I say all the time how lucky I am to be my own boss. But, there are some pretty big responsibilities that go with being the boss, and a big one is hiring well. It is more than just fitting the right person in the right position, it is also about making sure that new hire will fit into the company culture and get along with all those already on board. I like to think that most of the time I do it right, but there is always someone that will surprise you.
To understand a little background of why and how I hire the people I do, you probably need to know I relate to good people having made bad mistakes. These are my people. There is nothing anyone can say that will shock me. I totally own that I am a risk taker. In my youth, the risks I took were often unhealthy. I have a sordid list of mistakes I made, but I learned from every one of them and it made me open to giving potential employees a chance when other employers might not. Most of the time the risks I take in hiring pay off, but sometimes they don’t. Here is the story of one that didn’t.
Hard Luck had always been her middle name. You know the type. Everything happens to them and never because of them. The eternal victim. She didn’t work for Flag and Banner very long, but it was long enough to know she was too old to still not understand the relationship between cause and effect. I can’t remember if she quit or if we fired her, but she hadn’t been with the company for a couple of years, when last month she strolls in to the gift store. I’m sure she didn’t think anyone would recognize her.
Not only was that assumption wrong, but she was personally greeted and even hugged by Adrienne, our showroom manager. While Adrienne and Hard Luck chatted, the fellow that had accompanied her into the showroom began to duck in between isles. This suspicious behavior alarmed Adrienne so she excused herself from Hard Luck to check on her accomplice. While Adrienne asked if she could be of assistance, Hard Luck reached behind the counter and grabbed Adrienne’s purse. She skedaddled out the front door, her accomplice at her heels.
When Adrienne returned to the counter, she discovered her purse (credit cards, money, car keys, etc) were gone. We immediately called the police and filed a report. Of course, we had all of the perps information on file in her old employee folder. (I didn’t say she was very smart!)
I don’t know if the police will arrest her. But at least there is something on record for other unsuspecting employers.
Being a good boss also means protecting your good employees from bad hires. This is an example of a new hire looking for a second chance resulting in anguish and suffering of my good employee.