Friday, February 03, 2006

A Letter Carrier from Goleta writes the following updates about the postal shootings in Santa Barbara

A Letter Carrier from Goleta writes
the following updates about the postal shootings in Santa Barbara.
I found the information about the victims touching, the info about the
killer interesting.

What a sad sudden end for 6 folks who were just doing their jobs.

:January 31st 7:00 pm PST
Latest News of the postal shooting at the Santa Barbara Processing &Distribution Center on Storke Road in Goleta, California. There are six confirmed fatalities including the shooter,Jennifer (44), who took her ownlife. Dexter, 58, lived in Oxnard and had +30 years with the USPS. Maleka,28, lived in Santa Barbara and was known for her long hair that extended toher waist. Witnesses have told us that the shooter headed straight forMaleka, she was definitely targeted. Nicky, 42, of Lompoc, was the daughterof the APWU shop steward Lou Gross. Zee, 37, lived in Santa Barbara. Lupe,52, lived in Lompoc. One survivor, Charlotte, remains in a medically-inducedcoma in intensive care. Charlotte has three children with the oldestafflicted by Cerebral Palsy.A lot of speculation has gone on about thesequence of events. The facts are that two victims were killed in theparking lot. Two victims were shot at the employee entrance, one survived -Charlotte. Three victims were found deceasedinside the building including the shooter.Post-shooting fallout.....Carriers reported to work today at the Goleta PostOffice. There was no letter residual letters DPS...nosecond-class flats. Carriers cased third-class flats and hot case mail. Wedid have advos, otherwise half my customers would of received no mail today.Most carriers felt that postal deliveries should have been canceled fortoday. Postmaster gave a standup and read the PMG statement. When asked ifcarriers would be granted administrative leave if they finished their routesearly, Postmaster would only say "I'll get back to you on that."Contrary to the bad joke going around, our flag wasn't at half mast thismorning. One callous move by a supervisor was when the supervisor left3971's at everyone's cases after the standup. The assumption was carrierswould take LWOP or annual leave when they returned early. Here is a releaseby the Commission for Violence in the Workplace that was releasedtoday...what great timing.
P.S. Customer support on the route and on the street was been great!(Goleta Post Office)Branch 290Santa Barbara

Message: 5Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 16:52:11 -0800
I've got to ask what you think the Postal Service should have done forJennifer in the 2+ years since she was removed. What employer, anywhere,would have or could have done anything?
Yes, everyone here agrees that Jennifer's behavior was erratic prior to her being forceably removed from the workfloor by the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office. She was placed on an involuntary 72 hour hold after a psychiatric evaluation. I have almost as little knowledge about what happened after her discharge as you. Maybe, the post office sought help for Jennifer. Maybe, the post office had a standup and informed everyone that the post office thought Jennifer was a danger to herself and others. I don't know ... but my past experience is they do nothing until after there is a crisis. After 9-11, our postmaster refused to allow the morning food truck to drive to the back of our post office at break time. They were a security risk! But the rear of our facility is public parking for our customers and anyone and everyone can drive to the rear of our building to drop off mail or walk to the front. Postal Insanity...I'm still mad that I can't get my breakfast burrito!! I can't blame Jennifer's actions on management .... yet. We don't know what happened to her during six years of postal service. I am just cynical when others are quick to label a former employee as a suddenly psychotic former postal employee. She was 44 years old. Why didn't she kill coworkers at a former job before the post office. What motivates someone to hold a grudge over more than two years and travel from two states away to carry out an act of retribution. Something definitely snapped when she was dragged out of the Santa Barbara PD&C and now she came back for vengeance. Could a mental health caseworker have made a difference? I don't know if anyone tried to help Jennifer after she was removed from the postal service. Has the postal service helped the survivors of previous postal Edmond, Oklahoma or Royal Oak, Michigan.
Update....3:00 PM PST Santa Barbara Sheriff Press Conference
Plant will remain closed till this weekend. Charlotte, 44, died this morning at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara. Another victim (non-postal) has been found at a residence on Overpass Road in Goleta near where Jennifer lived. Beverly was shot inside her residence between 7:15 - 8:15 PM prior to the shootings at the plant (9:15 PM). Another detail released by the Sheriff was that Jennifer was in Los Angeles at 11:00 AM on January 30th (the day of the shootings) One reporter asked if the Sheriff's Office could confirm that Jennifer was shouting obscenities and racial epitaphs at her coworkers when she had been forceably removed form the facility....Sheriff said he had no knowledge of that but it raised the question if this was racially motivated. Jennifer was white and all her victims were black, hispanic and Filipino at the plant shootings. Beverly, her former neighbor, was white. More information, more mystery. I've been told that Jennifer had cut her hair extremely short, like a flattop or "butch" haircut. Definitely different than the photo on the news. I'll try to report the facts but when I get sidetracked, please realize it is only my opinion and you're welcome to agree or disagree with it. None of the victims at the plant were in any supervisory position over Jennifer. It is reported she forced an employee at gunpoint to give her an employee's card to access the building and that employee was not harmed. "My opinion" is that Jennifer targeted certain co-workers, she was on a mission of retribution. In other rampage style killings, the shooters had already justified their actions in their own mind. The unusual part of this case is that the shooting was carried out by a female, very rare for a woman to kill multiple individuals. Even rarer is a woman who carries out a murder and then commits suicide. Woman normally do not see suicide as a way out...this was told to me by a police detective. Santa Barbara>>

Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 08:07:58 -0800 (PST)From:
-1February 1st 7:30 AM PST Working in Goleta is not any more stressful than working anywhere else in the country and probably is a lot less stressful than some of your work environments. We are all shocked that a former employee felt so much anger and bitterness that she felt compelled to return after two years to carry out this act of retribution. But, can we say that if she had worked for UPS, K-mart, or McDonalds, she would still have gone on a killing spree...I doubt it. Jennifer had worked with her victims, she had exhibited bizarre behavior, and she was forcefully removed from the workplace kicking and screaming. Do you just throw an employee out the door like a bag of garbage. What help was given Jennifer in the past two years by the post office...A letter of removal. At this point, we don't know what motivated Jennifer to kill. But whatever it was, it was personal between her and her victims. "Beware a woman scorned" may have been appropriate in this case. The trouble with workplace violence in the post office is that it can become a self-fullfilling prophecy. The more it happens, the more it becomes an accepted form of dealing with the problems of our workplace. I feel this was definitely a case of the wrong person in the wrong job. I have never understood why the postal service creates so many stressful working conditions on it's employees but that is the nature of the beast. Some managers seem to handle it while others do not. Day 2 ....manager said the plant will still be closed, no DPS. Heaven help us on Thursday. (Goleta Post Office) Santa Barbara Branch 290

Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 19:46:01 -0800 Subject: [ ] The post-shooting "can't we all work together"feel good
Today's fifteen minute standup seemed to me to say "Put on a happy face"
Highlights were ....
"the post office was not responsible for the actions of a former disgruntled employee and that nobody knows her motivation. Do not talk to customers or media about this incident or any other problems in the post office. We don't want to give them (media) anything to put a spin on. Problems in the post office should be dealt with inside the post office. If questioned, give them the public number for our post office (1-800-PLS-HOLD) where operators will be able to give them another number for them to call." (Seriously, I am not making this up except fOR the 1-800 Supervisor A D, visiting from her job as postmaster of Santa Maria (they send more supervisors during time of crisis), gave the standup. Let's see...she promised things will get better around here. The new district manager K W is "very proactive and can put a good spin on even the worst situations". His assistant and MPO is S N (who survived a scandal with a female employee who turned him in for engaging in an on-the-job tryst ...). A said "K is now approving the hiring of new employees" whereas Ann admitted that the postal service had frozen the hiring and replacement of workers in the past. A said she started at Santa Maria with twenty-three ptf's and now she only had seven who were all on opts. Part of the standup dealt with reporting any threats made my coworkers or customers against the post office. Customer support has been overwhelmingly positive but we did have one incident where a customer was screaming at a ptf that she wanted her check and she didn't care what had happened on Monday. Announcement was made that the Santa Barbara Processing & Distribution Plant would reopen at 9:00 AM attended by PMG Jack Potter and other high-ranking postal officials. Six EAP trailers would receive employees reporting to work and the employees would be broken into groups, counseled and debriefed, then escorted inside the building by counselors. Shifts would be starting at 9:OO AM/ 4:00 PM/11:00PM but not at 9:00 PM. We were told not to expect too much mail...the mail is already delayed and they are not trying to push through all the delayed mail. We have had very little letter mail since Monday and no DPS. Sad note...the funerals. The post office is allowing those who wish to attend the services time off. At the end of the standup, A made a statement that "she" could get more room in our cases or expand the cases if carriers made the request through her. Somewhere over the rainbow...... If I only had a brain!

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