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Flagging A Rage Ready To Happen: What Makes Roger Tick(ing)?


Is Roger an accident waiting to happen?

Roger sits at the next desk. You don't know a lot about him and rarely discuss personal matters.

For all you know, he's either the nicest guy around or a ticking time bomb of pent-up job anger destined to lead the 11 o'clock news someday.

Maybe you should listen for warning signs of an impending breakdown. Here's an irreverent guide on how to tell if the guy sitting next to you is nuts:

Your guide:

Green Flag: Employee is fine.

Yellow Flag: Proceed with caution.

Red Flag: Somebody stop this guy!

1. When Roger and a co-worker disagree, they usually handle it with:

Green Flag: Cordial, professional discussions.

Yellow Flag: Loud shouting matches.

Red Flags: Temporary restraining orders.

2. When Roger leaves work, you:

Green: Do nothing, because you trust him.

Yellow: Check to make sure he didn't damage company property or take something.

Red: Examine your tires for slash marks.

3. When Roger arrives in the morning, he:

Green: Expresses normal frustrations with morning traffic.

Yellow: Loudly curses the guy driving the Honda that cut him off.

Red: Is being followed by police cars investigating a road rage incident.

4. During a staff meeting, you politely criticize one of Roger's projects. When you get back to your desk, you find the following e-mail message from him:

Green Flag: "i always appreciate ur comments, and will try to improve."

Yellow Flag: "next time, pls keep ur comments to yourself"


5. During his last vacation, Roger:

Green: Took his wife and children to visit family.

Yellow: Went alone to a Club Med.

Red: Attended an annual convention of JFK assassination buffs.

6. Roger is often overheard on his office telephone discussing the following plans:

Green: Exploring opportunities for advancement at the company.

Yellow: Quitting his job to move to Arizona.

Red: Quitting his job to move to a remote cabin in Montana.

7. Over the weekend, Roger plans to:

Green: Spend time with family and friends.

Yellow: Take a weekend trip by himself to Laughlin, Nev.

Red: Rent every "Friday the 13th" movie from his local video store and watch them alone in the dark.

8. Roger's desk features the following pictures:

Green: Family and friends.

Yellow: An autographed picture of National Rifle Assn. President Charlton Heston.

Red: A photo of Ross Perot, with no autograph.

9. When Roger receives personal calls at his desk, they usually are from:

Green: His wife and family.

Yellow: His lawyer.

Red: His probation officer.

10. Roger confides in you that since the beginning of the year, he has been under a lot of job stress and has been dealing with it by:

Green: Exercising and making time to relax.

Yellow: Taking six capsules of St. John's wort daily and listening to Deepak Chopra tapes while commuting to work.

Red: Shooting empty beer cans with a pellet gun in his backyard on weekends.

Bonus: Roger truly believes his co-workers:

Green: Are his teammates in a group effort to make the company successful and strong.

Yellow: Fixed the World Series pool so he wouldn't win.

Red: Are members of the Trilateral Commission who have planted electronic eavesdropping devices throughout his workstation.

By keeping an eye on Roger, you can make sure that your work environment remains a stable one and head off any unexpected trouble. In the end, one of three things will happen:

Green: You develop a solid working relationship with Roger as the two of you strive to help meet your company's goals.

Yellow: You average one to two hours of sleep a night waiting for your request to transfer to another department to go through.

Red: You spend the next five years in depositions, changing you phone number every three months and refusing to open any packages that lack a return address.

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