After surviving a horrific tragedy like the 2017 Las Vegas massacre, you would expect that your employer would show a little empathy. Perhaps your boss would give you a few days of paid time off to cope with the traumatic experience–or at least a few sick days.
Unfortunately this wasn’t the case for one Connecticut man whose bosses couldn’t muster the least bit of empathy, and instead told him to “suck it up” and “get over it” after he experienced the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Charles Giampaolo was one of the many attendees at the October 2017 Route 91 Harvest country music festival, where gunman Stephen Paddock fired over 1,100 rounds into the huge crowd. Giampaolo’s father-in-law was standing next to him before being fatally struck by a bullet, according to the legal complaint.
His aunt and his wife’s cousin were also among the 500 concert goers who sustained non-fatal gunshot wounds that night. At the time, Giampaolo and his wife Jessica were forced to use a belt and a phone charger to staunch their relatives’ bleeding while the shooter fired indiscriminately into the crowd.
Within three weeks of the massacre, Giampaolo returned to work at Elevator Service Co., Inc. (ESCO), where he had worked since 2015 as a maintenance repairman who had previously been promoted twice by management.
However, upon returning to work he began experiencing panic attacks, insomnia, nightmares, claustrophobia and extreme anxiety. He soon consulted a therapist, who diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Despite the diagnosis, Giampaolo continued to work diligently and “did not miss a beat at work,” according to the lawsuit, scheduling all of his needed therapy appointments during lunch breaks or after he clocked out.
After being back to work for a month, Giampaolo attended a work event with nearly 800 people in attendance. The huge crowd, pumping strobe lights and loud music caused his palms to get sweaty, his heart rate to escalate, and made him feel like the walls were beginning to close in. He immediately left the event after telling ESCO owners Stephen and Linda Roth that he was having a panic attack and thus needed to leave.
At that point, the employers’ attitude “morphed from warm support to outright hostility,” according to the complaint.
Linda Roth began accusing Giampaolo of having a “bad attitude” and of being “different,” criticisms he had never heard in his three years working at ESCO. The traumatized hard worker was then further subject to a grinding campaign of workplace hostility meant to force him out of the company.
When Giampaolo complained about “miserable” working conditions to Steve Roth, who he had once seen as a “mentor and father figure,” Roth berated him and told him to “suck it up.”
The owners then stripped Giampaolo of his managerial position. As the criticism and scrutiny intensified, Giampaolo struggled with the pressure and began showing negative signs emotionally. Management then began to attack him where it hurt the most: his wallet.
Stephen Roth immediately began manipulating Giampaolo’s commissions, significantly reducing his commission. When Giampaolo asked why the commissions were being reduced, Roth told him: “October has come and gone, you need to get over it.”
When the reductions persisted–resulting in a $500 loss of commission–Giampaolo finally confronted Roth. Roth immediately demanded that Giampaolo leave the building, after which he was informed in an email that this was due to his “unruliness, insubordination, and threatening demeanor.”
Giampaolo responded in a passionate email laying out his heavy grievances:
“I sincerely apologize if the truth that you taking food off my table is complete bullshit but that is how I feel, but in no way was my demeanor ever threatening. You know what’s sad is that we have gotten to this place where now someone I looked up to as a mentor and father figure has allowed hi greed and his own goals to become more important than that of his team’s.”
He then noted how his work conditions were clear retaliation from his mental health issues resulting from the October tragedy:
“Your lack of empathy for me and my family has been noted. Never once have you asked how I am. How am I doing or have just pulled me off to the side and asked if I needed to talk. Instead you attack me where it hurts the most. My pockets.”
Giampaolo subsequently terminated the work arrangement after being demoted in a meeting later that month.
At the meeting, Linda Roth commented, “Should we fire him? Because I’m not going to be able to walk around this building and look at his attitude.” The co-owner also compared Giampaolo’s attitude to that of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde while noting that when she “got over cancer” she came right back to work. Following her tirade, Stephen Roth laughed, saying “you really pissed her off.”
Giampaolo’s lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount for economic and compensatory damages as well as legal fees for the discrimination he faced as a disabled employee and the creation of a hostile work environment based on disability.
Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida
A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.
In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.
“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.
Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.
Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.
Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.
Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.
However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.
Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son
A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.
The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.
The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.
“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.
“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.
The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.
The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.
“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.
The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.
Video Shows Taliban Taking Joyride in Captured US Blackhawk Helicopter
The rapid fall of Kabul to the Taliban has resulted in a number of surreal sights – from footage of the Islamist group’s fighters exercising at a presidential gym to clips of combatants having a great time on bumper cars at the local fun park.
However, a new video of Taliban members seemingly testing their skills in the cockpit of a commandeered UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shows the chilling extent to which U.S. wares have fallen into the hands of a group it spent trillions of dollars, and exhaustive resources, to stamp out.
In the new video, shared on Twitter, the front-line utility helicopter can be seen taxiing on the ground at Kandahar Airport in southeastern Afghanistan, moving along the tarmac. It is unclear who exactly was sitting in the cockpit, and the Black Hawk cannot be seen taking off or flying.
It is unlikely that the Taliban have any combatants who are sufficiently trained to fly a UH-60 Black Hawk.
The helicopter, which carries a $6 million price tag, is just a small part of the massive haul that fell into the militant group’s hands after the country’s central government seemingly evaporated on Aug. 14 amid the withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Some 200,000 firearms, 20,000 Humvees and hundreds of aircraft financed by Washington for the now-defunct Afghan Army are believed to be in the possession of the Taliban.
The firearms include M24 sniper rifles, M18 assault weapons, anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
Taliban fighters in the elite Badri 313 Brigade have been seen in propaganda images showing off in uniforms and wielding weaponry meant for the special forces units of the Afghan Army.
The U.S. is known to have purchased 42,000 light tactical vehicles, 9,000 medium tactical vehicles and over 22,000 Humvees between 2003 and 2016.
The White House remains unclear on how much weaponry has fallen into Taliban hands, with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan admitting last week that the U.S. lacks a “clear picture of just how much missing $83 billion of military inventory” the group has.