Healthcare and Medicine Reference
confides to his wife and family, have increasingly become violent. He
purchased a gun and shoots it in the basement of his home and outside in
the desert. The feel of the gun and the sound of the bullets give him a
sense of power that he finds intoxicating. He has also begun to drink
heavily and has a DWI charge that resulted in the removal of his license
and the impounding of his car. He drives anyway, using a second car he
purchased in his wife's name.
He feels invincible and doesn't think anything will happen to him.
Because of his sophistication with the Internet, he has begun sending e-mail
messages to everyone at work that implies violence to certain people in
upper management. He never mentions the name of the supervisor he hates
so much and his e-mails are untraceable. In a company with thousands of
people, it's difficult to pinpoint who made the threats or how seriously they
should be taken, but the messages unnerve everyone at work and there is a
sense of foreboding in the company that something awful will happen.
Robert's EAP counselor believes that his deteriorating condition is
reason to worry about potential violence and has warned the company
that he may be at risk. The company fears a law suit if they fire Robert.
They believe that he will do something serious enough, but not danger-
ous enough, to fire him. The EAP counselor disagrees. He sees concrete
signs of potential for serious workplace violence. Those signs include a
highly intelligent man who is emotionally deteriorating and who also
demonstrates increasing paranoia and an obsession for getting revenge.
The drinking and fondness for guns add to the counselor's sense of
potential violence. If the counselor knew of the verbal threats Robert
had shared with his co-workers and the fact that Robert is the one mak-
ing email threats, the counselor would be absolutely certain Robert's vol-
atile behavior will end in a violent act.
Robert has always been eccentric. His aloofness from people, his dis-
tain for others he considers to have lesser ability, his angry feelings at
management for not recognizing his abilities, all provide a backdrop to
his potential for workplace violence. As an unsupportive supervisor
thwarts his ambitions and as he suffers the indignity of having to go for
counseling, Robert has begun to have fantasies of violence. They include
going into the management side of the company and randomly killing
every manager in sight, starting with his own supervisor. The fantasy is
so clear and appealing to him that it has almost taken on sensuous over-
tones. Although Robert seems troubled, he's able to do his job but is
having moments of irrationality and severe emotional dysfunction that
make him highly dangerous.
The EAP counselor is concerned about Robert's potential for danger
repeatedly warned the company. Unfortunately, he cannot
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