ARLINGTON, Va. — Former Marine Capt. Jen Becker terrified coworkers at the insurance firm where she worked Tuesday by pulling out a Ka-Bar to slice an apple at her desk. Given the lunch-hour timing of the incident, few people were around to see the fruit slicing, but according to some, the action was intense
Co-worker Tim Smith said he saw the whole thing.
"She grabbed an apple and then pulled out this machete from her bag and started chopping away. I didn't know what to do!" according to Smith.
Smith said three fellow employees pulled him into a utility closet, where they sheltered in place and called building security.
"It's just a pocket knife! I just wanted a healthy snack," Becker pleaded as she was escorted out of the building shortly afterward.
Becker had recently left active duty to get a civilian job because she wanted to spend more time with her family and enjoy “normal working hours, like 9-5 instead of 0500 to 1800,” she said.
It didn't quite work out like she planned, however. “That corporate recruiter totally lied to me. He said I could telecommute and use the company gym, but you have to work there for like 10 years before you qualify for that,” Becker lamented.
Becker said when she tried to go for a run at lunch on her third day in the office, her supervisor told her, “You’re not in the Marines anymore, soldier! You need to jog after work.”
While discussing weekend plans in the break room, Becker’s coworkers mentioned things like finishing up a scrapbook of family pet pictures and going antiquing. When Becker said she’d probably get up at 0500 on Saturday and run 12 miles before it got too hot, the conversation became awkward, and one co-worker joked how he could barely run 12 feet, let alone 12 miles.
After she was gone, the other employees spoke freely about Becker. "I never knew what she was talking about," said Smith. "She asked me what I did for PT, and I was like 'I'm not injured — why would I need physical therapy?'"