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Have any psychopaths at work?


Razors Edge
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I've worked with some interesting people.  One or two definitely could have been borderline - if not full blown - psychopaths.  We had one guy who earned a nickname of "Russell". Why Russell? Well, back in the day, Russell Crowe was blowing up the news for his anger outbursts.   Our Russell would commute from WV to DC on the MARC train, and then transfer to the Metro at Union Station.   One day, he got arrested by Metro police after a complaint that he pushed a woman on the escalator :o  He never got in "trouble" since I assume no one followed through or he just got a warning(?), but after that, he got the nickname.  We'd occasionally go grab lunch, and on the walk to/from the restaurant, I started to notice he would NOT YIELD an inch while walking.  If tourists or worker bees or kids were coming at him on the sidewalk he would stare straight ahead and knock them to the side if they didn't swerve to avoid him.  He was my hero, but he was also either a psychopath or a sociopath. 

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Just now, Kzoo said:

Not a direct answer to your question but I happen to work with people that work with a psychopath, or so I've been told.

 

Hopefully those poor folks figure out a permanent solution to that problem. :whistle:

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6 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

Hopefully those poor folks figure out a permanent solution to that problem. :whistle:

The sooner the better for the sake of the enterprise.

 

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2 hours ago, Razors Edge said:

he would stare straight ahead and knock them to the side if they didn't swerve to avoid him

“..in my mode.” So also the singer in this video. 

 

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...I had a guy working in the Social Security office in East TN, who was basically a good person with strong ethical principles.  He kind of hated working the welfare (SSI) side of the business, and because he'd managed to piss off the management numerous times, that's where they assigned him (of course).  He had this whole "damaged Vietnam Vet" thing going on, as was into guns and hunting. (East TN is a good place to be into guns and hunting...that's why some of us were living there.)

Anyway, from the time I got there, until the time I left three years later, I always wondered if he was gonna come in one day and spray the room with lead.

Nice guy basically. We got along OK, maybe because I also had a service history, which most everyone else there lacked.

 

The real psycho's were in the fire department years.:runcirclsmiley:

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3 hours ago, Kzoo said:

Not a direct answer to your question but I happen to work with people that work with a psychopath, or so I've been told.

 

What a coincidence. I've heard the same rumor about my team! There is only the three of us, I wonder who it could be.

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1 hour ago, goldendesign said:

What a coincidence. I've heard the same rumor about my team! There is only the three of us, I wonder who it could be.

Sounds more like a math problem…

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4 hours ago, Page Turner said:

ad this whole "damaged Vietnam Vet" thing going on, as was into guns and hunting. (East TN is a good place to be into guns and hunting...that's why some of us were living there.)

Anyway, from the time I got there, until the time I left three years later, I always wondered if he was gonna come in one day and spray the room with lead.

Nice guy basically. We got along OK, maybe because I also had a service history, which most everyone else there lacked.

 

The real psycho's were in the fire department years.:runcirclsmiley:

He probably found it a relief to chat with you.

There was a firefigher I met as a customer at one of the libraries I worked at.  2 yrs. later, his personality seemed very hardened..he was union steward too.  The most  recent collective agreement for our firefighters which is not a big secret, surprised  me how  airtight it was.  Promotions seemed a bit incentuous...an internal firefighter/supervisory assessment board WITHOUT HR presence.

It felt  deeply wrong to  me...no chance for a firefighter who  would be very good but wouldn't necessarily fit their old boys'  "mold".  I'm dealing with records and how long certain types of personnel records should be kept. Their requirement is far different than all our other collective agreements for other unionized groups of staff,  Their agreement not necessarily helpful to existing employees.

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1 hour ago, shootingstar said:

He probably found it a relief to chat with you.

There was a firefigher I met as a customer at one of the libraries I worked at.  2 yrs. later, his personality seemed very hardened..he was union steward too.  The most  recent collective agreement for our firefighters which is not a big secret, surprised  me how  airtight it was.  Promotions seemed a bit incentuous...an internal firefighter/supervisory assessment board WITHOUT HR presence.

It felt  deeply wrong to  me...no chance for a firefighter who  would be very good but wouldn't necessarily fit their old boys'  "mold".  I'm dealing with records and how long certain types of personnel records should be kept. Their requirement is far different than all our other collective agreements for other unionized groups of staff,  Their agreement not necessarily helpful to existing employees.

...the promotional process was magnificently incestuous when I went to work in 1986, and in spite of several scandals in the department, remains so to this very day.  They establish a list, and can pass over the top two people to get to a third.  Which I can see, sort of.  If they do that to you twice in the lifetime of the list, you've got a case for discrimination.  Most of the test questions get out to people who know people prior to the test anyway.  I've seen this with my own beady little eyes.

But that was not manipulatable enough for some of these guys at the chief level.  So they made a deal with HR to arrange the results of the lists in "ranks".  There might be 30 people in the first rank, 45 in the second rank, and 30 in the third. They can pick anyone in any of those "ranks" they want to, either for hiring or promotion.  This essentially rendered the exams meaningless, other than as  pass/fail.  A few years after that there were approximately four chief's kids working for local fire.  

I got passed over once on an Investigator list, where they dropped down to the guy who was last on the list.  Or as the saying goes, "It's not who you know, it's who you blow.":D

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Page Turner said:

...the promotional process was magnificently incestuous when I went to work in 1986, and in spite of several scandals in the department, remains so to this very day.  They establish a list, and can pass over the top two people to get to a third.  Which I can see, sort of.  If they do that to you twice in the lifetime of the list, you've got a case for discrimination.  Most of the test questions get out to people who know people prior to the test anyway.  I've seen this with my own beady little eyes.

But that was not manipulatable enough for some of these guys at the chief level.  So they made a deal with HR to arrange the results of the lists in "ranks".  There might be 30 people in the first rank, 45 in the second rank, and 30 in the third. They can pick anyone in any of those "ranks" they want to, either for hiring or promotion.  This essentially rendered the exams meaningless, other than as  pass/fail.  A few years after that there were approximately four chief's kids working for local fire.  

I got passed over once on an Investigator list, where they dropped down to the guy who was last on the list.  Or as the saying goes, "It's not who you know, it's who you blow.":D

I looked at the criteria  written right in the agreement on ranking mark for exam and statements on judgement of good character by this internal firefighter assessment board without HR's participation (they should), etc. Mayor, fire chief appear at odds after Calgary's top firefighter says he can't release workplace reviews | CBC News  :(  There's probably a few nice psychos (meaning people who would be nice otherwise but have become obsessive because they distrust others and themselves)  there, given an agreement that would lead to unnecessary toxicity in some (not all) situations. 

What I'm trying to say so  anyone clearly understands my position:

For sure, there's favouritism in any dept., in any occupational group. For my occupational group within my organization, any of us must apply for posted jobs, get screened/interviewed (not always selected) and one is interviewed by the hiring manager in another dept., etc.  Plus we do have to compete against external candidates since often same jobs are posted. It does help (but not always)  for good internal candidates because of internal knowledge of our systems, certain corporate cultures,  but you are facing a brand new hiring manager and other new faces, in this process. There's no internal evaluation board of same screening folks, etc.  Same for our transit employees, who have a strong union...but diverse workforce of 2,000 employees.

I can't imagine, a hiring internal board of ie. just male engineers (and if it was always same engineer evaluators)  to screen applicants in our organization.  We most likely wouldn't have a noticeable ratio of female engineers, some 20+ yrs. of experience and some now, in management roles, in our organization. I think we have over 200 P.Eng licensed engineers in our organization.  As I have said repeatedly to be accepted for Canadian engineering university programs, your marks must be at least 90% and still competing against several hundred other applicants..it's like getting into medical school:  you still might get rejected. Then to survive lst yr., because the profs. do weed out.. 

 

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In the grad school dorm at IIT during the 1973-74 school year, we had a guy we called "The Phantom."

This guy never talked to anyone except to return a "Hello," and couldn't stand to have anyone standing or walking behind him. He had a single room. no roommate. He showed up at the dorm cafeteria at the tail end of breakfast, lunch, and dinner so there would be no line to get food and no one would be behind him.

Being a top tech college, we math-oriented, calculation-centered, grad dorm residents used to figure out ways of ensuring there would be someone walking behind him when we saw him walking across the campus, returning to his 2nd floor, mid-hallway, dorm room.

"OK.  Ski and Henry, you run down to the steps at the other end of the hallway, run to the 2nd floor.  Ski, you wait 25 seconds before opening the door to the hallway.  Henry, you run up to the 4th floor, run down hallway to the stairwell that The Phantom will be walking up, and start walking down.  Meanwhile, I'll wait until he enters the stairwell, wait until I'm sure he's past the landing between floors (he'd freeze in a corner of it, face you, and wait for you to pass if he heard you coming), then start walking up the stairs behind him."

He was a bright grad student himself, so our victories in this game were infrequent.

I was dating a sophomore who lived in the Women's Dorm named Barbara (really bright and clever: she later became a doctor working at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta) and we told her about The Phantom.  She said, "I've got to see this!"

We followed her from my 4th floor dorm room down to the 2nd floor.  We pointed out The Phantom's room.  She opened the not-locked door, sat down beside him on his couch, and said, "How are you?" - at least that's what Barb said she did.

We were in the hallway and saw her walk into the room.  We heard a cross between a gasp and a scream from him and saw him run out of the room.  When he saw us at one end of the hallway, he ran the other way.  Barb came out, closed the door behind her, and walked toward us with a shit-eating grin on her face.

After that our Dorm Advisor, a grad student named John who also lived on the 2nd floor, told us to ease up on The Phantom.  He had had The Phantom assigned to a room across the hall from his so he could keep an eye on him and calm him down whenever he got stressed out and, he said, he was going to be nuts for a while thanks to Barbara!

Ah!  Those good-old college days when you could get away with stuff like that!

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2 hours ago, MickinMD said:

 

He was a bright grad student himself, so our victories in this game were infrequent.

I was dating a sophomore who lived in the Women's Dorm named Barbara (really bright and clever: she later became a doctor working at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta) and we told her about The Phantom.  She said, "I've got to see this!"

We followed her from my 4th floor dorm room down to the 2nd floor.  We pointed out The Phantom's room.  She opened the not-locked door, sat down beside him on his couch, and said, "How are you?" - at least that's what Barb said she did.

We were in the hallway and saw her walk into the room.  We heard a cross between a gasp and a scream from him and saw him run out of the room.  When he saw us at one end of the hallway, he ran the other way.  Barb came out, closed the door behind her, and walked toward us with a shit-eating grin on her face.

After that our Dorm Advisor, a grad student named John who also lived on the 2nd floor, told us to ease up on The Phantom.  He had had The Phantom assigned to a room across the hall from his so he could keep an eye on him and calm him down whenever he got stressed out and, he said, he was going to be nuts for a while thanks to Barbara!

Ah!  Those good-old college days when you could get away with stuff like that!

Wonder what she said, etc.

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