January,1999, statistics from Agencies in
the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania provide some
limited data for review. Of the 272 reported
incidents of workplace violence, occurrences of
various forms of violence are 1. Face to Face
Personal Threats (43) 2. Physical Assault
(41) 3. Robbery(32) Vandalism(32) 4.
Disorderly Conduct (27) 5. Personal Threat by
Telephone(26) 6. Theft (16) 7. Verbal Abuse
(14) 8. Other (10) 9. Personal Threat by a
Third Person (8) Personal Threat by
Letter/Memo (8) 10. Bomb
Threat by Phone(7) 11. On
Worksite Without Authorization(5)
12. Fire/Arson (2)
13. Murder
(1) Types of incidents of workplace violence
were Work Related 152 (55.8) Random 62
(22.8) Personal 29 (10.7) Domestic 13
(4.8) Other 16 (5.8) NOTE These
statistics should only be considered as probable
indicators of types of violence across all
Commonwealth Agencies and are not provided as
conclusive data.
The Facts
  • According to the National Institute for
    Occupational Health
  • and Safety (NIOSH), the following factors may
    increase a
  • workers risk of homicide
  • Exchange of money with the public.
  • Working alone or in small numbers.
  • Working alone at night or in the early morning
  • Working in high crime areas.
  • Guarding valuable property or possessions.
  • Working in community settings.
  • Both men and women who work in government have a
  • number and higher rate of assaults than private
    sector employees.
  • The annual rate of nonfatal assaults against
    women working in
  • state government is 8.6 times higher than women
    in the private
  • sector women working in local government are 5.5
    times as likely
  • to be assaulted than private sector women.

Related Costs
Costs for workplace violence are incurred in the
following ways
  • Security
  • Building repair and cleanup
  • Business interruptions with customers
  • Lost productivity
  • Lost work time
  • Turnover
  • Salary continuation for those who are injured or
  • Increased workers compensation claims
  • Increased medical claims
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Increased insurance premiums
  • Increased number of lawsuits
  • Effects on health, family life, and stress levels

Common Symptoms After a Critical Incident
After experiencing a traumatic event, it is very
common, in fact quite normal, for people to
experience a wide range of emotional or physical
reactions. These responses may appear
immediately after the event or some time later.
They may last for a few days, a few weeks, or
even longer. Dont worry -- these are normal
reactions to an abnormal situation. Its
important to understand that like the flu, your
reactions will run their course and you will feel
better in time. The following are some of the
most common symptoms
  • Emotional
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Depression, sadness, grief
  • Feeling hopeless or helpless
  • Feeling numb
  • Irritability
  • Inappropriate emotional responses
  • Anger
  • Guilt, survivor guilt, survival guilt
  • Phobias
  • Denial
  • Excessive worry about others
  • Agitation
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Cognitive Thoughts
  • Confusion
  • Difficult concentrating and making decisions
  • Memory problems
  • Behavioral
  • Social withdrawal/Silence
  • Hyperalert to environment, hypervigilance
  • Suspiciousness
  • Emotional outbursts, loss of control
  • Changes from typical behavior
  • Avoiding thoughts, feelings or situations related
    to the event
  • Changes in communication
  • Change in sexual function
  • Increased consumption or alcohol and/or other
  • Physical
  • Nausea/Diarrhea
  • Shallow breathing
  • Twitches/Tremors
  • Dizziness/Faintness
  • Chills/Sweating
  • Easily startled/Jittery
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in appetite

Things to Remember About Trauma
  • Everyone responds differently to trauma. Try not
    to judge yourself or others. This is an important
    time to honor your own feelings and experiences
    as well as those of others.
  • Experiencing a critical incident may trigger
    memories of other trauma you have experienced.
    This is normal and although painful, will pass in
  • Take care of yourself. It is important to rest,
    eat well, and exercise to relieve pent-up
    feelings and stress. Put unrelated stressful
    decisions on hold. Dont force yourself to do
    things that feel uncomfortable. Allow for time
    alone and with others as you need it.
  • A trauma in the workplace is serious. We may not
    realize how much a part of our lives our
    co-workers have become until something happens to
    one of them.
  • While we may question the appropriateness of
    grieving at work, it is necessary in order to
    put closure on the incident. People grieve in
    different ways and those differences need to be
    supported and respected.
  • It can be helpful to consider the possible
    positive results that can come from experiencing
    a trauma or loss. The experience can lead to a
    reassessment of whats really important, an
    opportunity to make changes, and to be more
    appreciative of those around us. For many
    people, surviving a crisis can help build
    self-confidence. Knowing they had the strength
    to manage through a very difficult situation can
    lead to believing If I made it through that I
    can make it through anything!

What You Can Do for Others
  • Take care of yourself first. Then you can help
  • Listening
  • Listen carefully.
  • Acknowledge feelings as normal.
  • Be sensitive to individual circumstances, and
    different points of view.
  • Dont respond with youre lucky it wasnt
    worse. Instead, say that you are sorry such an
    event has occurred and you want to understand and
  • Dont take emotional responses like anger
  • Respect an individuals need for privacy. If
    someone doesnt want to talk about the incident
    or their feelings, dont insist.
  • Reaching Out At Work
  • Organize support groups at work to help one
  • Offer a listening ear to someone who hasnt
    asked for help but may need it.
  • Give encouragement, support and understanding
    with on-the-job issues.
  • Identify resources for additional help (SEAP,
    mental health benefit, human resources
  • Helping Family and Friends
  • Offer to spend time with the traumatized person.
    Reassure them that they are safe now.
  • Offer help with everyday tasks like cleaning,
    cooking, caring for the family.
  • Respect their need for privacy and time alone.
  • Suggest available help (SEAP, community
    resources, church groups, etc.)
  • Keep communication open - be available and

What You Can Do For Yourself
When youve experienced a trauma, it can be a
shock to your whole system. The following are
some ideas to help you cope with any physical or
emotional symptoms you may be experiencing
  • Eat well-balanced and regular meals, even if you
    dont feel like it. Good nutrition is very
    important when you are feeling stressed.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Exercise regularly. It can help work off some
    physical stress symptoms, leaving you feeling
    calmer and better able to relax. If youre
    feeling lethargic, exercise can help energize you
    and clear your mind.
  • Avoid caffeine, especially if you are having
    trouble sleeping.
  • Avoid the use of drugs or alcohol, including
    prescription and over-the-counter drugs to numb
    the pain. It will only complicate or delay your
  • Structure your time and set priorities. Maintain
    your basic normal routine, but give yourself
    permission to skip the extras for a while.
  • Dont make any major life changes or decisions.
  • Do make as many small daily decisions as possible
    to reassert your sense of control.
  • Dont try to avoid or deny reoccurring thoughts
    or feelings about the incident. They are normal
    and will decrease over time.
  • Give yourself permission to feel rotten and to
    share your feelings with others.
  • Do things that you enjoy. Take mini-breaks go
    out to dinner, take 10 minutes alone, watch a
  • Talk with people you trust your family, friends,
    co-workers. Dont be afraid to reach out.
    People do care.
  • Dont be afraid to set limits with others when
    you dont feel like talking. You dont have to
    discuss the incident or your feelings when you
    dont want to.
  • Dont label yourself as crazy. Remind yourself
    youre having normal reactions.
  • Write down your thoughts and feelings. This can
    be especially helpful if youre having trouble
    sleeping or when you wake from a troubling dream.
  • Ask for help if you need it. If you are having
    trouble coping on your own help is available from
    many sources
  • Professional assistance from a counselor may
    sometimes be necessary. This does not imply
    weakness or craziness. It simply indicates that
    the particular event was just too powerful to
    handle by yourself.
  • In the workplace you may be able to get
    assistance from your co-workers, the human
    resource department, or SEAP.
  • Church, friends, family, and other community
    resources can be valuable sources of support.

Exercise What Should Sally Do ?
Case Study 1 Over the past few weeks, Sally, a
receptionist,who is known for her friendliness,
has become unusually quiet. She has had a warm
but strictly platonic relationship with Nate, a
receiving clerk, for the last 8 months. He drops
by her desk frequently to chat. Although they
did not know each other prior to meeting on the
job, both are from the same small town some
distance away and have some common memories and
experiences. Sally has confided in Nate about
some unrest in her marriage to Bill. Bill does
not want Sally to work because he fears she will
meet some one more successful than he. Sally
related to Nate that when she and Bill go out, he
always comments about people giving her the eye
or trying to pick her up. Bill claims that
Sally purposely flirts to make him angry and
jealous. He was so upset the last time this
happened that he slammed his fist on the car hood
and dented it. He calls her at work at least
twice a day and sends her flowers as an apology
every time they have a blow-up. He shows up
unannounced at Sallys work from time to time to
take her to lunch, but Sally feels like he is
just checking up on her. When Nate asked Sally
about her quieter demeanor she brushed him off
and said she was too busy to talk. He wanted to
ask her about the bandage she had supporting her
wrist, but Sally told him she didnt have time.
What can Sally do? What can Nate do?
Exercise What Should You Do ?
Case Study 2 Henry is your co-worker. Over the
last few years he has become increasingly
argumentative. He can never seem to agree with
anyone about anything. He has gotten moody and
his moods can change suddenly from silence to
depression to temper tantrums. He constantly
complains about money, and has mentioned that he
would like to get a divorce. You cannot predict
how he will react to the normal stresses at
Exercise What Should Elise Do ?
Case Study 3 By all appearances, Tom was a model
employee. And knowing how hard it is these days
to find employees, much less good ones, Elise
felt lucky to find him. So she didnt speak up
as she should have when Tom got too demanding too
soon. Instead, she told her colleagues about
this much needed enthusiasm and commitment to
work. First, he wanted to change his hours.
Instead of pointing out the problems this would
create, Elise went out of her way to make it
work. Then he just had to have his own computer.
She justified this request by saying that he
needed to catch up with the team. Even after
he yelled at a co-worker and a client, Elise
simply noted that he had picked on the worst
performer and the most difficult client. Elise
needed an employee who could energize the
department and she wanted Tom to succeed
quickly. Then it got personal. Tom invited
himself to Elises house one Saturday. It was
his week to take the kids and he wanted Elise to
meet them. Tom and the kids arrived in an old,
battered van. That afternoon he asked Elise if
she would be their godmother. She agreed to
because she felt sorry for the kids. By the time
Tom left that day, he also had talked her into
letting him use the company truck to get to and
from work. So the phone call this morning didnt
surprise Elise. Tom and co-worker Brian had been
at it again, only this time, Tom threw Brian
against the wall and punched him repeatedly.
Security called the police and Brian was taken to
the hospital. The police were holding Tom in
custody. As she drove to work, Elise admitted to
herself Her silence didnt really come from
helpfulness or compassion. It came from
fear. EAP Digest, January/February, 1998, p.19.
Exercise What Should Joe Do ?
Case Study 4 Joe works second shift in the
warehouse. One day, at shift start-up, Joe, who
was assigned to the Receiving Area with 3 other
employees, noticed a regular vendors truck as it
raced toward the dock and came to a screeching
halt. Joe wondered if something was wrong and
was about to greet the usual driver when he
noticed someone new on the job. Joe approached
the truck and was about to introduce himself.
Before any of that could happen, a man sprung
from the truck cab. Using profanity and speaking
in a very loud voice, he asked why no one was
there to assist him. He also hollered that if he
didnt get some help fast he would dump his whole
load and didnt really care that it might break.
The profanity continued. Now he was right in
Joes face. You guys were called and told Id
be here and be in a hurry. Now youre all
waltzing around like you have nothing to do. Im
not going to do it for you. This isnt my job.
That jerk who drives this truck is at the
hospital with his wife. If it was my wife Id
let her suffer. Thats what they all deserve.
So I was told if I didnt help I could just find
something else to do for good. That boss knows I
cant get another job so easily. Not after what
happened with my last one. Its guys like you
who always get me in trouble, complaining that
youve been picked on. Well, if you wimps would
act like youre alive maybe you wouldnt turn me
into such a bully. Id just as soon use this
crow bar on you as I would these crates, so
whatll it be?
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