While I was in college I spent a summer as a Merchant Seaman on a Great Lakes iron ore carrier. Some of the crew “took me under their wing” and while in port one time invited me to join them on a trip into town.
On the way one of them turned to me and said: “Alan, you have probably never been in a place like this before so here is some advice, If something happens just grab a bar stool and hit the biggest guy you can find and then run like hell.”
It was one of those watershed moments. My brain locked in on the words “if something happens” and my imagination went into overdrive. The day itself proved uneventful although the experience was both bizarre and pathetic.
I have never forgotten that advice. So, as I frequently encounter 10 – call tyrants in my work with funeral homes it comes to mind often.
a 10 – call tyrant is that guy who undermines everything, has an attitude and takes every opportunity to show you disrespect. But since you think he will take 10 calls with him if he leaves you leave him alone while your better staff lose respect for you and your firm and he effectively blocks any effort you make toward progress.
Whether he or she will take 10 calls is not the point. If you were to quantify the damage they do to your firm in morale and financially you could easily afford to lose them. Add to that the emotional toll it takes that is often so severe that the owner hates going into the business.
- Most of these guys are too old and embittered to start over.
- If they go to work for your competitor they will only perpetrate their misery there and it may well help your firm
- They don’t behave the way they do with only you but with everyone so the public generally has their number and the calls they take will also be those sad souls who like to pool their misery together.
Proverbs 22:10 says:
“Cast out the scorner and strife shall cease”
I have given this advice over the years and two of my clients acted on it. I think they would tell you that it was the best thing they ever did. So, pick up your barstool and take him out. Because:
“If you fail to walk in your god – given authority some one will take it away from you and use it against you!”