Be Careful Out There: Violence Related to Job Loss


December 16, 2010

Today, I have a serious message for you.  Whether you work in human resources, management, or not, the message is the same.

Be careful out there

In a time of year that many relate to happy things, we need to keep in mind that so many people are not in that same mode.  With the most recent unemployment numbers out for November,  the picture is dire.  According to the Department of Labor, the number of job losers and people working temporary jobs increased by 390,000 to 9.5 million in November.  There are over 6.3 million people who have been jobless for over 27 weeks.  These people struggle with worry about how to keep a roof over their heads, the heat on, and food on the table.  Add to that the pressure I’m sure they feel about how to provide a little “extra” for a child or family member during the December holiday season.

While most people who have been laid off or terminated handle the situation, we’re hearing about  more people who snap.  Just this week, a man walked into a school board meeting in Florida and opened fire because his wife had just been laid off.  Watch the video for a look at how quickly this could happen in any of our lives.

*Warning, it’s graphic

Just remember, as simple as my message seems, the risk is very real.

Be alert

Watch for signs of people who are acting strange (whether at work, a store, or anywhere in public)

Be aware of your surroundings and always have a plan of how you can get out of a situation

Talk with your security team at work, with HR, or with EAP to ask for more information on how to protect yourself.


  • A timely and very relevant reminder. This was a very disturbing incident and clearly indicative of how the person with nothing to lose can run out of inhibitors to violence

  • Thank God no one has been hurt by this distraught man but I feel sorry for his family tough.. We really have to be alert and careful all the time wherever we are.

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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