Have you ever wondered what happened to the few truly off-the-wall people you’ve met in your lifetime? The ones where you found yourself thinking they were due for a meltdown of epic proportions one of these days, and you just hoped you weren’t around when it happened?
I’m not talking about the folks who have a few problems, or have a variety of mental illness that’s controllable & livable. I’m talking about the ones you expect to someday read about in connection with a spectacular suicide, a horrid spate of killings, or the like.
When I worked at MIT, I once had a co-worker who fit into that bracket. My supervisor and I started treating him with kid gloves and trying to stay out of his way. My supervisor heard a tale that he had been stopped by campus security when he started screaming at some random woman he didn’t even know, saying apparently, “it’s your fault! It’s all your fault!” He was caught stealing a piece of equipment worth thousands of dollars from one of the labs, and even though he resigned after that, he was hired back by our boss, who saw him as the son he’d never had. One day he walked past my desk and, as I happened to click my mouse to go from one open program to another, he suddenly said, “You’re hiding something from me! You’re always hiding something from me!” and RAN off down the hall. I just stared after him with my jaw on the floor.
Not surprisingly, both my supervisor and I quickly got new jobs elsewhere. We both were of the opinion he was going to blow, and we didn’t want to be around when it happened. For the most part I don’t think about him, but every few years I wonder, what ever happened to him? Did he melt down, is he as weird as ever, or did he get some sort of help?
What’s your weirdest story of having to deal with such a person?