Stress in the Workplace is Not Always Easy to Identify

You never know what`s going on with your colleague at work…unless they tell you.

We all know that stress plays a role in everyone’s lives but to what extent we are not exactly sure, however the quantity and depth of available research on stress is incredible.

It is widely recognized that there are several consistent aspects of our lives which cause us stress. Some more than others.

In a recent Stress in America (2011) study, work (70%), the economy (67%) relationships (58%) and family responsibilities (57%).

We have to wake up and acknowledge openly that workplaces create significant contributions to the workers levels of stress. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that hour by hour we often spend more time with our colleagues at work than with our friends and families outside of work! As a result, we MUST acknowledge the importance of those relationships and do everything in our power to ensure that they are relationships which decrease our stress, not add to it!

The Tragedy In Kamloops

In my previous blog I talked about Richard Anderson, who on October 15, 2002 had murdered his supervisor and a colleague at his workplace in Kamloops before taking his own life.

Following the tragedy, much was revealed about the possible stress that he was under regarding his workplace and the relationships that he had there.

Richard Anderson had spoken openly to staff members about the fact that he felt under stress which they had felt were related to several reorganizations and cuts in staffing levels that were being experienced at that time in that particular provincial ministry.

On the morning of the incident, Richard Anderson was actually involved in informing three employees at a satellite office in Penticton that as a result of further reorganization, their positions were being eliminated.

He returned to the Kamloops office for a meeting with his regional manager (James McCracken) whom Richard Anderson had hoped to convince to increase staffing resources in the Kamloops office, only to be informed that he himself was also being terminated.

It is clear from the inquest that there were not many staff members who knew much about Richard Anderson.

They had heard him talk often about the stress that he was feeling.

His neighbors described Richard Anderson as a quiet, friendly man who waved every day as he left for work. He and his wife lived in a suburban area on the edge of a golf course.

Further examination revealed that Richard Anderson was actually a military buff who possessed several legally registered firearms at home including eight (8) rifles and several boxes of ammunition. The handgun that he used to murder his two colleagues and take his own life was also legally registered in his name.

So, you never quite know what is going on in a person`s life. That is, unless they actually tell you.