Steve Jobs was not the only one that died in Silicon Valley yesterday, a cement truck driver went in to work and during morning coffee with his co workers, went on a shooting rampage, not stopping until he ran out of bullets:
Shareef Allman arrived for his 4 a.m. shift Wednesday at the quarry a few minutes late, said good morning to the guys, and like he always did, poured himself a cup of coffee and punched the time clock. But this time, after listening to the small talk of a morning meeting, he pulled a handgun out of his sweatshirt and began firing at the dozen men
Latest tally, 3 dead and 7 wounded.
During the live coverage on the tube test yesterday, he was subsequently cornered and terminated today by the police, the media went out of their way to portray the shooter as a benevolent kind church goer who frankly would not hurt a fly, a devoted single father of two who once worked tirelessly to raise money for Hurricane Katrina victims, and who penned a novel about the evils of domestic violence. No news about the movement for sainthood, probably in the preliminary stages.
But delving farther into the story we learn that Allman was a screw up, a shitty driver, bad at his job and a danger both to himself and his co workers. Not only was he bad to what he did for a living, but he deflected all criticism as race related convincing himself and who ever would listen that the only reason they were on his ass was because he was black.
Allman had worked at the plant for 15 years. While he was respected by his wide circle of friends in San Jose’s African-American community, he had a poor performance record at the company, Ambrosio said. Allman felt as though the company, and some of his co-workers, were out to get him.
The rampage came less than a week after Ambrosio confronted Allman, telling him that as his union shop steward, he would no longer represent him to management over the numerous safety violations he was accused of committing.
“He’s had so many accidents and always said that because he’s African-American, the company was after him,” Ambrosio said. “He was an unsafe driver.” Ambrosio said Allman had turned over a truck and snagged overhead wires when he left the truck bed in the air.
Last Thursday, Ambrosio told Allman that “no one has ever had so many accidents in the company like you have.”
Ambrosio set up a meeting Monday morning with management, telling officials that Allman’s safety record was so bad, his driving so reckless, that “the workers weren’t safe.”
Company officials, Ambrosio said, responded by encouraging his fellow drivers to document any further problems.
“The workers were tired of complaining and the company not doing anything,” Ambrosio said.
This sounds hauntingly familiar, supervisors knowing something is amiss with an employee under their charge but because of certain sensitivities (being a minority, being Muslim) paralysis sets in for fear of a lawsuit or being tagged a bigot, so the ostrich approach is selected, hoping that the problem will just sort itself out. We now have people dead because the problem did not sort itself out fast enough.
And now, because of timidity and inaction, that very thing they were trying to be avoid in the first place, a civil action, is now inevitable, in the form of the families of the victims suing the company for gross negligence.
It is not surprising that this stuff happens, not the shooting rampages per say, but the reluctance on the part of management to terminate bad employees. Nobody likes to see an employee fired without cause, but introducing “union protections” into the mix makes everything that much harder. Clearly, the order from management to the rank and file to start documenting Allman’s further screw ups was a precursor to termination proceedings to commence, but why did it have to get this far? After say the second accident, a probationary period for Allman would have been warranted, with any further incidences grounds for termination. The article does not specify any prior disciplinary action, only that documentation was requested, from this point on.
I don’t know if Allman was active in any church. I found one article written by a reverend but it had to do with Allman’s work with the NAACP and how Allman was a “proud black man”. I suspect that the usual polemics pointing to Christians as just as prone to violence as any jihadists roaming around will ultimately show up, pity.