Sunday, September 28, 2014

It's Hard Getting Fired


I was working at a manufacturing company that was sold. The new owners came in and laid off about 30% of the workers. I was not let go, but a guy in my department (we will call him Dave) was. Dave was shocked to be fired because he was certain he was too valuable for them to lose. He was very angry when they let him go.

About a week later he calls me while at work to thank me (this is pre-cellphone so he called me on the company line at the extension for my department). I had recently taught him how to run a new machine and him knowing that was helping him get some decent job prospects. He said he wanted to take me out to lunch as a way of saying thanks.

A few days later we went. He picked me up at work during my lunch break and we drove down the street to this deli. For the first half of the lunch he was pissed off and venting about being fired. I understood his anger and just let him vent. I tried to say the right things and encourage him by telling him he would likely end up with a better job soon.

As lunch wore on things took a dark turn. He started talking about how he could do some real damage in the plant if he wanted to because he could sneak in the side door where nobody would see him and cause havoc before they even knew he was there. He told me how he could slide boards into the handrails of the doors and locked everyone inside if he wanted. He went on to list people he didn't like that he blamed for his being fired.

As lunch came to an end I was still trying to stay positive, but was getting worried that Dave was going to do something rash. As we drove back he told me not to worry. He said he liked and respected me so he would never do anything to me, but some people might need to pay.

We get back, I wish him good luck and I suggest he try to relax a little and maybe spend a few days just unwinding and enjoying the time off. He says goodbye and I head inside.

My department had a window that looked out into the parking lot. I could see where he was parked from that window. He didn't leave after I went inside. He sat in the car with an anguished look on his face. I started getting worried so I told my boss what was up and that I thought we needed to call 911. He did.

The police showed up and at first Dave wouldn't get out of the car. Finally they talked him out of the car and got him handcuffed then they search the car. In the trunk of his car were several short boards, two rifles, a pistol, and a machete.

I was freaking out for two reasons. First, the idea of what he was planning, and second because I was certain he would blame me for his getting caught. He asked to speak to me before they took him away so I went outside assuming if he was going to threaten me it was best if he did it in front of the police. He asked if I called 911. I told him it was me who said to call 911 so yes, I was responsible for the police being there. He then looked me in the eye and said, "Thanks. You might have saved me

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