A man in Germany has been arrested for attempting to murder a co-worker by poisoning his lunch and is now suspected of 21 “suspicious deaths” of co-workers at the company. Police are reported to be examining the deaths after the 56-year-old man was caught on camera trying to poison a colleague's lunch in the break room of a metal fittings firm in the town of Schloss Holte-Stukenbrock. I've read various articles on the subject, and most of them allude to his victims being “close to retirement” when they died unexpectedly.
I suppose that's one way to keep your pension costs down, not to mention the fortune you save in retirement cakes and going away parties.
A search of the man's apartment produced “a supply of toxic chemicals such as mercury, quicksilver, lead and cadmium.” Police are “re-examining the deaths of 21 coworkers since 2000 who all died before the age of retirement to determine whether heavy metal poisoning could have played a part in their deaths.”
Most of the deaths were classified as either heart attacks or cancers.
Seriously, you would think someone would notice that working at this particular company was potentially fatal. True, the employee worked for the company for 38 years, so he could spread the carnage over time, but you think someone somewhere would've raised an eyebrow over 21 suspected heart attacks or unexplained deaths. Then again, the Germans are a very efficient people, and they may not have had time for such nonsense as an investigation.
They don't tell us what department the man worked in, but my money is on Human Resources. He could also have been in IT. Either department is a plausible option for housing a psychopathic killer that lurks in the background, wreaking havoc while not raising a scintilla of suspicion. I'm still going with HR – he was probably the guy who has to keep up with all the regulatory BS surrounding pension fund and (the German equivalent of) 401K reporting. It would be much easier to knock those people off than process their retirement paperwork.
So. we stumble upon yet another cost containment practice. Admittedly it is not recommended, as having a workplace where everyone dies mysteriously can really put a damper on the annual holiday party. Still, if your legacy retirement costs are looming large, there is a weird guy in Germany who may have just the plan…
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Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.
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