March 9, 2021

“Save my life, I’m going down for the last time…”

Written by Robert D. Sollars

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This song from the 70s is known to many of us that are of that age. But what does this song have to do with security and workplace violence (WPV) prevention? Think of a perpetrator, or potential perpetrator, who is clinging to their last ripped and shredded fingernails to the edge of their…lucidity and thought processes arguing against each other in their potentially delusional brains.

This song is probably known better by its famous line above, rather than by the actual title of “Never been any Reason” by Head East. Whatever you know it as, they could have been talking about WPV and the factors leading up to death, mayhem, injuries, and traumatized innocent people.

Another famous line from this said “Woman with a loving better than a white line”. White line? Cocaine, at the time, was the party drug of choice for most people and the addicts that came out of the 70s were nearly innumerable and impossible to count, most of our favorite singers & actors were addicted. If you will remember… one of the warning signs for WPV is a drug and/alcohol abuse. Whatever their drug of choice may be it is still relevant.

Then of course there is the woman with the loving better than that white line. What does this refer to? You can reference it to being left by a woman they loved for innumerable reasons that cause break-ups. Possibly the woman who is with someone else and they want, think of Jesse’s Girl by Rick Springfield. Or possibly the woman who this man loves but still abuses, as strange as it is, people will abuse the person they love and feel remorse afterward, supposedly. Hard to judge someone along those lines, but it is true. Whether they intend to harm or permanent injury to the individual they love is totally unknown.

Domestic violence of their partner contributes to 43% of all WPV incidents. It doesn’t matter whether the person in question is having an affair or the partner just ‘perceives’ that they are, therefore, for some, the risk is worth taking them out of the picture, and if you consider the hormones of younger men, and sometimes women, in high school or the workplace…

The title of this post could be the last cry of a person who is ready to go under and take a life. Whether that life is theirs or several others in one or multiple locations, in such an incident of WPV? No one knows for sure until it does happen. Who is this person who will do this? No one really truly knows until they pop their proverbial cork will we know, unless the warning signs are spotted & reported.

At that point, everyone involved must choose an action. They can choose to either ignore those signs or act upon them, which I’ll admit is never easy to turn in someone you love and/or loves you.

It’s up to management, co-workers, and those closest to the perpetrator to change their attitudes towards the warning signs and report deviations from what is considered ‘normal’ and not ignore them… The company, and the rest of the employees closest to the perpetrator, no matter what they will say, are at least partially responsible for the carnage they may reek, either at the workplace or away from it.

By the attitudes they have and pass around through culture and denials, they help to perpetuate these incidents. Then there are the warning signs. All 25 of them are just as easy to see…if you allow yourself to see and recognize them. Mostly, the warning signs are ignored for more than a few reasons and excuses are thrown around like fumbled foul balls by employees. You as the management of your company, or security professional, need to recognize these signs and report them to someone when they start to add up for one employee.

1, 2, 3, or even 4 warning signs are probably not a reason to think they may be going down for the last time. However, if the signs begin to stack up into 6, 9, 12, or more… then you may be facing a serious, not to mention bloody, problem.

That is what has to be done…and impressed onto employees above all things when it comes to WPV. If you don’t train them on reporting the warning signs, even if it is a friend (anonymously if necessary), then you could be looking at a bloody, deadly, and bloodstained incident at your facility. If nothing else someone being emotionally & mentally traumatized by a verbal tirade against their parentage or appearance.

To most people, with all forms of violence and tragic events, they will utter one line above all else. “Why did this happen?” or possibly “There’s never been any reason”. So, what can we do to give this insanity a reason? Nothing at all except long-term support for their issue.

As security professionals it is up to us…not HR, legal, C-suite, or anyone else…simply US. It is up to us to create programs that will encourage employees not to make excuses and report aberrant behavior even by a relative or close friend at the job site. Are you up to it or will you say “Never Been Any Reason” and allow someone to, at the very least, psychologically traumatize someone you know?

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

I May Be Blind, but My Vision Is Crystal Clear

Permission to share? Of course, with full attribution.

Copyright 2021 Robert D. Sollars

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