Have You Witnessed Desk Rage?

Anger

I had a conversation last week with a manager who is quite stressed by her employer.  She likes her job duties and the people she works with.  She also thinks her employer is a wonderful person and she respects him.

However, he  is a “high stress, high demand” person and this young manager is allowing her employer’s stress to stick all over her and weigh her down.

As we talked she cried and said her health is being affected by the stress that her employer’s behavior causes.  She told me she has had bad headaches for the past three months.

She went to the doctor and he could not find anything physically wrong with her.  She knows it is the stress of her boss, and is not sure what to do about it but something needs to happen or she will crack.

As I was talking to her, a recent article that I read came to mind about “desk rage” and how this is brought on by stress.  The article is directed at managers so they can realize the signs of possible impending “desk rage” in their employees and step in to help before they actually go off on a “rage”

These are the signs the article speaks of to recognize extreme stress in people at work:

  1. Physical stage: headaches, illness, fatigue.
  2. Social stage: negativity, blaming things on others, missed deadlines, working through lunch.
  3. Cerebral stage: clock-watching, errors in assignments, minor accidents, absent-mindedness, and indecisiveness.
  4. Emotional stage: anger, sadness, and crying, yelling, feelings of being overwhelmed, depression.
  5. Spiritual stage: brooding, crying, wanting to make drastic changes in life, not relating well with people, distancing themselves from personal relationships.

Desk rage is usually a stage 4 stress reaction when an employee “just can’t take it anymore.”

I hope this manager will make some changes that we talked about before she reaches the next level of extreme stress. Life is just too short to work at a job that actually makes you physically ill.

Employees behaving badly

2 thoughts on “Have You Witnessed Desk Rage?

  1. Stress for sure. I like your categories – that really helps to identify what others might be experiencing AND also what WE might be experiencing from time to time. Nice one Tina. 🙂

    • Hi Stu

      I have witnessed this first hand in a non-profit that I was in and there was a lot of stress in certain positions on the board. I wish I would have had this information back then, maybe I could have intervened before the explosion

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