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Safety Bizarre Behaviors Conflict Incompetence Quitting Time Stress

A year ago, my boss hired "Joe" to help me with my workload. Joe gets along well with the boss, but everyone else in the office is afraid of him. He has a violent temper and swears constantly. When someone talks nicely to him, he'll make a violent threat like, "How about I smash your head in with a sledgehammer?" I told my boss that we don't feel safe with Joe working here, but he refuses to do anything. In fact, he thinks the whole situation is funny. Should I search for a job elsewhere before Joe gets totally out of hand?

It sounds like "Joe" is literally and figuratively a loose cannon, and it is outrageous that your boss somehow thinks that his threat to harm someone with a sledgehammer is funny. Every threat is deadly serious. You need to take immediate action to deal with this matter.

You and your associates should bypass your boss and go directly to the most senior level person you can access in your company and describe what is happening. Companies have a legal obligation to provide a safe work environment, and there is already major exposure because your boss has been advised of the problem. Someone in a topside position needs to investigate this matter right now. Threatening an employee with bodily harm warrants immediate and severe managerial action.

You may indeed wish to change jobs, but if management takes swift action on this matter, you need not rush the decision. The only rush is to make sure that you and your associates are safe.

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