Get Mad or Get Even
You may have heard my restaurant is now open for business. After ten months from the date on the lease, fourteen permits, a complete renovation of a crappy building, hiring and training an entire crew, developing a complete menu, hundreds of decisions and a boat load of money later, we’re open.
I hired a chef from Dallas who came highly recommended by my consultant who opened and operated a previous restaurant for me. I paid his moving expenses and rent for two months and built the menu largely on his input.
I’m sure you know where this is leading. Yes, three weeks after we opened, after paying him for six weeks and while I was away teaching, he walked in one day, picked up his knives and told the GM he was leaving: no notice, no discussion, and no call to me.
To make matters worse, he told my GM he was hired by the very guy who hired him for me, my consultant. This was the second employee the consultant hired away within three weeks of operation, both key employees.
Obviously, this kind of unscrupulous action would tend to upset one of a weaker mindset than mine and send one off into a temper tantrum with murder in mind. I’ll confess: it did piss me off… for about three minutes on both occasions. But, then reality set in. I said to myself, “Self, why are you surprised when you knew both of these employees are short lived and had little chance of long term employment anyway?”
You see, I’ve been around a long time and have grown to be prepared for anything and expect the worse, and that makes it easy to handle it without anger or surprise when it occurs.
As to the chef, when he announced he was leaving, the whole restaurant had a party. The GM was relieved and frankly, so was I. Could he cook? Yes! He’s a great cook. But, could he run a kitchen? No! It was always in chaos with upset employees and inconsistent food production. Since he left, we now have peace, consistency and frankly even better food. He was replaced before he cleared the front door by an existing line cook with a lot of experience.
When my consultant finds out what he really hired, he’ll get another dose of justice. He did us a big favor, but obviously, that wasn’t his intent.
So, did I get mad? Yeah, for a minute. Did I let it make me crazy? Not for a second. How will I get even? Well, there’s no need. It worked out well and all parties will never do business with me or anyone I know again, and that could cost the consultant a fortune. Of course, he may never know.
So, why am I telling you all of this? Well, a couple of reasons, the first is to vent on someone, and it looks like you’re it. The second is to make a point that business is all about how you handle problems and emotion has no place in the process. It’s only a matter of time before you’ll get crapped on. Everyone’s out to get you and few care if you live or die. No one owes you anything, and loyalty applies to dogs. At least that’s the attitude you must adapt to build the strength and character to survive the attacks and attempts to steal your marbles.
Anger won’t help. Vengeance is worthless. Getting even won’t right the wrong, may make it worse and certainly prolong the emotional stress. Employees quit, people lie, cheat and steal, and it ain’t fair. So what?
And Move Up
You’re not getting any sympathy, and if you do it’s worthless. So goes business. Get mad if it helps. Kick the dog, swear at the spouse, and make threats if you like. Get it out of your system, then…. Quit cryin’ over spilled milk, and go milk another cow!
Willie Mays said it best, “It’s not my wife, it’s not my life, why worry?”
Anger and worry will ruin your health and relationships, and it requires ten times the energy of excitement and positive movement. The Bible says turn the other cheek. Ok, I ain’t sold on that one, but I am willing to duck. I don’t look for problems or confrontation, but when they arrive, they are dealt with swiftly and decisively so they don’t affect my actions during all the time I sit around and wait for the problem to go away. Small actions now, can and usually will, prevent big problems later. Inaction now, can and usually does, costs more money, time and stress to put off the tough decision and decisive action.
Example: lots of people are sitting on grossly over-leveraged properties and feeding them to the point of extreme financial stress to save their credit.
The reality is that they’re likely throwing good money down the crapper trying to fix a problem that has the same conclusion regardless of how they refuse to face it. Sooner or later, the property will go to the bank, and the credit will take a hit, regardless of all the wishing and hoping.
So what? Credit is easy to build back in a few months and not required to sustain life in the first place. To the person in this position, this is a huge, life sucking, mentally stressing problem because of their perception, not reality.
Reality is, to the bank, it’s another tiny foreclosure among thousands they do daily, and they could care less about this property or you. But, the stress ruins lives, marriages and even causes suicides. Over what….a hit to their credit and the loss of a piece of real estate.
Stress is a mindset. Let it kill you, or develop alligator skin so it rolls off your back. I’ve had alligator skin for years. Not much bothers me. I don’t hold a grudge. I expect to be cheated, lied to and abused. I don’t get angry for long. I trust little and verify a lot. I don’t believe most of the promises made to me, so I’m not too upset when they’re broken.
Spread sheets and business plans are comic books to me. Things will go wrong: some days the world sucks and stuff happens.
Wow, I’m glad I got that off my chest! I feel better now. Don’t you?