February 11, 2021

Hidden Signs of Violence…in Plain Sight Part 6

Written by Robert D. Sollars

This has been a lengthy series of posts for you, I know. The length of this most vital preventative element of workplace violence is long and tiresome, but if you pay attention and learn from it instead of ignoring these signs, your business may be able to stay in business and grow more successful. If you do ignore these signs, then you’re liable to be out of business with pending litigation against you, your managers, & the company.

  • Poor Health and Hygiene

These individuals will ignore their health and simply get worse as time marches on, all without seeking necessary medical attention. Some will even deny that they’re in a serious medical issue until they break down completely or many people will ignore their own health if a member of their family is seriously ill for whatever reason. If a spouse has terminal cancer, then the husband/wife may ignore the signs of a heart attack or stroke.

This can also very easily nosedive into poor hygiene. If the individual is up all night tending to a sick family member, they may forget to shower, shave, or put on deodorant. Once a month or on weekends, this isn’t so bad, but if it starts becoming a daily occurrence…

Keep in mind also the eccentric ones in our midst. There will be some who just absolutely refuse to wear deodorant, shave, or bathe. These individuals have issues but are not necessarily ready to pop their cork and harm someone else. Alcoholics, drug abusers, and others simply ignore that they simply stink and don’t’ really give a flying f*** what others say about it.

  • Poor Relationship Skills

If you notice an individual who seems to have problems with developing and maintaining relationships and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a personal, school, or work relationship, any one of these, or all three, may be cause for concern.

Some people just have problems forming lasting relationships with anyone. It doesn’t matter if it’s at or away from work or school. They just don’t have the skills to have good relationships, no matter what they are. Many times, these people can be dark and brooding and possibly be the stereotypical loner in the organization, they could also just be very shy and not very self-confident about themselves or their surroundings. In that case, then it doesn’t matter who or why someone tries to befriend them, it probably won’t work.

Also, consider that there are aspects of autism and other mental disorders that can cause someone not to be able to have normal relationships. Or possibly, they have been burned in the past by friends. I personally know an individual, who has been stabbed in the back so many times, because she was too trusting, by so-called friends, that it’s very hard for her to even start a friendship much less maintain one. I also managed a security officer at a large distribution center that was this way; he was very good at his job of logging trucks in/out of the center. However, he was very brusque and extremely rude to anyone who supervised/managed him or tried to tell him what to do. However, he was not a big concern for us.

            We left him alone to do his job, which always had a 98% pass rating by their corporate people, which he was rude to as well. In his off-hours, he, his wife, and a daughter took care of 15 special needs children in their home. They were placed there by the state of Kansas and were very lovingly cared for – always receiving a rating of 100%. He got by being rude at his post because that is what was needed to deal with the idiotic oafs he came into contact with. 

  • Safety Concerns

If an individual, like a teenager figuring out who they are, has always been clumsy with safety issues at work or school, then this is probably nothing to worry about. However, if a truck driver suddenly has a couple of stupid accidents after years of perfect driving and the accidents may just be scraping the truck or knocking over a fence post. Or if a factory worker begins running into things with their forklift or stumbling, fumbling, and dropping items that would be the same thing. It may indicate that something is wrong.

They may have other stressful thoughts running thru their minds and they aren’t concentrating on their job properly. Again, if their spouse has terminal cancer or money issues, or any number of factors could be causing them to lose their concentration on being safety conscious at work or even their school homework. Some of these can become their own medical issues, of which they may not be aware of. Having a stroke, undiagnosed diabetes, or a myriad of other problems could pop up unexpectedly and cause them to be lackadaisical and lose concentration.

  • Serious Stress- both at work and home

Is this person having issues with work, of any kind? When I say work issues, I’m talking about specific work duties.

Are they having issues remembering what to do or how to do it? Are they shuffling or stumbling through their shift, more so than normal? All of these things and others may indicate that something is wrong. Is it worth mentioning to the boss or someone in a responsible charge position?

This is also a big one to watch out for. And in today’s economy, it’s easier to spot than it was 20 years ago. Whether we are becoming ‘simplified’ or we don’t have a good support system, we are showing our stress outwardly more and more.

At one time, if we had stress, anywhere in our lives, we kept it quiet. It stayed in the home where the wife, kids, & dog were abused at every opportunity. Rarely, did it spill over into our organizations.

It wasn’t unusual for someone not to show stress to anyone until they were either over it or too depressed and low you couldn’t help but notice it. Now, it’s unusual not to notice if someone is fine.

Money, health such as the coronavirus, family issues, vehicle problems, foreclosures, and employment worries, all of these things and tons more help us to keep having stress in our lives and some people don’t know how to handle it. And the only way they handle it is to lash out at someone or anyone close to them at home, work, coffee shop, or where ever, like a trapped animal.

It happens to Anyone…Any Time… Anywhere… For any Reason

I May Be Blind, but My Vision Is Crystal Clear

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Copyright 2021 Robert D. Sollars

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