How Did This Happen? Part 2
Written by Robert D. Sollars
We consistently run into co-workers or their friends who don’t want to turn someone in or ‘tattle’ on them. Here is a short list of the excuses that I’ve collected over my career that stop the reporting of a potential workplace/school violence threat.
You may hear these excuses from anyone and there are plenty of explanations/excuses to go around from everyone associated with a potential perpetrator. But the question is which one will they use to not tell someone, or as the title of the post suggest…ignore? And please remember that these excuses are couched in the male but just as easily they could be from a female.
- He was just going through a tough time
- He’ll come out of it
- He’s not that kind
- He would never do something like that
- He’s not capable of doing that
- He’s got problems, who doesn’t?
- I don’t want to get him in trouble
- I don’t want to get involved
- It’s not my problem
- Why should I care what happens to him?
- I hate this place, why should I warn them?
- This company/school/individual needs a wake-up call anyway
- They won’t listen to me
Need I go on and list more? There are more excuses for ignoring these signs than there is space in these blog posts.
Most of these excuses and ignorance of the warning signs come down to two attitudes. Either they are acted upon or ignored. Even if you do say something, it will not stop a serious or deadly incident, but it surely can’t hurt, can it?
The other attitude is simple enough… It Can’t Happen Here, which is the most dangerous that anyone, at any organization can have, because it ignores the potential danger. Just because you don’t think it can happen where you are, such as earthquakes, or tornadoes, doesn’t mean they can’t kill you in a split second and sometimes horrendously mutilate the body and/or cause permanent injuries or trauma.
There is also no excuse for anyone to say ‘I didn’t think it could happen here!’, as was said innumerable times during the interviews for Monterey Park & Half Moon Bay Calicorny, That is the utterance of everyone involved in the incident, from innumerable incidents in the past quarter century that I’ve heard and documented.
They say that ignorance is bliss. However, ignorance is no excuse for ignoring the law if you break it. And if you ignore the warning signs of WPV/SV you could be opening your organization up for coverage on FOX, CNN, and your local news outlets, with all of the bad publicity it brings. Then it will be the management/administration who will say “How did this happen?”
Don’t be the idiot and fool on the news…learn what needs to be done and how to solve it…before blood splatter, brain tissue, and body parts are strewn about the place and the walls, glass, carpet, and computers need to be replaced…at a cost of millions.
Do YOU want to be the one trying to explain why it happened without using the superlatives of “We just didn’t think it’d happen here.” Tell the truth and say “We were idiots and didn’t prepare well enough, if at all, for anything like this.”
I’m so glad that someone will finally step up to the microphone and speak the truth about one of these incidents…not!
www.sollarsviolenceprevention.com Twitter: RobertSollars2
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It happens to Anyone…Any Time…Anywhere… For any Reason
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