I work at a state government office. Among my duties is being the backup for the two staff normally assigned to the building entrance reception desk. Which puts me at the desk maybe once or twice a week for varying periods of time.
Over the past month a former employee (who was terminated) has been coming to the building repeatedly, almost every day and sometimes twice a day for a while. He asks to talk to specific people, none of whom want to see him. I’ve personally encountered him twice. The best description I can give for him is that he is very on-edge and struggling to remain civil and polite, and in my personal experiences with him, he was successful in this. According to my two co-workers, though, more recently his agitation and anger has been increasing. He has been informed in writing that he is not to enter the building unless he makes an appointment in advance with someone for a specific reason.
Yesterday I learned that the previous night, he had an off-site altercation with two department employees that escalated into violence and his arrest for various charges including assaulting one of the police officers who was arresting him. I don’t know how the thing started or where it was – whether he stumbled across them in a bar or came looking for them and deliberately started a confrontation.
Yesterday he was arraigned and released, and the management and Capital Police are concerned enough that for at least the next few days, there will be an officer stationed in the building in case he shows up here again.
The thing that has me more rattled is that the executives have decided to station the officer in the office where the guy used to work, far away from the building entrance. Every one of us who works at that desk knows the guy by sight, and we have instructions to hit a panic button that calls the police if we so much as see him at the entrance, and if he comes in we are to inform him that he may not enter and the police have been called.
In other words, if there is a confrontation, it will be at the entrance, and they’ve stationed the cop somewhere else for reasons that don’t make sense to me. But I feel something like we’re being left out for the wolves. I know the odds are low that there will be a violent incident, and even lower that I would be a part of it – I’m there for maybe a couple of hours a week. But still …