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A Case Study of the Killings in Connecticut State Lottery Essay

Workplace violence has astronomical odds of happening to someone; that odd was beaten by the office workers of Connecticut State Lottery. Matthew Becks shocked the whole world with one of the most violent acts ever committed in the workplace setting. In the faithful day of March 6, 1998 Matthew Beck systematically and thoughtfully killed four of his coworkers which happened to be his bosses by stabbing and shooting (Verdon 61). Everything appeared to be normal that day; Matthew Beck even entered their office in Connecticut State Lottery the usual way he did for the last nine years of his employment in CSL.

After the news and the body count have been settled, questions have been posted to trace the reason why an ordinary office worker in the name of Matthew Beck was able to commit an up today one of the most irreconcilable violent acts in a workplace. The reasons behind the killings committed by Matthew Beck are isolated in two main classifications- he is suffering from psychological problems and he is very unhappy with his work life (Verdon 61). These two aspects of Matthew Beck need not be separate and distinct from each other; it is possible that his office depression may have leaked into his personal life or the other way around.

The reason behind this killing is always attributed to the failures that Matthew Becks may have experienced in his nine year career in Connecticut State Lottery. Job related problems such as being underpaid for the quality and quantity of job he is rendering to CSL are the common reasons pin pointed by his coworkers (Rabinovitz n. pag. ). According to office records Matthew Beck was granted a leave with pay request due to the troubling depression and frustration that he is showing in his work months before the shooting (Rabinovitz n.

pag. ). He did not filed for the leave; his bosses advised and in a way filed a mandatory leave for him due to the disturbing office qualities that he have been showing after his failed petition in the CSL administration. According also to these office records Matthew Beck filed a request with the CSL administration aimed to look into his complaint that he is being underpaid because he is completing tasks which are not included in the job description (Rabinovitz n. pag. ).

Matthew Beck complained about doing extra work loads which are not included in his original accounting job and are also unpaid for. Even the union of workers in CSL backed him up in his complaint; unfortunately, the complaint was turned down. This event marked the start of the unraveling of a very disturbed man in the CSL office. This event marked the unraveling of a killer. Outside the office, Matthew Beck is not anticipated to become a killer. According to his family and friends he is a man who is fun to be with, only if the incident has not clouded the minds of those who knew Matthew Beck.

However, one of his closest friends Richard Plourde testified that Matthew Beck slowly changed into a man who is constantly depressed and appears to be angry at the whole world (Kennedy n. pag. ). Even Mr. Plourde cannot fully explain why his friend became depressive and suddenly shuts everyone out of his life before the killing was done (Kennedy n. pag. ). Mr. Plourde even generalized that what happened in that day might have been the result of Matthew Beck being too secretive of his actions and thoughts (Kennedy n. pag. ).

Aside from these two major classifications of causes some experts also suggest that Matthew Beck’s decision could have been fueled and affected by many other things apart from the first two reasons such as his accessibility to firearms and his legitimate employment cause. Matthew Beck collects semiautomatic pistols for his hobby, target shooting; due to this he has every resource needed to conduct his horrifying act (Rabinovitz n. pag. ). Aside from this his sense of being wronged is very much related to his work- numbers.

As an accountant for nine years Matthew Beck can easily compute the numbers not just only for the state lottery but also for his supposed salary (Verdon 61-62). He has the intellect needed to compute the discrepancies that he should be compensated for in contrasting his labor rendered as to the pay that he receives at that time. It can be said that truly Matthew Beck has a very much legitimate complaint which his bosses overlooked; which latter possibly fueled a very violent sense of retribution for Matthew Beck.

After the incident many of those that heard and watched the news easily succumbed to the instinct of assuming that Matthew Beck was simply a monster at the loose when the incident happened. It is as if a mindless but violent killing machine killed those four individuals in the sixth of March 1998. Studies conducted which are dedicated to finding the real deal behind the incident found out that during the event Matthew Beck is not a primal aggressor that almost everyone thought he is.

He did not kill those four men through a sudden rush of adrenaline or a sudden instinct to kill for retribution (Magna n. pag. ). He was able to plan everything, every single aspect of the crime was carefully committed to killing only four of his bosses that he deemed responsible for the wrong doings committed to him. Those that can still remember and talked about that day as mentioned earlier described the manner of Matthew Beck entering office as a very ordinary routine (Rabinovitz n. pag. ).

He simply hanged his jacket, arranged his things in his table as if starting to work and then he swiftly went to the offices of his bosses in a methodic manner that carefully took into consideration factors such as convenience and accessibility in completing one mission- to kill those four individuals (Rabinovitz n. pag. ). There is no barbarism in the whole process, it as if Matthew Beck does not want to scare anyone in the office and simply aims to get the job done with his 9millimeter semiautomatic pistol. He flawlessly planned everything; this made him a cognitive aggressor that day (Magna n. pag. ).

In that day Matthew Beck has full intent of killing his bosses most probably he has the same intent months before the incident. He was able to use the resources made available to him for the convenient part of the job. Adding to this Matthew Beck as a cognitive aggressor does not want attention and focused only on achieving his intent even if that intent made him kill himself afterwards (Magna n. pag. ). As workplace managers events such as the killing in the Connecticut State Lottery should be taken into consideration as a very serious matter; amidst the odds that it might have the event can still transpire in any workplace.

Workplace violence is not a very common occurrence; this made many workplace managers negligent of taking time to train and prepare for such incident. Aside from Matthew Beck, thousands of incidents of workplace violence that resulted to murder and homicide are reported just in the USA alone (Roy n. pag. ). Apart from the graver cases, around two million workplace violence related crimes are reported annually (Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). 1). The issue at hand, workplace violence, needs to be addressed by every single office to avoid the ripening of another Matthew Beck in the near future.

The United States government reacted to events such as the killings of Matthew Beck by providing guidelines in preventing and handling workplace violence. The Office of Personnel Management provided a handbook that will guide workplace planners to properly address the issue of workplace violence. In the handbook every single aspect of workplace violence is discussed, including modes of workplace violence and the most effective ways of preventing it from happening. If only time can be flashed back, it can be said that the Connecticut State Lottery killings could have been prevented from happening.

Evaluating the incident through the handbook provided by the Office of Personnel Management, three major steps could have been done by the CSL office to avoid the incident in the first place. First, the CSL office should have used a proper mechanism of settling grievances and complaint by its employees. As prescribed by the Office of Personnel Management, involving the existing office unions in preventing workplace violence should have been conducted (United States Office of Personnel Management 8).

The unions are deemed by everyone in the office as the perfect bargaining body that lobbies for their interests which include giving the proper venue for grievances and complaints. Second, the office of CSL should have made it mandatory to its employees to train for the possibility of such crimes. The training program should include techniques in sighting possible threats early on and developing a proper course of action fully integrated to the office design and structure (United States Office of Personnel Management 16-20).

Finally, the whole crime should have been prevented if the office was able to address Matthew Beck’s work related issues. The use of alternative dispute resolution methods is one of the leading prescribed methods in handling possible employee problems (United States Office of Personnel Management 23). The use of a neutral third party in resolving office related problems among employees regardless of position could have provided a more diplomatic venue of settling office problems, fully avoiding workplace violence incidents.

If only these three main concepts found in the handbook provided by the Office of Personnel Management were followed; the whole world could have not known the name Matthew Beck as a killer. Even if workplace violence accounts for a recognizable chunk of office related fatalities; following the handbook provided by the Office of Personnel Management can be technically tricky. Other existing legal mandates are getting in the way of implementing the policies prescribed by the handbook in full swing.

The most pronounced law counteracting some of the prescribed policies of the handbook written by the Office of Personnel Management is the ADA or the American with disabilities Act. This act protects those who are deemed to disabled by giving employment guidelines that disapproves pre employment and employment discrimination policies (Alaska Employment Law Letter n. pag. ). It is prescribed in the handbook that early warning signs should be accounted for by employers and employees; however ADA ruled this as a possible venue for discriminating those who are disabled (Alaska Employment Law Letter n.

pag. ). If an employer is proven to e liable in the ADA punishments that the state can render to the employer can result to millions of dollars lost to lawsuit. There appears to be no place for compromise between ADA and preventing workplace violence; except for the legal fact that ADA gives allowance to the adaptation of more rigid processes of pre-employment. Employers under the ADA are now encouraged to access all possible information no matter how private they may be in terms of avoiding workplace violence.

Even if there is such an allowance, the prevention of workplace violence during the employment itself is still undefined in both legal and technical matters (Alaska Employment Law Letter n. pag. ). The incident of the CSL killings by Matthew Beck could have been prevented. It could have been prevented if only the CSL office followed the guidelines given by the Office of Personnel Management. As designers of a workplace, the bosses should have looked into the issues at hand before the incident with more diligence.

The dismissive stance of the CSL office to the complaints of Matthew Beck coupled with possible intrinsic disabilities made a highly improbable incident possible. However, the office of the CSL should also take into consideration the need to device a workplace violence free design without creating legal problems with the law such as through the ADA. As designers of workplaces, the administrators of any office or workplace should constantly note that every part of the office is important to the total well being of the office.

Failing to account for a part can instantly force an integrated part of the office to become indifferent to the whole office. The world does not need another Matthew Beck to give importance to preventing and battling workplace violence. Alaska Employment Law Letter . Workplace Violence and the ADA. 18 Feburuary 2010. 5 July 2010 <http://hrhero. com/hl/articles/2010/02/18/workplace-violence-and-the-ada/>. Kennedy, Randy. Killer’s Friend Says He Was Shocked, but Not Surprised, by Rampage. 8 March 1998. 5 July 2010 <http://www. nytimes.

com/1998/03/08/nyregion/killer-s-friend-says-he-was-shocked-but-not-surprised-by-rampage. html? ref=matthew_beck>. Magna. Understanding the Difference between Primal Aggressors and Cognitive Aggressors: An Interview with John Byrnes. March 2008. 5 July 2010 <http://www. magnapubs. com/issues/magnapubs_eos/6_3/news/601255-1. html>. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). “OSHA Fact Sheet. ” www. osha. gov. 5 July 2010 <http://www. osha. gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts/factsheet-workplace-violence. pdf>. Rabinovitz, Jonathan.

RAMPAGE IN CONNECTICUT: THE OVERVIEW; Connecticut Lottery Worker Kills 4 Bosses, Then Himself. 7 March 1998. 5 July 2010 <http://www. nytimes. com/1998/03/07/nyregion/rampage-connecticut-overview-connecticut-lottery-worker-kills-4-bosses-then. html? ref=matthew_beck>. Roy, Nick. Workplace Violence Statistics. 11 April 2008. 1 July 2010 <http://www. workplacevisions. com/2008/04/workplace-violence-statistics/>. United States Office of Personnel Management. “Dealing with Workplace Violence:A Guide for Agency Planners. ” OWR-9 . February 1998. Verdon, Rachel. Murder by Madness 9/11: The Government and the Goon Squad. 2007.

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