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Month: November, 2014

Holiday Safety & Security part 2

This is the 2nd part of my attempting to help you stay safe during the holidays. To fully be safe would take an entire book. But in the mean-time, here are the last 6 tips for this Christmas.

Check your rear view mirror frequently. Again, this may seem a tad bit weird and unusual during the holiday season, but the reasoning is just as simple as the other tips. Have a car load of gifts may not assault or rob you in the mall parking lot. They’ll follow you home and take what they want when you’re most vulnerable – in the driveway or garage unloading those special packages.
If you’ve spent a hard day or night, shopping and you have your shopping done, what’s the worst that can happen? Especially if you’re on a limited budget. All of those gifts that you shopped for, budgeted for, coveted, and thought is perfect for the receiver will be stolen. That means that your entire season will be broken and you miss the joy of giving to your closest loved ones!
Some criminals, knowing that you

Always check for frayed cords on your lights or other appliances and never put them under rugs. This may seem a bit obvious to everyone, but it really isn’t. Christmas time is when most house fires will occur. And because of this you have to be even more careful when plugging in those beautiful lights on that glorious tree to celebrate the season.
Fire hazards will happen if a cord is the least bit frayed and placed under a rug to prevent people from tripping on it. Inspect the cords and plugs carefully before utilizing them to decorate. If they are the least bit frayed, then use them away from other flammable items i.e. drapes, rugs, furniture, and etc. However, having said that like a proud Scotsman, you should really throw it away and buy another cord and/or set of lights.
Going along with this is ensuring that your outlets aren’t overloaded with all those pretty lights and other items. While the multiple outlets extensions say they’re safe…

Take care to ensure your tree is well watered and the lights are out. A Christmas tree can literally go up in flames within 30 seconds. It becomes a torch if ignited. So ensure that you use an artificial tree or that the tree you put up in the window is fresh and well watered every day to prevent it from drying out. And always turn out the lights when you go to bed or leave the house.

LOCK THE HOUSE INCLUDING THE BACK GATE & WINDOWS!
You may think this is a duh! Thing, but it isn’t. People have to be constantly reminded to lock their windows, doors, and to try and keep ner’do wells out of their homes. Because our minds are on other happier subjects, sometimes we forget to lock the house. And if a door, window, gate, or otherwise is left unlocked, then a criminal can…

Wrap those pretty packages and place them in a closet. Sound a little weird? Well it is. But you can imagine the surprise on a criminals face when they open them! Did you realize that it’s not unusual for a thief to break in thru the front window and take the packages from under the tree? Despite the racket it makes, criminals will do most anything to give gifts they didn’t work, shop or pay for!
Soooo, make it hard for them! If they do break in and steal your packages, then they’ll be sorely disappointed when they open them and find…nothing! And the person the present was intended will, hopefully, be greatly surprised, excited, & grateful!

I hope these 2 blogs have given you some tips that you may utilize and that hey help keep you safe and secure during the holidays. I sincerely hope that this upcoming holiday, whichever one you celebrate=rate, will be happy, joyous, and full of the heart-warming love that it deserves.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

Holiday Safety & Security

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It was sung more than 50 years ago and it’s still a Christmas classic. The warmth, fellowship, and compassion that is shown this time of year towards everyone, mostly, is truly wonderful.
But there are innumerable hooligans, miscreants, and ner’do wells out there that wish to rob you of your holiday warm and fuzzy feelings. So in an effort to try and help you to avoid those criminals, here is a list of tips that may help you avoid them,

Shopping:
You must be aware of whom and what is around you at all times. This sounds simple enough but during the holidays it really isn’t. And the first unusual thing you’ll read here is that it really helps you to be a tad bit paranoid and watchful of everything and everyone around you, literally, and not just the special sales and gifts for Mom.
While not being pessimistic and suspicious of people, you definitely need to take care and be wary of potential scammers and those following you. Those stalking you may want to take advantage of you and you not being aware– in more than a few ways.

Carry only 1 credit/debit card and NEVER flash a wad of cash. Criminals, if they are stalking you, will watch how you pay for your purchases. If they spot numerous credit/debit cards or a huge wad of cash in your wallet makes you an obvious and easily spotted target. And if you’re not aware of that person constantly following you around the store or mall…

Know where you are, also at all times. This goes along with the first tip. You must be constantly aware of where you are and how you got there. Wandering mindlessly around the mall, like you’re in a daze – which is common during the Christmas season, you may forget or overlook some little issue that may become a bigger problem when you try to leave with that special gift for that beautiful significant other or child of yours.

Carry your wallet in your front pocket. This is weird tip #2 but stop and think for a moment. Which pocket is closer and harder to get into, your rear or front pocket? If you carry your wallet in your front pocket, and that includes you too ladies, then it is less likely to be a target of a pick-pocket!
You never want to make yourself an easy target. Therefore make those pick-pockets find an easier person to ‘pick’ on! And ladies, if you’re not wearing pants with pockets, place your purse around your neck and shoulder and wear it on your chest.

Make frequent trips to your car. This goes along with the last tip. If you plan on ‘shopping til you drop’ then make sure that you don’t drop from being robbed! Make a purchase or two and take it to the car. Then go back to the next store or bargain special.
This will allow you to keep your hands free and you are able to pull out your keys quickly.

Never ever, carry so many packages that you can’t see well or your hands can’t move freely. If your hands are full and you can’t reach your keys easily or you can’t see what is ahead of you clearly, you make a very easy and inviting target to a criminal. Whether they assault you while you’re moving towards your car or after you’ve reached it and have to put your packages down doesn’t matter. As with #1 above. ALWAYS be aware of what’s going on around you.
Another lil tip that may help at Christmas and other shopping outings. Keep your key between your fingers. It makes a wonderful weapon to slash a criminal who tries to accost you. And it also helps you to save time in unlocking the car.

This was a much abbreviated blog for your safety and security while shopping. I certainly hope that the Christmas and holiday season will be wonderful. And I ask of you, those who celebrate, please remember the reason for the season. If someone is rude and surly to you, remember that that they may have had someone be rude and surly to them earlier (even if they just started). A smile and few kind words may go a long way in the warmth and fellowship of the season.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues..His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

Stress, Holidays, & WPV

We’ve all heard the news reports on CNN, FOX News, our local radio/television stations as well as the innumerable articles in the dwindling number of publications out there. Stress and the holidays! Be Careful! It’ll kill you! The stress is high over the holidays, I think we can all agree with that.
What with trying to find money to buy gifts, office parties (with the significant other and yours, as well as others, trying to decorate, finding time to do everything (sometimes it seems that time gets compressed and you can’t even find the time to breathe!). And then there is family and friends. As well as if you’re in the northern climes with snow and ice Yikes!
But the question is what does this have to do with workplace violence (WPV). Actually a lot. And much of it depends how well you handle stress of both a personal and professional nature. And of course how much time compresses for you and your family.
We’ve all heard the expression, especially around the holidays, “ARRGH, I could kill that guy!’. Not that we really mean it, but the stress gets to us and we want to explode at something…or someone. Therefore, that certain someone pushes out buttons in the wrong order one day and…
For some people, it’s just too much and they literally explode and take aggressive action against that certain someone. Whether that be a verbal dressing down or an actual assault, we won’t know until the fuse burns down to the powder.
And to be honest, it may not the person or objects that has been pushing the buttons and getting to the individual. It could be a random shopper in the mall who accidently nudges you and you stumble. Or it could be the clerk who has had a long and harried day. But whatever it is, you, or the individual is ready to explode. And sometimes you do.
Black Friday is a term that strikes fear in my life, therefore I ignore it and don’t go out. Besides recent studies have shown that the best deals don’t occur on Black Friday, but rather on the Wednesday BEFORE Thanksgiving!
So my advice to avoid WPV this time of year? Shop early and don’t fight everyone looking for a .99 cent television. Do your work, go home, have a shot of Glen Fiddich or wine (if you drink) and listen to some good music. Or if this doesn’t work for you do whatcha have to relax and ignore everyone else.
As I recently told a friend about stress and getting upset, she’s blind also, ‘you’ve got to let others hostility roll off your back. Like water rolls off a ducks back, you’ve got to let the anger and stress of others just run off your back. You’ll take less Tylenol!’ Learning what relaxing you and sticking to it will help you and your employees avoid incidents of WPV
Stay tuned for my yearly staying safe during the holidays. It’ll be coming up soon.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him through his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/oneistooMany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

Shocking Your Corporate Culture

There are many times when a change in culture, either at a corporate or local level, needs to be accomplished. You hire an effective manager (from a different company) and expect them to come in and totally change it, overnight. But, there is no quick fix for anything in the corporate world, whether at the corporate or local level.
The experiences I’ve had in the corporate world, working within the restrictive framework of a corporate ‘giant’, was never a good fit for me. I’ve had my greatest successes with smaller local/regional companies. However, if you look at this closely and begin using your own experiences and knowledge of the company, for your own situation you will be able to change the culture nearly instantaneously (which means within the 1st year, if you make it that long)!
You may think that it is an impossible task after what I’ve already said, but I assure you that it will work! As with everything I teach, train, and talk about you have to take your own situation and tweak the way you start it rolling by the individual situation.
Some cultures can be transformed simply by bringing in a new Branch Manager or Regional VP. Others can be brought in and have not a clue what the issues are, especially if they are from a different region of the country i.e. New York City to Oxford Mississippi.
And I will be the first to admit that I haven’t done this very often on a large scale. Usually it’s been done on a smaller security post with less than 10 people. And I will also admit that I don’t really fit the ‘corporate image’ since I follow that business book ‘it ain’t broke, then break it’. Not many corporate people don’t like attitude!

The Problems:
The culture in your company/security post may be rotten to the core and you know it by an array of things that are occurring on a continual basis. Turnover, mistakes, no reports, forgetting to change the disk for the CCTV, attendance problems, and a myriad of other issues. So you know what the symptoms are, now you have to find the original issue. And that is probably the hardest part of all of this.
You will have to spend days, weeks, or in some cases even months or better to figure out the main issue that is causing the problems. To do this you can employ the method (I prefer) to talk to everyone and take careful notes of what they say and when they say it. I am a great believer in consultants in many cases, but in this case the boss needs to be out there talking and asking the questions. It doesn’t matter where the questions come from, just that the boss know their people.
And in addition to taking copious notes on what’s said, there are a couple of other things that need to be watched. Are they nervous or have anxiety? What’s their body language? Are they being overly calm? You have to pick up on the little subtle things to finally figure out what’s wrong.

The Solution:
This is where the shock comes in. You can call it whatever you wish. But I will guarantee you that this will work;
A couple of decades ago, I had a very large account. It had its own Account Manager, 30 buildings, 20 supervisors, and well over a hundred officers. The main issue I faced was turnover, 400% per year. The root cause of the turnover? The supervisors were over-bearing, arrogant, & (in the current vernacular) bullying their officers. So the solution was fairly simple. I offered a proposal and it was accepted. An ultimatum to the supervisors. Get better or else you’re gone. Simple as that. No dancing around the issue, no pleasantries.
In 30 days the officers gave their evaluation of their supervisors. It was kind of surprising how quickly the supervisors shaped up an came into line with being good supervisors/managers! The officers rated them on the same scale and framework that the supervisors graded the officers on.

The Results:
The results were not bad in my opinion. We lost about half the supervisors within 6 months because they couldn’t maintain the change or didn’t want to. We also terminated about 30 officers in the same amount of time Even the Account Manager was faced with termination, and he eventually left on his own accord..

Was this a shock to the corporate/post culture? Of course it was. Supervises/managers were not normally called out and issued such ultimatums within the security field. Will this approach work today? Yes it will (I guarantee it!), and sometimes there is no choice, especially as a contract company if you want to keep the account.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

What should we teach our kids & employees in an active shooter situation?

A very simple question to ask, but if you ask most anyone they can’t answer you. Of course the administration and management can give you chapter and verse on what to do, but they aren’t the ones that need to know the plan.
The easiest idea is to teach both the kids and employees a simple plan that has been in use by the Department of Homeland Security for a number of years. It works for both schools and businesses. It’s relatively simple and inexpensive to implement. Run, Hide, Fight.

Run:
The basic premise is this. If you can get out and evacuate the building then do it. This may not be the best option, but if it is there then it needs to be attempted.
One caveat to this is that if the shooter is a student/employee (or former) who knows these routes better than them? Think about breaking the rules and using a different route, if possible. This will keep you out of the line of fire if they decide to use the evacuation routes as a shooting gallery.

Hide:
If you can’t evacuate, then you need to find a place to hide and barricade yourselves inside a secure location. And by secure I mean as best as you make it. There will never be a place where you can guarantee your security and safety in an active shooter situation, but you have to do what you can.
And a caveat for this as well. If you have asthma, allergies, or other breathing, nasal issues, you should think about utilizing another location. This would be especially true if the ‘safe’ room is dusty or otherwise full of allergens.

Fight:
This is a tricky one to even to think or write about. If you can get out then do so, as I said above. However, there will always be the chance of running into the shooter or the shooter attempting to gain entry into your ‘safe room’.
In this case you need to think quickly and utilize anything you have to fight them off and distract them from shooting you or your companions. This will be controversial for students, but it must be done or you could be finished – forever.
Pencils, rulers, books, hands, arms, feet, or whatever you can grab and hit them with will, hopefully, be effective enough for someone to help you or you to get out safely. Is this a guarantee that it won’t make them angrier? Not a chance. But what it does do is give you a chance to get away. Go for eyes or throat.
For schools or large businesses:
One thing that schools and large businesses may try is to use alert codes to alert the rest of the building. When the main office hears of a shooter, there may not be enough time to alert the school over the PA system. Something as simple as ‘Red West 2’ could mean an incident such as a fire at the west end of the second floor. “Black East 3 could mean a bomb threat or harmful person in the corridor of the east side of the third floor.
The codes need to be simple and easy to recognize for everyone to understand.

Conclusion:
These all work. Again, there is no guarantee that anything will work. What works one time may fail miserably another. Think back to the early days of rocketry and the V-1 & 2’s Nazi Germany used. Then think back to the tragic loss of life in our own space program when rockets failed.
The key in ALL of this is very simple. TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN, and TRAIN some more.
Without proper and continual training you can’t expect any plan to run efficiently and effectively.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany), Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

What’s your Corporate Culture?

I talked a bit last time about corporate culture before going on to the power of documentation. Well, this is the post on corporate culture. And like last time, you may be wondering how this fits into workplace violence (WPV) discussions.
One thing that can cause an increase of an incident of WPV is your corporate culture. And it can come from numerous sources because of it. Some of those may include; current or former employees, dissatisfied customers, and even domestic violence.
Yes there are certain companies that promote WPV by the way they conduct their day to day business. First there are many companies that believe that it ‘can’t happen here’ so they refuse to deal with the possibility and create an atmosphere of intolerance. Companies with communication problems between management, floor supervisors, and the line employees, the lines of communication are closed.
You have to look carefully at your corporate culture to ensure that you’re allowing any of the attitudes that foster WPV to invade and be pervasive within your business and company culture. And if it started as a sole proprietorship, then it may be a tad difficult for the owner to give up ‘absolute’ control over the business, but unfortunately they can’t operate it as ‘my way or the highway’ in the 21st century.

So now I’ve given you a couple of other things to worry about in preventing WPV. Are you ready to try and prevent it or at least recognize that it’s possible?

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Oneistoomany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

The power of Documentation in Preventing WPV

You may be asking why I am talking about documentation in a blog that should be concerned with workplace violence (WPV). And how documentation can prevent an incident, or at the very least lessen its impact. The answer is very simple. These next 2 blogs are things that can have a great and negative impact on the company and all employees. Maybe not today, tomorrow, or even next week, but it will have an effect if an employee (ex) walks in and wants to harm you and the other people in your business at the time. And you have to remember that some employees take more than 2 years to return (Motra Transmissions – Phoenix, AZ. 2005).
Documentation may be one area that makes all employees and supervision very uncomfortable. With that statement, let me elaborate on it. First, However, you must start with teaching your employees that anything that is even potentially, no matter how remotely it may seem, threatening must be documented in detail AND original verbiage so that it can be handled by either HR or management.
This is an area that can become very uncomfortable for many people, and the reasoning is simple. If an employee makes threats or is otherwise harassing co-workers, then the exact verbiage, with no asterisks i.e. Son-of-a-b**** mother-f******, must be written down. It is unfortunate, but even if that employee uses all kinds of vulgar language and expletives the reporting employee/supervisor must write it down, in the exact way it was said i.e. Son-of-a-bitch and mother-fucker. There are several reasons for this.
The first and foremost is the offending employee must then defend what they said to HR or a manager. There can be no wiggle room in the meaning of any words that were spoken. This may be uncomfortable for many people to do or listen to. If they are religious then it will be against their religious precepts. And even if they aren’t particularly religious it offends some to use such language. But which is worse, not saying/writing these down or watching someone suffer and potentially die because they didn’t act properly?
But if the employee is terminated or dismissed because of this incident then they can argue, possibly successfully, that they didn’t say that and they mean’ to say this instead. This will throw doubt on the testimony of the co-worker into question. If that happens, then it may be thrown out and the dangerous employee reinstated.
If you seriously doubt that this would be the case, I urge you to look at recent arbitration cases in the news for stupidity. There are more than a few cases that came up before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission *EEOC), and in the courts that can be classified stupid and ruled in the favor of the offending employee for several reasons more trivial than wrong wording!
When talking about documentation you also have to have the date, time, and place where the incident was heard. If the co-worker over-heard it in the lunch room, then it must be stated that it was there at (you can’t overstate the idea of using this term) approx. 12:15 PM on January 8, 2015. And it doesn’t matter where they heard it, even off duty. If they over-heard a conversation in a bar by the employee concerning their co-workers, then it must also be stated as such.
While it may be embarrassing for the co-workers they must be willing to write it down and report when they can. To not do so may endanger the lives of many other co-workers and the actual business itself. And if they were doing something nefarious themselves, then they will have to ‘out’ themselves no matter how uncomfortable it may be.
Documentation is one of those vitally necessary things to prove in a court of law that you followed every possible recourse and that the employee was destined for termination. All incidents involving employees-the fights, arguments, and so on must be documented every single time, even if it fills reams of paper. The supervisor needs to gather names of witnesses, exact times and dates, and what was said including the exact verbiage used.
Will this be a pain the ass for everyone who has to document? Of course it will. Can it potentially save lives? Absolutely. If you knew if you got an oil change today would save you from your car breaking down on the I-680 in San Francisco during rush hour, would you do it?
If you would like an example of a supervisory note of a threat, harassment, or similar write me and I’ll send you one that I personally wrote about 10 years ago on a security officer I was managing. Send to Oneistooomany@aol.com

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Oneistoomany Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.