When you’re a kid, you think the world is unicorns and rainbows. When life knocks you down a few times, you realize it isn’t, while wishing it was. But I do believe there’s a season, and a reason, for everything that happens, whether it’s apparent in the moment or not. After all, if there’s one thing I’ve learned through all life’s trials and tribulations, it’s that you often don’t know what you’ve got until you’re tested.
Last week Aquascape was tested once again, and once again I was more than a little happy with the response. A long time teammate, and a very talented one to boot, chose to take advantage of an opportunity. Normally, I would applaud someone’s efforts for seizing the day. This time however their gain only would come at my loss. In essence, we have too much work to do, and not enough time to do it. That’s a golden opportunity for someone who’s paid hourly. Time and half is nothing to scoff at. That is unless you try and use a good problem, to create a bad one, for someone else, which is exactly what happened in this case. Believing he was in a power position to hold the company hostage, this “teammate” led a walk-out for himself and three of the people on the team I’ve entrusted him to lead. Lovely! It’s also a pattern having happened before, under similar circumstances, where the company had more work than it could handle. That time we gave him the benefit of the doubt, and increased pay while expressing extreme displeasure with the approach that was deployed. Last Friday it happened again, but this time we responded in kind. We accepted all four of their resignations. By doing so, we risked losing six figures in contracts. By not doing so, we risked far more. There’s a reason the United States government doesn’t negotiate with terrorists. In what might be the only example ever of Aquascape and the United States government having the same policy, Aquascape as well does not negotiate with teammates. Nor do we negotiate with customers, suppliers, or any stake holders, who engage in tactics that would leave one party hostage.
I might not have a SEAL Team who can parachute in at night and shoot terrorists from a moving platform, but I have an equally deadly team behind me. I was notified in the field of the walk-out during filming for our Reality TV show. The last thing I needed was the distraction this would cause, and it was the last thing my team would burden me with. By the end of the same day that they had walked out, all four teammates had returned to the office, returned all of their company owned property, and signed letters releasing Aquascape of any liability. As for me, I built a gorgeous waterfall.
It’s when the shit hits the fan that you learn what you’re made of, or in this case what your team’s made of. The world is not unicorns and rainbows. And I’m grateful for that because once again I know who does and doesn’t have my back.
The Pond Guy
P.S. Two of the teammates who walked out have returned asking for their jobs back. We hired one.