It's nice when co-workers who make an error involving one of their brethren try to mend their ways with an offering of some sort. If someone accidentally drinks their fellow employees last soda from the break room refrigerator, they could immediately offer a replacement, or perhaps two. If they accidentally break a co-worker's favorite mug, they can immediately offer a suitable replacement. If they interrupt them in a meeting, they could apologize and allow them to proceed. Or if they kidnap a co-worker at gunpoint and interrogate him for hours over information he is suspected to have, they could offer him a grilled cheese sandwich for his troubles.
See? All reasonable solutions. Or so you would think.
In Texas, however, it appears they have a legal issue surrounding the entire “kidnapped at gunpoint” thing. The police department of Aransas Pass, TX reports that they have arrested four individuals who allegedly kidnapped a co-worker at gunpoint Sunday and held him for hours. According to arrest records, the victim and three of the suspects worked at the same company. While they held him at gunpoint, they allegedly searched through his phone while "demanding answers to a work-related issue." The entire incident was apparently related to "alleged comments made by the victim about one of the co-workers."
Now one would think that Aransas Pass, given the tendency of people in Texas to blend and slur their words along their northern border, would be located somewhere along the state line between Texas and Arkansas (similar to Texarkana or Lake Texoma along the Oklahoma border). But in this case that would be an incorrect assumption. It is actually on the coast near Corpus Christi. TripAdvisor tells us the number one thing to do in Aransas Pass is visit the Rialto Theatre. I would've thought the number one thing to do in Aransas Pass was keep driving until you reach Corpus Christi. But what do I know?
As I so often do, I digress…..
It would seem that the errant kidnapper co-workers either found what they were looking for or realized they had made an egregious error. When they released the man, they offered him a grilled cheese sandwich “for his troubles.” Nothing says “Sorry we kidnapped you and took up most of your Sunday threatening your life at gunpoint while violating the sanctity of your phone” quite like the offering of a good grilled cheese sandwich. The police report does not say if fries were included, but that would have been a nice touch.
I imagine that this is probably going to create a small bit of tension at the office. This is something the employer will probably want to look into. My cursory investigation tells us these folks all work for an energy infrastructure support company based in Oklahoma. That would make sense, since everyone in Texas works for some type of energy company based in Oklahoma. That employer's website tells us they have a “zero incident safety culture, commitment to execution excellence and highly skilled workforce.” I would note that there is a difference between “execution excellence” and an excellent execution. That must be where the whole “release with a grilled cheese sandwich” thing comes into play. Fortunately for the victim, this was not an execution sort of event. The company website does not say anything about their employee's culinary skills when it comes to making grilled cheese sandwiches.
Ultimately this is but another example of employers facing the consequences of stupid people doing stupid things. If they fail to address this, it is sure to rear its ugly head again – probably at the annual holiday party. “Oh sure, I might have drank your last Pepsi, but you guys held me at gunpoint for hours on a Sunday and threatened to kill me while searching my phone, and all I got was a crappy grilled cheese sandwich that didn't even have French fries, man!”
That sort of thing always kills an otherwise festive mood, even though a grilled cheese sandwich sounded like a reasonable solution at the time.
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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