Rocco Faber, a 30-year employee of Drake Business Systems, redefined the conventional image of the mild-mannered office drone, after injuring co-worker Flip McKenzie during a spontaneous attack last week.
“He created tension for me at my expense,” said Faber. “So I stabbed him in the neck.” Faber, speaking from a suburban Dayton anger management facility continued, “I could hear him on the other side of my cube, drumming his fingers on the table, and he chewed with his mouth open, and he made too many personal calls and I could hear them. So I stabbed him in the neck.”
Increasingly common occurrences of workplace violence have dominated headlines, reflecting one of the bleaker elements of America’s present-day employment landscape. The usual scenario includes an employee’s termination, issues of underlying anger, and the use of a weapon – usually and most violently, a firearm.
“I’m against guns and won’t have any in my house or anywhere near me,” said Faber, “but I got so angry that day and I did use my pencil as a weapon. It was a bad mistake and I wish I could erase it, but I can’t. It’s a permanent blot on my record.”
Office manager Helen Brown was stunned upon hearing of the unexpected behavior from one of the company’s most consistent employees. “He’s been here longer than I have,” commented Brown. “I remember him when I first started. I sat across from him and he was quiet. I moved up the ladder pretty quickly, and I didn’t get to know him too well. Some of the old-timers over in HR were pretty upset.”
In exchange for prison time, a deal was negotiated between prosecutors and Faber’s victim. “At the end of the day I wasn’t really hurt that bad.” said McKenzie. “It was more of a scuffle, so I didn’t press charges, you know? I mean the pencil was pretty dull and it just left a little mark right here on the side of my neck. He really didn’t have a strong grip.”
Faber will participate in group therapy sessions, where proper coping mechanisms are stressed. Anger management techniques are demonstrated by role-playing, with constructive criticism making up a large part of treatment.
“They were going to offer me some job training,” Faber said, “but I kept telling them I already have a career, so I asked them if I could continue doing it. They gave me a job here as the accountant for the group home, and so far, so good. I manage all the expenses and budgets, so it keeps me busy and not thinking about stabbing anyone in the neck. I’m just lucky. One of the guys here makes a lot of jokes, and he said that they gave me another stab at it. That was a pretty good one and everybody in the room laughed. He’s a pretty good guy,” said Faber, “but sometimes he tells too many jokes when we’re trying get work done. We all have a good time though. My favorite part is when we get to do the role playing, when we get to act out.”