What workplace checking looks like

Here are some examples from Reid Wilson’s cases involving compulsive work checking:

1. An office worker would not leave the building at night before repeatedly checking that her computer was turned off and covered. She also repeatedly checked the oven, stove burners, and faucets in the employees’ snack room. When she left the building last, she had to return several times to verify the door was locked.

2. A copy editor at a major publishing house continually sought reassurance from his editor, verifying that he had not made a mistake. His compulsive behavior became so great that he carried all of his completed proofs home each night, eventually stacking six years’ worth of saved manuscripts into his guest bedroom.

3. A nurse checked her medication doses five or six times before dispensing. She repeatedly asked another nurse for reassurance and frequently called back to her unit to verify that she had charted the proper medication.

4. A corporate executive checked her e-mail three to four times an hour and checked for messages on her cellular car phone every six or seven minutes.