[Imc-lasvegas] Last Night's meeting
genelleb at prodigy.net
Thu Feb 3 10:38:34 PST 2005
We had two hours to discuss a lot of business. More than half of it was
wasted due to Steve Hampton showing up. He was shouting insults at
everyone who attended the meeting, but most were directed at Jason and a
lot of it was directed at me. About 20 minutes of this went by before
others came to the meeting, but before they arrived, his behavior was
worrisome, and my first instinct was to leave. Instead, I stayed and
tried to ignore him in the hopes that others would come and he'd calm
down. Well, others came, but his behavior continued. This went on for
another 10 minutes until...
Pride Factory management, at our request, asked Steve to leave our
meeting, but he refused. They asked him again, but he still refused, so
they called the police. Steve sat in that chair for 30 more minutes
while the meeting was held up, shouting insults at Jason and Jeffrey and
whoever else was nearby. Jeffrey refused to take it, and I support him
in that. Jason refused to listen to Steve, and I support that as well.
Steve left only when the police arrived, and we started the meeting at
A friend uninvolved with this situation brought up the point that this
kind of verbally abusive behavior is the precursor to physically abusive
behavior. I resisted this idea at first, but I do worry that Steve's
abusive behavior has escalated from what it was before to the point
where it is conceivable that his verbally abusive behavior could turn to
violence. He sees himself as a person who needs to "liberate" the group
from Jason. (I'm certain I don't need to make the connection for you
concerning the delusion required to view yourself, the attacker, as some
sort of liberator...) He hasn't been to a meeting in a month and
somehow he seemed to feel the same amount of rage last night over things
that happened over a month ago as he did when they originally happened.
This is what worries me in particular, because he isn't showing any
signs of processing his anger, but instead is showing signs that it is
escalating. He had never insulted us so loudly and personally as he did
last night, and he wasn't making sense.
Last night, I heard him tell Jason that he deserved death, which I'm not
sure technically constitutes a death threat, but it clearly demonstrates
to me that this, along with the rest of his behavior, is not something
to take lightly. I found the following resources that address violent
behavior in the workplace (the closest thing I could come up with...)
Some of them don't apply to Steve, but it's amazing how many of them do.
"Commonly identified behaviors that may signal the potential for
* Has outbursts of rage and anger and may intimidate others.
* Cooperates poorly with others.
* Blames others for own problems.
* Displays changes in work patterns such as tardiness or
* Demonstrates extreme or bizarre behavior, or deep depression.
* Is known to abuse alcohol or drugs.
* Has had a recent loss.
* Is disgruntled more than usual about work and is fixated on
* Exhibits low self-esteem.
* Engages in sabotage behavior.
* Has a history of violent behavior.
* Shows an extreme interest in or obsession with weapons, e.g.,
paramilitary training, weapons collections, compulsive reading of gun
* Discusses weapons excessively at work, carries a concealed weapon,
or flashes a weapon to test reactions.
* Makes either direct or veiled verbal threats of harm (e.g.,
predicts that bad things are going to happen to a co-worker or
* Intimidates or instills fear in co-workers or supervisors. (This
includes verbal as well as physical intimidation.) Examples include
harassing phone calls and stalking.
* Has an obsessive involvement with the job, often with no apparent
outside interests. (This trait is usually coupled with failed or
strained outside relationships; the workplace becomes the person's sole
source of identity.)
* Is a loner who has little involvement with co-workers, with the
possible exception of a romantic interest in another employee. This
interest is frequently so intense that the targeted employee will feel
threatened and may want to report the unwanted attention as sexual
* Is fascinated with recent incidents of workplace violence and
openly approves of the use of violence under similar circumstances.
* Shows an escalating propensity to push the limits of normal
conduct, disregarding the safety of co-workers.
* Is highly suspicious or paranoid, and often believes that the
whole world is against him or her.
* Handles criticism poorly and has problems with people in
authority; holds grudges, especially against a supervisor, and often
verbalizes a hope for something to happen to the person against whom the
employee has a grudge.
* Expresses extreme desperation over recent family, financial, or
What you can do: Do not ignore or downplay direct or indirect threats
from any person, as they could escalate into serious incidents later
I just wanted to say I won't be staying at meetings that Steve shows up
to. I will migrate with others to have the meeting somewhere else if
that's what people want to do, but I will not sit in a meeting space (or
any space) with Steve again. Not only because I feel unsafe and I feel
that Jason would be unsafe, but there is no advantage to it. He adds
nothing politically to the discussion, and his behavior prevents work
I realize we talked about this a little in the meeting last night and
talked about just using what consensus already affords us, but I guess
after thinking some more on it, I am taking it further and saying I'm
just not going to put up with it at all. Thanks, and sorry for the
length of this email.
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