WPV Warning Signs & examples – Part 4
• Alcohol/drug abuse
This is always a good sign of someone who might go off the deep end. This is always a bad sign of someone who might go off the deep end. Alcohol and drug abuse can be a useful sign of someone who will go off and begin threatening, assaulting, or otherwise menacing co-workers. But as with all other signs it’s not definitive.
In my younger days I got drunk. It didn’t matter where I was I acted in one of 3 ways. One was I got real ‘handsy’ with any female close by. The other 2 were fighting mode and morose, which defeated the purpose of getting drunk. And unfortunately, left alone like that, there is no one to stop the wild stupid thoughts or actions that run through the brain and cause them to do something stupid.
Drugs are another matter. Driving their car naked, taking off their clothes and walking thru a Wal-Mart Super Center, or possibly just running from the cops and never feeling the dog biting them or the TaSER?
• Poor Health & Hygiene
This is another indicator that someone may be having a rough time. These people will ignore their health and simply get worse as time goes on without seeking medical attention. And they may be in denial over it. 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 one, 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…
• Safety Issues
If an employee has always been clumsy and has always had safety issues at work, 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.
What I mean by all this is that they may have other stressing 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.
And some of these can become their own medical issues, of which they may not be aware of. As I have stated before, having a stroke, undiagnosed diabetes, or a myriad of other problems could pop up unexpectedly and cause them to be lackadaisical about safety.
• Obsession With Military/Police tactics
I believe that this one is fairly self explanatory to most of us. If a co-worker suddenly becomes enamored with military or police methodology, then it may be time to worry. Once again, during hunting season, it may not be unusual for a co-worker to become involved in planning their hunting expedition, so that it sound like they’re ready to invade another country. Just keep in mind, that sometimes, people get that look in their eyes during hunting season.
• Unusual or Changed Behavior
This is really the key to everything I’ve said. And it comes down to the people who know the person best, if there is one or to notice changes and act upon them. As a friend or co-worker you need to know when something is wrong with them. And if you notice the pattern of behavior isn’t changing after a day or so, then you need to say something.
And what would I consider unusual or changed behavior in someone? It doesn’t matter what I think or know about your friends or co-workers. I know my friends and co-workers and what would become changed or unusual behavior for them. Only you know them so only you and those around them can distinguish them.
Many people who meet me for the first time think I’m so far off the wall I’m in the middle of a stadium! So they are taken aback sometimes if I get depressed or start acting eccentric. But that is me. Do other people act this way sometimes, of course they do! Is it cause for concern, I don’t know if it is or not.
Use the guidelines I’ve given you and go from there. If you have any doubts about your friend or co-worker, then tell someone.
• Fascination with violent video games, music, or movies
This definitely doesn’t need any explanations. With the plethora of such items out there, people (not just kids and teenagers) can become addicted to the adrenaline high of killing things. And whether it is a game, movie, or rap song they get immune to what they are doing. And sometimes it becomes their reality and not fantasy.
Keep in mind that not everyone ready to pop will exhibit all of these signs. One of two of these they are probably just going through a hard time. But when the signs start adding up, 4, 5, 6, or more, then you may have a definite problem. And in those cases, you need to ‘nip it. Nip it in the bud!’
I apologize for this last part running on for so long.
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, a twice weekly blog, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security field 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 at 480-251-5197 or through his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany. Here you will see and read about other items related to security as well as WPV.