Private Investigations and Personal Security/a situation at work

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Question
Hi,
   I am in a situation at my job that i am not sure of how I should deal with. I need some advice. I am a machine operator and i rely on packers to get my parts ready for shipping. I am by no means these guys boss but i it is my place to see that they get there jobs done and if there are any problems report them to my supervisors. One of these guys started giving me problems the other night when our supervisor had to leave the plant. He was making me do his job and had a bad attitude toward me. there was no making this guy happy. when it got to cleanup time he nearly ran over a couple of workers with a forklift. I finally had enough and the next day we took it up with our supervisor and human resources which is the right way to go about dealing with problems. The management was tough on him because he has a history of problems. He is holding a grudge against me which is fine but he cut my tire ( i cant prove it)but i do know it was cut. i am scared that this situation is going to get worse and i am not sure how to deal with it. i am scared to drive my car down there for fear of what he will do next. any advice you can offer me on avoiding any further problems  would be greatly appreciated because i am scared to go to work because of him.
   thank you
    Lori

Answer
Lori,

I'm sorry to hear that you are having such a horrible time with that fellow at work.  Being stalked or harassed can be a very upsetting, even frightening experience.  Here are some suggestions of things you might do at this point:

Tell Human Resources what is going on, and see whether they will provide some extra security, such as someone to accompany you to and from your car.  If that's not possible, will they let you park someplace where the car can be more easily watched by the security force?

Can you trade cars with a friend, so he won't be able to find your car in the lot?

Have you had any self-defense training?  One of the best things you could possibly do is to get some good training.  In most places around the country, you can find good programs that teach you how to fight against a mock assailant who is wearing protective padded gear so he can be kicked and hit full force.  For this sort of unarmed physical fighting, try to find a course that is about 20 hours long, not a single day or evening.  One such program, Impact, has a decades long history of students who proved capable of defending themselves.  Check out the chapter list at http://www.bamm.org/Chapters_index.html.  If there is none where you live, call the closest and ask if they can recommend an instructor in your area.  A newer group is Rape Aggression Defense (RAD), which is popular on many campuses (http://www.rad-systems.com/).  Another good resource is the American Women's Self Defense Association, http://www.awsda.org/; they have a database of self-defense instructors around the country.  A good self-defense class will give you a lot of information and skill regarding how to deal with potentially dangerous situations successfully.  You will be amazed at what you can learn!  

Another option, if it is legal where you live, is to carry pepper spray.  This is an excellent non-lethal (and inexpensive) tool for many situations.  You might even be able to find a training class (2-4 hours is about enough) to teach you about this particular defense tool.

It is very likely, now that he has done something that lets him feel he has "gotten even" with you, that he may not do anything in the future to bother you.  However, he may try to blame you for his troubles at work (particularly if he end up losing his job), so you need to be alert for any increased signs of his harassment. Contact HR or security at once if the problem is still low level, but call 911 immedicately if you feel you are in immediate danger.  Many people carry a cellphone everywhere for just such an occasion.

I hope this helps you.
 Stay safe,
    Lyn  

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Lyn Bates

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Are you being stalked? I can help evaluate the amount of danger you are in, and can provide very specific suggestions for increasing your safety, and for managing your situation. As a founding member and the current Vice President of AWARE (a volunteer, nonprofit organization), I have helped thousands of women learn to protect themselves from crimes ranging from minor harassment to serious assault. I am currently writing a book on safety for stalking victims. I have lectured at annual training meetings of the American Society of Law Enforcement Training, Women in Federal Law Enforcement, the International Women Police Association, the American Society of Criminology, and the American Women`s Self-Defense Association. In 1997, the American Tactical Shooting Association gave me their annual Tactical Advocate Award for teaching and writing.

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