Some pushers just haven't learned that some people push back, and hard.
Anonymousback to top
Posted about 3 years ago
Will it happen at your workplace?
Years ago, a good friend said something I've never forgotten about a very oppressive supervisor: "You watch," he said, "one of these days, someone will come in here and blow that asshole away."
This workplace happened to be industrial, not a medically-oriented one.
This was also at a time when you just didn't hear about violence in the workplace, or mass killings at schools, or killing sprees at fast-food restaurants--and long before people would have any idea what you meant if you said someone "had gone postal." What my friend had just proclaimed was practically unimaginable back then, even to say aloud. But as perverse as the notion sounded, I felt that my friend was right: one day a subordinate or someone whom this supervisor had fired would probably walk in and "shoot the man all kinds of dead."
Can it happen at your workplace?
My friend died years ago of a massive heart attack at the age of 48. He was 12 years older than I, and at least that many years wiser. Today I suspect his foresight was owing to a hard-earned personal knowledge about stress and how it affects people. An ugly divorce and child-custody battle, and a one-time overwhelming financial indebtedness had evidently wisened him in ways that no one could envy.
I believe that my late friend was himself too deeply religious to kill someone over acrimony in the workplace. But what I've come to learn on my own about stress hardly gives me the same assurance about other people and their disinclination for murder.
Occasionally, I witness a supervisor or a coworker antagonize someone who has the tolerance of a nervous organism for abuse and I fear that the antagonist is playing with bullets.
Health care workers are probably the last ones most of us would expect to go postal: so much of their lives is directed towards helping others, not harming them. Health care workers also have to pass background checks to qualify for their jobs; they come with histories that are about as squeaky clean and innocent as you can find in another person.
But we also know that health care workers practice among the most stressful of professions, and that many of them suffer stress poorly. The high incidence of drug abuse among health care workers is one of many indicators that attests to inadequate tolerance.
Those of you who are strong may have little patience for those who succumb to stress. I can no longer fault those who do.
Over the years, I've met a few people who couldn't care less about their own welfare and personal problems; something like a home foreclosure or an amputated limb could barely slow them down. But if someone dear to them were threatened with harm, these tough guys would turn to jello.
Here's some bad news: you don't need many coworkers who lose control to blow you or your friends away; you need just one.
Will it happen at your workplace? I hope not, but I fear that some pushers just haven't learned that some people push back, and hard.