Life as a temporary warehouse worker can sometimes be so stressful that employees lash out, even when de-stressing tools are sitting right next to them.
A UK warehouse worker allegedly punched his boss in the face after he was told he was being let go from his temporary job packing stress balls at SPS, a novelty company, according to the Daily Mirror. As co-workers came to the manager’s aid, the fired worker, Darren Baldwin, took out two knives and leveled threats against the boss like “I will cut you up,” prosecutors claim.
Temporary warehouse work -- like Baldwin's former job -- can be some of the most demanding and insecure out there. Workers at a UK Amazon warehouse claim they walk between seven and 15 miles per day moving goods around while their productivity is monitored by a device on their hands, according to the Financial Times. Even after performing this tough work, some say they were subjected to unexpected job losses, after the warehouse let some of its workers go at Christmas.
Of course, the problem isn’t specific to Amazon or even the UK. Southern California warehouse workers recently accused their bosses of federal wage theft and also filed a petition to name Walmart, which uses the warehouses as a supplier, in the suit.
Baldwin, the ex-stress ball packer, was ultimately arrested for his behavior. In an interview with the Blackpool Gazette, he denied the claims, but later admitted to affray and assault. SPS, which is based in Blackpool, didn’t immediately return an emailed request for comment from The Huffington Post.
It may come as no surprise that despite their rumored ability to relieve tension by relaxing muscles and offering a distraction, the stress balls weren’t enough to calm Baldwin down: Losing your job is a major stress trigger, and being laid off or fired increases the risk of heart attack by 35 percent, according research from Duke University cited by Global News.