Gut Rumbles

July 11, 2003


The people I work for believe in training. They believe in "Managing Diversity" and they believe in "Sexual Harassment-- No Place for it in the Workplace." They also believe in "Dealing with Hostile Employees," "Conflict Management," "Creating the Win-Win Situation" and "Building Successful Teams."

Throw in "Effective Planning," "Facilitation Skills," "Leadership Skills" and "How to Wipe Your Ass the Company Way" and you get the picture of the kind of training I receive regularly. I really never get much out of ANY of those classes except for a free lunch. That's why I am delighted that I've never been forced into a "Anger Management" class.

The very idea of being taught "Anger Management" pisses me off.

Evidently, it pissed off this guy, too.

The man who went on a deadly shooting rampage at a Lockheed Martin plant, killing five coworkers and wounding nine before killing himself, went through an anger management program a year and a half ago after problems on the job, the company president said Wednesday.

Douglas Williams, 48, made "threatening remarks" against a black co-worker in December 2001, said Dain Hancock, the president of the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. He wouldn't say what the remarks were.

After the incident, Williams was ordered to attend a two-week anger management program at a local outpatient mental health facility, Hancock said. Williams was then cleared to return to work.

That worked like a charm, didn't it? The "group hug" bullshit that passes for training today on "sensitive" issues usually does.

I've never seen ANYBODY "born again" after attending such training. I HAVE, however, seen people who walked out with a chip on their shoulder after being told that singing "Kumbaya" with a shitty employee is the ideal way to handle a problem in the workplace. That's bullshit, and nobody but some buttlick in a coat and tie who NEVER saw a shop floor in his life would suggest such a ridiculious idea.

But it is sure enough in vogue today.


The folks who would manage my anger seem to believe that anger may never be justified, especially anger at the authoritarians among us. These therapies remind me of the psychiatric profession in the old Soviet Union, whoring for the tyrants.

Posted by: Brett on July 11, 2003 08:52 AM

Pretty easy to ignore the fact that the guy was a raging racist and shouldn't have been in the workplace in the first damn place, isn't it.

Posted by: Jane on July 11, 2003 09:19 AM

I know this may well sound nutty to some, but bear with me.

Up until about ten years ago, at my work, when two people had a problem, or one person had a problem it could be solved by said two people going outside and settling the shit once and for all. If it was one person with a problem and he deserved an ass chewing, he might get it. Occasionally a guy might have a bad day, for whatever reason, and, God forbid, he might actually yell at someone.

No matter what happened, once it was over, it was over. The two guys who went out side to settle shit settled the shit and it was over. The guy who had an ass chewing coming got his ass chewing and it was over. The guy who was in a pissy mood; people stayed out of his way for the day and it was over.

Overlaying all of this was the notion that if you had a problem you would try to settle it personally first along with the notion that in a shop/group environment what one person does, often times, effects the whole shop; if Joe Blow screws the pooch, he's fucking everyone else and everyone else let him know.

Now, if you even mention kicking someone’s ass you can get fired. Now if you raise your voice at another you are “perpetuating a hostile work environment” If you have any kind of disagreement you better just keep it to yourself; don’t want to take a chance on making someone feel they are a victim of your “harassment”.

People are now forced to keep everything bottled up and, consequently, the last five years, or so, I’ve noticed a huge increase in out of hand, potentially really dangerous behavior. It’s like (here’s where I really offend) the work place has been feminized. It’s like fucking Oprah and Donahue have taken over the place. I feel it’s only a matter of time before someone blows a major nut as a result and the threat to worker safety will far exceed anything caused by an occasional vent or hurt feeling.

I’m not saying that it is ever justifiable to run out, grab your SKS, and gack a bunch of your co-workers. It’s not, but I do think that the current state of forcing people, especially men, to keep everything bottled up is certainly a contributing factor. If there is not a vent to release building pressure, eventually, something’s gotta give.

Sorry for the long comment, Acidman.

Posted by: Lobowalk on July 11, 2003 09:25 AM

Me, three, A-Man.
My post on the subject

Posted by: Mrs. du Toit on July 11, 2003 09:35 AM

I totally agree with you lobowalk. It isn't just the workplace. They are doing the same thing in the schools. The kids aren't allowed to call names, shove or even point fingers at each other so it gets bottled up and when it comes out it's BIG. I have to take exception to the "feminized" remark. I'm quite female and that isn't the way I prefer to handle things. I think it is the leftist way; you mentioned donahue. Can you imagine anymore leftist?

Posted by: bren on July 11, 2003 10:50 AM

I had the polar-opposite experience once -- I (a white woman) got fired for going to lunch with a black co-worker. The HR gal even TOLD me that was the reason. I hated that job so much I didn't mind -- if I'd known I'd get fired for that, I'd have had lunch with him every damn day.

This was, FYI, in Arab (pronounced "Ay-Rab") Alabama, where until very recently they had a posted 'no-blacks-after-dark' curfew.

Posted by: sulizano on July 11, 2003 11:26 AM

Does anyone else remember when sexual harassment was a job benefit and the people you worked with were allowed, or even encouraged, to have a sense of humor to help us get thru the days we spent working?

Posted by: Merry on July 11, 2003 11:47 AM

And don't forget it was how the secretaries got permanently out of the pool by scoring a wealthy husband, Merry. It still happens, but we're much more underhanded, secretive, and sinister about it. Soooo much better.

Posted by: Mrs. du Toit on July 11, 2003 12:53 PM

I've worked in the legal profession for 32 years now and when I started, it was fun, because we had a sense of humor, we treated each other like people.

If someone screwed up, you told them they'd screwed up, or you were told you'd screwed up, you straightened out and you moved on.

Since we've all become "politically correct" and "concerned about feelings and empowerment", my workplaces have become boring, anger producing and frankly almost unbearable.

Not to mention that 32 years ago the law was a profession, not a business and ethics were not taught in law school, it was presumed that you already had them!

Posted by: Merry on July 11, 2003 01:49 PM

I've always enjoyed how HR tries to erase 600,000 years of human evolution with a 35 minute sexual harrassment video.

Posted by: GORDON on July 11, 2003 04:05 PM

Damn you must have been reading the winter "training" syllabus from the place I work at. All of it appears to be a hustle by the well meaning liberal money vacuums left unemployed by insurance coverage reductions and social service reductions. If a person doesn't have their head together well enough to get along by the time they get to the work force, four days of dozing, watching bad employee videos and doodling are not gonna do it. Companies would be better to spend bucks on better trained HR people to weed out some of the obvious train wrecks that show up in the work place and to get rid of the wrecks that weren't so obvious at hiring time.

Posted by: Paul on July 11, 2003 06:26 PM

I see people sent to this bullshit training all the time where I come from. Sometimes it helps, but on a whole, the effects are short lived. Good luck undoing what this person has become over a lifetime. At any rate - what most of these people need is a swift kick in the ass not a hug. Or just fire them. Why do people lack balls today? At any rate, it's my belief that these courses are simply designed to help a place of business cover their ass in case something like the Meridian Slaughter occurs. Lockheed will wash their hands of this - because they sent him to Anger Management. Had they the balls to fire the nut in the first place - maybe these people would still be alive.

Posted by: Gordon the all Knowing and Self Actualized on July 13, 2003 12:26 PM
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