Holistic Survival
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What About When the Nutjob Pulls a Gun?

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HolisticSurvival.comPeople shooting their co-workers on the job. The fact that over 800 people are murdered in this manner in America every year might be the best motivation for making a work-at-home job your new reality. And even though the majority of deaths are related to law enforcement, it seems that rarely does a month go past that a whacko somewhere doesn’t charge into his place of employment and start busting caps. What should you do in this situation? We have to disagree with websites that suggest you run into the bathroom, lock yourself in a stall, and stand on the toilet so your feet don’t show. Anyone who’s watched movies or television will see through that feeble ploy.

How some actual good advice for dealing with workplace violence?

Beware of nut cases: Nut cases are not usually hard to spot. A general profile of a workplace shooter is a loner male with mental health issues. He doesn’t simply dislike the boss, but has a history of violence and probably loves to share his violent fantasies with anyone who will listen. Also keep an eye on those with extreme political views or to whom everything is part of a deep conspiracy.

Take threats seriously: If you hear an specific threat from your nutjob coworker, take it seriously. Sane people don’t talk like that. Immediately let your boss or the highest person in the company you can quickly find know about the threat, BUT keep a low profile while doing it. You don’t want the whacko to witness you going to a superior, because then you’ve got the target on your back. The point is that you theoretically owe it to your coworkers to issue a warning if you can do so safely.

Hunker down: If there is an honest to goodness nut case in your office, and you decide to to keep working there, it makes sense to adopt a bunker mentality. Don’t interact with the person unless you have to. Don’t eat lunch with them. Don’t humor their delusions. Perhaps most of all, don’t become confrontational.

Lastly, have a contingency plan beyond the official plan promulgated by the company, which the nutjob is going to know and anticipate. Calculate the quickest escape route from your work area, and the nearest room which could be locked or barricaded. If the lead actually starts flying 1) duck and cover, 2) take a moment to gather your wits, 3) get away at the first opportunity.

The Holistic Survival Team