Several years ago I was asked by a commissioner in a federal agency to explore the morale of his senior attorneys. I was not given much information, but I was able to glean there was an unhappy employee creating dissension.
As I began interviewing, I learned these attorneys employed a variety of self-protection methods, including keeping their doors locked during the day, leaving in pairs to ensure they were not alone and deferring to this person’s legal opinion, whether they were in agreement with the “man in question” or not. They feared their colleague could become violent. This was more than one unhappy employee. The whole system in which these attorneys operated was infected with fear and anxiety.
These attorneys felt powerless to change the situation blaming both the difficult employee and the agency for their current emotional state.