Flipping the script on “going postal”

14 Mar

SF Weekly recently ran a story about a former US postal employee going, well, “postal.” It’s a disturbing story of personal revenge (http://www.sfweekly.com/2012-03-07/news/going-postal-peter-jamison-mailman-post-office/) that is simultaneously warped into a bad joke by the pop culturization of the term “going postal.”

What I find interesting in this article is the step back that takes a cultural perspective, rather than casting this as yet another story of an individual gone awry:

[T]he bizarre nature of Lu’s plot inevitably leads to questions about the working conditions in which it was spawned. Some postal employees and experts on workplace mass murder say little has been done to change the organizational culture that has fostered so many deadly attacks since 1986. Critics say that postal managers are still not held accountable for needlessly abusive treatment of employees, despite the grisly lessons of the past few decades.

In other words, while there’s certainly still individual volition, there’s also the effect of the coal mine on the canary. Not to mention the coal miners who seem to be just fine.

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