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CowboyFromHell
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 1:38 pm    Post subject: Coworker threatens you, what should you do? Reply with quote

I finally got promoted to the night shift at my store back in October, and I was really excited about it. The second week I get threatened. One night while not at the moment working, I'm waiting outside on my bike for my friend to get a bottle of whiskey, just sitting there fidgeting with my iPod. Co-worker who is also not on shift happens to also appear randomly, and walks up to me saying that he and his friend are going to kick my ass.

Well here's the deal. Thanks to working in a customer environment for 4 years my social skills have exceeded greatly, and I can fit in easily and I'm overall a pretty like-able person. Never had issues with this dude before, but this happened.

I ignored it, but went back to file a complaint with the manager. Manager tells me he'd get the coworker's side of the story. A month or two later I'm still waiting on a word from the bosses, and when I finally asked about it, a manager said that the dude had told him that he was only kidding around, merely joking.

Was that joke supposed to be funny?

An NT friend of mine is a person who could easily rip Fred into pieces does not make jokes like this, and he's a Satanist+ADHD.

On Wednesday I am speaking to the night boss about the threat incident, and to my surprise he didn't know about it. Conversation:
"Sucks that I was excited about the job and got threatened on my second week--"
"Who threatened you?":
"Fred."
"Fred?! The little Fred in frozen?!"
Basically he didn't believe that Fred, who's a few inches shorter than me and supposedly don't talk much wanted to kick my ass, but he was also with a friend who's arms were bigger than my head.

The past few months this dude has been glaring at me constantly, and it's been getting annoying. A couple nights ago on my day off, I am walking and Fred tries to kill me with his truck.

Any thoughts?
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blastoff
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many workplaces these days won't tolerate threats of ass-kicking, joking or otherwise. Of COURSE your co-worker is going to say he was joking. Otherwise he'd for sure be fired. As it is, it sounds like the managers were very willing to pass it off as "Oh well, there goes Fred, spouting off again." Conceivably, this gets you painted as the bad guy, since you were unable / unwilling to take a joke. As far as the managers are concerned, subject closed. As far as Fred is concerned, you're now the guy who reported him and his comment to management, so you're forever to be regarded with suspicion. Or worse.

You're not in a great situation here. I suppose it's possible that Fred really was joking about kicking your ass. Maybe you were supposed to respond with another joke: "Not gonna happen, but I'll let you kiss it if you want." This might have put you and Fred on "equal footing," so to speak, and let him know that you can take it and dish it out. That would have been a very high-risk gamble, because if he *wasn't* kidding, you probably would have ended up with a mouthful of teeth.

If you go to management about Fred trying to kill you with his truck, they're just going to see you as a whiner. After all, they blew you off the first time. What you really need is a witness.

Good luck.
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t0
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Coworker threatens you, what should you do? Reply with quote

CowboyFromHell wrote:
I am walking and Fred tries to kill me with his truck.


Exaggeration or reality? If it's reality (ie - he was on the sidewalk trying to run you over or something), you really should be talking to the police. If you're exaggerating, you really need to stop. In either case, I'd would try to avoid / ignore the guy.
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mgran
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not the best person to ask. I had to leave my last place of employment because my boss was verbally abusive towards me, and I felt physically threatened.
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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He threatened you with a vehicle (the vehicle was the weapon). I guess it was supposed to make him feel better, kind of like if he had shot you the finger or something, except, except . . . what if he miscalculates, or what if his anger momentarily gets the best of him?! It is scary stuff. My advice is to be very strategic in your response. Even if your final judgment call is to do nothing, make that a deliberative, strategic choice.

If you walk into a police station by yourself to file a report, there’s a chance the officer will view it as case work and attempt to “solve” the situation by persuading you not to file the report.

If you instead walk into the station with a friend, parent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, teacher, coach, former boss, etc, etc, that will completely change the dynamic. At that point, the officer will immediately see/feel that there’s no chance of talking you out of it and will likely be polite and helpful about the whole thing. And since you’re 20 years old, it might help if you walk into the station with an older person, shouldn’t be that way, but probably is.

And once you have the police report in hand, you can then decide whether to use it in making a complaint at work. And again, approach this as a very deliberative, strategic choice.
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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Coworker threatens you, what should you do? Reply with quote

CowboyFromHell wrote:
. . . The past few months this dude has been glaring at me constantly, and it's been getting annoying. A couple nights ago on my day off, I am walking and Fred tries to kill me with his truck.

Any thoughts?

That's a pattern. Both the low-level hostility (which you now know is more) and then this very, very serious use of vehicle as weapon.

This individual has serious issues way beyond you and that go back long before you. However, it sure sounds like he is currently using you as a repository for everything he hates about the world.

He is scapegoating you.
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CowboyFromHell
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:52 am    Post subject: Re: Coworker threatens you, what should you do? Reply with quote

t0 wrote:
CowboyFromHell wrote:
I am walking and Fred tries to kill me with his truck.


Exaggeration or reality? If it's reality (ie - he was on the sidewalk trying to run you over or something), you really should be talking to the police. If you're exaggerating, you really need to stop. In either case, I'd would try to avoid / ignore the guy.


May not have been on the sidewalk, but either way, that's not the part that worries me as that's probably the only time we would have crossed paths as my shift starts a couple hours later.

It's more of the annoyance than anything, which causes me a distraction at work where I have the most important job in the store and my performance effects the others on the night crew as well.
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alana
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if he tried to run you over you need to call the police and file a complaint. if it continues document everything and go over your boss's head. Something happens to you and he failed to act you can sue the hell out of them, that is why companies have a zero tolerance policy about this stuff...not because they care but because of legal repercussions thanks to the 'gone postal' types. And treat Fred as mentally ill, because he apparently is. Don't try to understand his behavior or make it 'logical' because it isn't. Just document everything and protect yourself.
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CowboyFromHell
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alana wrote:
if he tried to run you over you need to call the police and file a complaint. if it continues document everything and go over your boss's head. Something happens to you and he failed to act you can sue the hell out of them, that is why companies have a zero tolerance policy about this stuff...not because they care but because of legal repercussions thanks to the 'gone postal' types. And treat Fred as mentally ill, because he apparently is. Don't try to understand his behavior or make it 'logical' because it isn't. Just document everything and protect yourself.


The Kroger company has a "zero tolerance policy." That's why a good friend of mine who was also an employee got fired BECAUSE she filed a report with the police for a coworker physically assaulting her, who happened to be a man. Fired for her accusations against a coworker who had been harrassing her for a year, and who happened to get not a day of suspension after slugging her and even recently got promoted.

If I went to HR my ass would be out the door, the door of both my job and my apartment. I can't sue them, because that would provoke much more unfair treatment that I've already received from my store despite their "Open Door Policy" policy against company retaliation that they boast about. There are no jobs around here, I mean literally not one.

No, I'm going gray because I'm dying my hair because I can't wait till I'm 21 in four months to buy alcohol. Very Happy
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alana
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that story of your friend is really sad and she should sue and I sincerely hope she is. it is going to take a lawsuit to change them. I still think you should document things and it's really sad that you feel you cannot go to HR. I am sorry you are being stalked by a psycho coworker, he sounds like an antisocial who is eventually going to end up in jail. If they have an employee assistance program you could get counseling on how to deal with the situation (emotionally). Hugs.
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ursaminor
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alana wrote:
who is eventually going to end up in jail
Doubt it, the company seems to have a zero-tolerance policy for 'tattling'.
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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Zero tolerance” seems to mean high threshold and high filter. Zero tolerance if we intake it and characterize it that way, but because that then becomes such a big deal, it’s so much easier just to brush it off and deflect it and characterize the person bringing forth the complaint in some negative way.
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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tight, defensive boxing to a draw: And you’d be surprised at how much you can learn in two weeks. No, it’s not going to help for some guy whose arms are bigger than you head, but for someone who is about your same size, one or two lessons, plus practicing on your own, can be a big help. And I recommend tight, defensive boxing because your goal is not to humiliate someone. You’ll win if it comes to that, but you’d almost prefer for it to end in a draw.

(And please don’t get so into boxing that you take a bunch of blows to the head because post-concussion syndrome is real. As Dr. Sanjay Gupta explained on CNN, it’s a good study, although still controversial, it’s exponential, one concussion bad, two concussions much, much worse . . . )
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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not that this is going to help for someone seriously deranged (or, to put it more gentile-ly, someone with real issues and real anger problems. how’s that?)

Even ju jitsu won’t help with that.


I am more recommending this as a way to channel the situation into positive action.

And just a little bump in fresh confidence can carry over to a person's decisions, no, not perfect decisions by any means, for none of us can guarantee that, but decisions that are authentically your own, including the adjustments as you go along---just like Sean Payton (Go Saints!) in the Superbowl. (Of course the Cardinals played good, too, but for this year, the Saints are just the best team in the league.)


Ane actually, it sounds like you are doing pretty good, the read of the situation, not the way it’s supposed to be, nor the way someone in authority states that it is, but the way it actually is. Yeah, the way things actually are.
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alana
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ursaminor wrote:
alana wrote:
who is eventually going to end up in jail
Doubt it, the company seems to have a zero-tolerance policy for 'tattling'.


I didn't mean with the company, I meant in general, because he sounds like psycho.
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