The Warning Signs, of WPV/SV, YOU Ignore Part 2

The Warning Signs, of WPV/SV, YOU Ignore Part 2

Written by Robert D. Sollars

Every perpetrator of workplace violence (WPV)…anywhere, forewarns their intent by showing warning signs, yet, no one takes them seriously. Instead of acting upon them, they make a conscious decision to ignore the warning signs, providing excuses for the behavior, for innumerable reasons. The results of their ignorance of the signs usually cause incalculable injuries, death, & psychological trauma. But, how do you know when someone is ready to pop their proverbial cork & lash out?

Recognizing the warning signs is the best defense against something tragic occurring. In my 32 years of researching, writing, & speaking about WPV/SV I’ve created a list of the warning signs, totaling 24. 2 or 3 of these signs are not, usually, cause for concern. But if you begin to see 5, 6, 7, or more… These are the most prevalent I have found, and we’ll take all 24 in alphabetical order with a few examples mixed in as well;

Attendance Problems:

When you have an employee/student, who is having issues with getting to the class/work on time, even after their coffee or lunch breaks… Now, just because someone is missing a lot of time, does this mean that they are going to bring a firearm to work and start shooting people?

It may cause other forms of violence, such as being argumentative or some of the other signs we’ll talk about later in the series. But no, of course not! There are innumerable reasons why someone is having these types of issues & some of these are their own fault, but it needs to be investigated so the issue is known.

Are they pulling A no-call no-show? If they aren’t calling in and not showing up, this may indicate another problem. Many people have been found dead or in serious trouble because of not showing up for work. Attendance issues are something to keep an eye on…not only for the bottom line but to assist the employees if they need the help of any kind…which the administration and/or management should be allowed to do, whether the legal department says it’s okay or not.



A hot topic for WPV as well as school violence. Many people say that they never bully anyone or that they have never been bullied. I was bullied in school, because I was a short, dumb, & fat kid, although it wasn’t as bad in the 70s as it is now. I’ve also bullied people, albeit unintentionally.

Being a bully, you can have the tables turned on you. There are multiple incidents of the people being bullied turning it around on the bully. Remember what a trapped animal or rat does?

The breaking point could manifest itself in 2 ways… Either the individual being bullied will lash out, somehow, and attack the aggressor or as in far too many cases of teenagers today…commit suicide.

If the individual being bullied strikes back, then they may lash out at everyone, not just the bully. That means they may think that no one has tried to help them, even if they have, and therefore they deserve to be hurt.


Continual Excuses

Usually, when you think of continual excuses from someone, it’s usually from a toddler, child, or teenager. While those groups may be the most prevalent, it also goes for individuals who may consider committing violence inside the organization.

Every time that an individual is caught doing something they shouldn’t be doing, they will probably deny it or at the very least make an excuse for why. Unfortunately, far too many people ignore the excuses as someone who has an issue. They can’t solve it until the individual explodes in violence, then they themselves deny and make excuses, and if they are the target or get in the way of the target….

Continual Excuses goes both ways. It happens to both employees as well as supervisory/managerial staff. And in either event, it’s not a good thing. It really doesn’t matter whether the excuse is “I forgot” or “they’re off duty”. If excuses are becoming common, then it is raising a problem that needs to be addressed.

An example of supervisory excuses is that a friend of mine was at work and waiting for her relief to show up and she had another friend of mine carpooling with her. The 2nd friend went outside to wait until the other was off duty. While the friend was sitting outside, her supervisor came by and told the 1st friend “Didn’t anyone tell you that your relief isn’t here and is running an hour late? No offer of a ride was forth-coming.”

After a few minutes, another supervisor walks out and see’s the 2nd friend sitting there. She tells the employee that she’s sorry about it and continues on to her vehicle, they lived 2 blocks from each other… no ride was forthcoming, or even an offer of one.


The next part of this series will be next week

Written by Robert D. Sollars


Like these blogs? Then please feel free to pass them along to friends, colleagues, or anyone who may benefit. Have them subscribe to my website: Sollars Violence Prevention Training & Consulting

Or if you wish to preview my books

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 2022 Robert D. Sollars

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