The Dark and Gruesome Origins of Going Postal | Summary and Q&A

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May 6, 2022
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The Dark and Gruesome Origins of Going Postal

TL;DR

The term "going postal" originated from a series of workplace shootings committed by United States Postal Service employees in the 1970s. This phenomenon has forever changed the perception of postal workers, although studies show that they are no more likely to commit acts of violence than workers in other industries.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is the origin of the term "going postal"?

The term originated from a series of workplace shootings committed by United States Postal Service employees in the 1970s, which forever changed the popular perception of postal workers.

Q: Are postal workers more prone to acts of violence than workers in other industries?

Studies have shown that postal workers are not more likely to commit acts of workplace violence than workers in other fields. However, the high-profile incidents have created a stereotype that is difficult to shake.

Q: What were the contributing factors to the rise of workplace violence at the post office?

Stressful working conditions, abusive management practices, and the pressure to meet productivity demands all contributed to an unhealthy and highly stressful workplace culture at the post office.

Q: Have there been any efforts to address workplace violence at the post office?

In response to the postal killing epidemic, the USPS implemented reforms such as stricter screening procedures and improved workplace health and safety measures. However, many of these reforms have been rolled back due to cost-saving measures.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Between 1970 and 2021, there have been 27 rampage killings by current or former post office employees, resulting in the deaths of 60 people.

  • The origins of the term "going postal" can be traced back to the deadly shootings committed by postal workers in the 1970s.

  • The stressful working conditions, abusive management, and pressure to perform contributed to the rise of workplace violence at the post office.

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