I found these last night while rummaging through some boxes. They remind me of a special year of my life. It a story that I can write about for days, but am limited to a few hundred words. Not fair.
Back in the mid-1990’s, I was “asked” to transfer to a location within the company that needed special attention. I had exceeded everyone’s expectations with my current role and was so confidant that I had even hired and trained my replacement.
Not bad when you are only 35 yars old.
Unfortunately, I was as they say, clueless.
Without knowing the facts (and not that I really had a choice) I accepted the challenge. It was about that time that someone gave me the BB’s. I wish I could recall the person and the context, but the years have erased that.
If there ever was a “Reality Workplace” TV show, this office could have been the pilot. Love triangles between staff, management and law enforcement officials, abuse of power, rampant stealing / mis-appropriation and high drama are the first things that came to mind. Part of the office was a re-purposed apartment and there was a “staff hot tub” room. Sounds like a fun place to work, eh?
As I began to uncover the details (and you can imagine how popular I was with the players) I literally feared for my life. That may sound dramatic, but people in very high places and people with lots of firepower were involved in illegal, unethical and immoral behavior. Let’s face it, no one likes getting caught, especially if it could mean losing your job, possibly going to jail or worse yet, being on the front page of the paper.
To the point, that is when I secured my first concealed weapons permit and also gave my father, the retired police chief, a list of names, should I become the unfortunate victim of an “accident” or simply disapear without a trace.
It was my first venture into “mitigating chaos” and it was a mess. I probably did more things wrong than right, but I was able to shine the light of truth on the situation. Unfortunately, the company took only remedial, superficial action.
I learned about my strengths and weakness.
A few years ago, I ran into one of the guys who followed behind me there and we spent a couple of hours swapping tales. The discussion made me realize that I hadn’t just imagined it all and apparently, much of it is still going on after all these years.
I bet that hot tub could tell some stories. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone had rigged a hidden video camera in that room.
Some companies just never learn.