Sunday, March 21, 2010
One of my employees was named Mike Scott; everybody called him "Great Scott" and he was known to be very strange. One evening he came up to me and he had a Thermos cup in his hand and he said "Suzy, would you like to have some Kool-Aid?" This was the week of the Jonestown massacre. I always treated his shenanigans with humor so I answered, "I'll massacre you!"
Another time Scott came to me and said, "I need a PA card signed; I'm leaving at lunch time." [PA--paid absence--employees had five PA days a year] I said, "I can't give you PA; I don't have anybody to take your place!" He came close to me, put his hands around my neck and said, "Do you want me to make it two Sues in one day?" I pushed his hands away--he wasn't choking me--but I didn't want his hands on my neck, either! I said, "I'm going to see Leon." My boss Leon told me he that he would have somebody there after lunch to take Scott's place. I was P-O'd and asked, "Why did you let him have PA?" Leon asked, "You haven't read today's paper?" I told him that I hadn't and, as he handed the Springfield Sun to me, he told me that the Sheriff was waiting at the gate to arrest Scott. I read the paper: Scott's wife SUE had been choked into unconsciousness. I said, "Leon, Scott had his hands around my neck and asked if I wanted to make it two SUES in one day!" Leon asked, "What did you do?" I said, "I nonchalantly brushed his hands aside." Leon said, "Well, I'll NONCHALANTLY call the Committeeman and Plant Security." All four of us escorted Scott to the gate to meet the Sheriff.
Fortunately, as part of Scott's plea bargaining at his trial for choking his wife, he was committed to a psychiatric unit. Later that same year I went for Company training and one of the topics to be discussed was "Violence in The Workplace". The instructor commented that none of us probably had ever experienced violence in the workplace. It was as if the floodgates were opened: supervisors began telling of knowing people who carried guns, enduring threats, and other fearful incidents. I stood up and told my "Great Scott" story and three other supervisors chimed in with tales of Mike Scott's craziness as he had also worked for them. Mike Scott eventually returned to work but I never saw him again.