Sunday

What Every Manager/Business Owner/Employee Can Learn from Disgruntled Ex-Cop

A mean-spirited man hell-bent on killing people decides that he is going to pay back those who failed him at his place of employment.  We saw the movies, read the news, had our own personal concerns on the job, and heard some angry relatives and friends complain about a boss, employee, contractor, or someone else wronging them at their workplaces.  But rarely does anyone really think too much about the prideful statements, hateful comments and even threats one makes about workers at the job.

Some people are very good about hiding their personal opinion when it comes to a certain ethnicity, gender, and workplace issue they don't agree with.  But others, not so much.  As a result, workplace operations is disrupted over some workers having no self-control over their tongues.  What's worse, there are leaders all across America who don't mind deviating from policies, manuals, and other company related material, not to better the collective, but to suit one's selfish ideas, desires, and those who they might favor.  Meanwhile the good employee, who plays by the book, will either quietly or boldly react while an unfair, negative, demeaning, or evil scenario plays out that may or may not directly affect him or her, but in their minds they constantly think, "Something must be done!"

Now let us take a look at this former law enforcement officer, Christopher Jordan Dorner, for a moment.  (His manifesto is attached to his name).  Someone who seemed to have a great career, intelligent, and loved his country at one time, which is inferred from his manifesto, yet an enraged man who wanted nothing more than to take revenge on those who failed him.  But why not handle matters professionally assuming that he did kill the couple and write the manifesto?  (He hasn't been tried yet at the time of this writing.)

According to Dorner's manifesto,  "I have exhausted all available means at obtaining my name back. I have attempted all legal court efforts within appeals at the Superior Courts and California Appellate courts. This is my last resort. The LAPD has suppressed the truth and it has now lead to deadly consequences. The LAPD’s actions have cost me my law enforcement career that began on 2/7/05 and ended on 1/2/09. They cost me my Naval career which started on 4/02 and ends on 2/13."
 
The system had failed him in his opinion.  Here was a man who drove himself mad trying to play by the book.  There are many examples in the manifesto where he was that tattle-tale or whistleblower, so to speak.  So when management didn't follow protocol, Dorner took matters in his own hands!

My question to you is, do you have a fellow co-worker, employee, counselor, client, supervisor, or assistant who plays by the book that you might have let down?  Are you the worker that might feel slighted by management?  Think on this for awhile.  Because chances are, there is something on the inside of you or someone you know that is festering.  Some of those negative emotions may be playing themselves out in the following: under performance (like work not getting done in a timely fashion), so-called jokes made about you or others, frequent tardiness, fake illnesses, failure to get along with fellow workers, stealing, lying, and more.

Many companies have a variety of awareness programs, but what about having one that teaches employees how to recognize a disgruntled employee?  A good worker, who simply feels angered about things like:  his complaint being overlooked, unappreciated, or not properly dealt with, according to the company's protocol, might not be a future problem for you and your group if management follows-up, investigates matters, follows policies, or adds better ones, and stays out of the "the club" or "clique." 

You may have your favorites and may have taken an oath with a certain organization, but doesn't integrity and fairness mean anything?  Your Right Hand Man may one day be your foe, because he or she notices that you don't play by the rules unless it suits you, then what?  In the case of Dorner, he called people out and yet they still didn't listen even with proof.   

Working to achieve a common goal is different from looking the other way when a worker is doing wrong.  If you are that team player, meaning helping make the company a success not covering up misdeeds, yet the group decides that they want to do some things that undermine the community that they serve while deceiving management, it is your responsibility to report what you observe to the necessary authorities.  Dorner listed many people in his writing that simply lacked standards, didn't want to address issues, etc.  Management shouldn't treat their good workers like snitches while making others think they are bad for business for wanting to do right.   

There are those workers who believe that being a team player means one is nothing more than a snitch, a tattle-tail, big mouth, and other words not so nice.  Like a child who repeatedly tells a parent about a sibling hitting them, the worker wants justice!

So after reading the Dorner's manifesto, you might want to think about the following points for your establishment when teaching/advising/reprimanding:

One.  When information is released by a company about what changes have been made, and you don't see any changes or they are no benefit to workers, you make mention in writing.  You talk to others to get their feedback.  If they simply aren't willing to work with you, you don't keep giving them your service, you look for another job.  If you don't deal with the issue that keeps showing up, feelings of resentment, bitterness, rage, and more will start to take root.  Before long, all you will keep thinking about in your mind is how much you hate this person and how you want to pay this one and that one back as well as what else can you do to make these people see the light.  Save your energy for a company who will listen! 

Two.  You may find that someone is purposely spreading incorrect information about you.  They may go so far as to make your office space uncomfortable with all his or her bad-mouthing.  As soon as you hear something negative that has your name in it, share your concern with Human Resources or others you know can help you.  Tell your confidante or advisor your plans to confront this person and if you don't trust him or her, be near witnesses, speak over the phone, or behind closed doors, but record the exchange.  Always have a paper trail with dates and times.  The sooner you address the "He say, She say," the better!  Request an apology or something in writing from those who can clear your name.

Three.  If you know of certain individuals who tend to eat lunch all the time, are related to one another, or seem to be connected due to fraternal connections, it is best to mention these affiliations in any report you file.  This will prove that individuals will lie, cover up or do anything else to support one another because many of these group members swear by oaths to protect secrets and more.  Be sure you are not a part of the club.  This means no lunch dates, attending events, etc.  Otherwise, your socializing with the group might be used against you later.  You may be labeled as the disgruntled one who got kicked out the club.

Four.  Those who use offensive remarks about others that are racial, sexist and more should be reported, but one should not threaten or physically fight the offenders.  When you do, you set yourself up for a future dismissal and you will also create enemies for all the wrong reasons.  Find out what does company policy say about offensive statements, hand gestures, etc.

Five.  Trouble-makers on the job usually have an extensive history.  Do your research to find out why certain people continue to stay.  Don't bring up concerns to those who favor these individuals.  Think of ways to bring attention to the matter within the group.  If you have to be anonymous, then do so.  However, don't prepare your concern at the workplace, go elsewhere to do it and don't save what you wrote on a personal computer.  If you are mailing correspondence, go outside of where you live to do it.  Avoid handwriting envelopes and letters.  Use paper that can't be tracked back to you.  Mail outside of the post office (off the property).  If you are very concerned, be sure your fingerprints are not on paper, postage, envelope, and other places.  If your identity being found out is a non-issue, then send email with time and date stamp and cc. all those who need to know about your concerns. 

Six.   Notice who the angry workers are in your organization.  They are typically easily irritated, often do not smile, curse, or throw things.  They disrespect others and are not able to work in groups.  Then there are those who are good actors who will smile for certain individuals and not others.  When you hear repeated complaints about these angry individuals, do something about them when in your power such as: meet with them and ask about their issues and provide tips, send them written correspondence and offer assistance, seek your boss for advice, report to H.R. and be knowledgeable of your rights and company policies.  Direct these ticking time bombs to necessary help within your company or outside of it.  Offer days off when possible.  Remember, note your findings because you might be called as a character witness one day.  Always follow-up!  Schedule a future appointment with the angry employee during the meeting, and try not to cancel.

Seven.  You or someone you know might come to a point that a worker/manager can't do anything else to rectify a matter.  The dissatisfied employee may or may not be visibly upset.  When you know you can't do anything else to get your issue resolved, don't badger anyone and avoid complaining; rather, make up in your mind either you will accept things how they are or move on.  Maybe things might change because of your long history of fighting the good fight, but then maybe not. 

Don't drive yourself crazy trying to get some justice for your issue or someone else's!  Be sure to have a network of supportive individuals who can counsel/pray/assist you when you are down.  Surrounding yourself with useless, unwise advisers and so-called helpful mentors who have proven that their good tips have run out, will not help you to be the most effective on the job.  In time, your issues at work will surface on the home front and when this happens you will definitely hate your job and everyone who works there. 

Stop the rage about someone or something early on, by taking appropriate action,  do things like: consult with others to see what they have done in a similar situation, take days off to think, find positive ways to express yourself, and above everything else when no one seems to understand or will listen, start putting those resumes out! 

Don't waste your life staying with a company or working in a department that doesn't help you when you are down!  Life is simply too short!

Nicholl McGuire is the author of When Mothers Cry and other books available on Amazon.com



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