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Packing a Different Office Lunch

April 4, 2011

The fun of being a blogger is that you have an opinion.  This one veers a bit outside of strategy, but I’m seeing the strategy of the side opposite to my opinion, and it does affect one of my favorite hobbies.  So there.  Anyway, from Bloomberg Business (care of the SF Chronicle website):

It’s every employer’s nightmare. A year ago, Edgar Tillery was told by his supervisor at the Indiana Workforce Development Department that his performance as an auditor was subpar, and that he should shape up or consider resigning.

His response? He went outside to his parked car, grabbed a gun, and came back firing, court documents say.

I’ll admit that my nightmare would be along the lines of security not being armed to prevent this type of happenstance, but even that’s tongue-in-cheek.  Look, some people are unstable, and there’s a gap in anyone’s ability to protect everyone from unstable people.  If he hand’t had a gun, what’s to say he wouldn’t have just driven a car through the lobby?  Would that push people to call for a ban on automobiles?  No.  Yes, it’s an overused analogy, but it’s also a valid one, since I’d bet the instances of an unstable employee using an automobile on an employer are about as statistically significant as those of an unstable person using a gun on an employer.  That is to say: not all that often.  I’ll note that when you read the whole article, you’ll see that we’re talking the mid-hundreds of instance per year.

The trend is alarming some companies and business groups, as policies designed to ensure safe workplaces clash with the Second Amendment – and increase employers’ potential liability. Forest products company Weyerhaeuser bans guns on company property and has fired workers for carrying hunting rifles in their cars. The company stands by its policy, which is at odds with six state laws giving employees the right to keep guns in vehicles.

“The main concern is the safety of our employees, not guns,” said spokesman Bruce Amundson.

The employee gun rights movement is misguided, says George Raymond, vice president for human resources and labor relations at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. “We might have shootouts in the parking lots like it’s the OK Corral.”

Well, yea, because every right-to-carry state is just rife with stories of two registered concealed-carry gun owners deciding to duke it out lead-o e lead-o in the parking lots.  Oh, wait, they aren’t.  Because gun violence is generally perpetrated by people who were already breaking some form of law and decided that using the gun would only help in the breaking of the law, not the stoppage of the law-breaking.

I have to admit that I don’t have a solid position on whether people should be allowed to openly carry in the office or any other level thereunder.  I’m sure it would make the office more polite, but I’m not a believer in polite offices anyway.  But I do see the strategic intent here.  The opposition to my opinion is finding any instance of violence (such as the Giffords incident) to highlight that nobody should carry a gun.  All this does is ensure that people who would normally abide by the law will continue to grudgingly abide by it, and then we’ve lost that line of defense.

As to employee reviews: several of my team have opinions similar to mine, and my performance management went fine this year, thanks.  I’m sure I can post on managing people sometime if you’re interested.

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