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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Itís usually not the big crises that get me down, but the accumulation of minor annoyances. Today I had a little of both. First, we lost the Kennel manager because he got fed up with taking Timís constant abuse. Then—

Well, then something else happened that doesnít seem quite so consequential when I think about losing Paul. Paul has been our manager since we bought the Kennel three years ago, and heís been a big part of the fact that weíve made more money every year. He keeps things running smoothly, keeps the clients happy (except for the ones who cause problems or donít pay their bills; heís merciless with the deadbeats, which none of the rest of us has the stomach for).

Heís been a little dispirited lately, and today it came to a head. When he found out that Tim had told our other employees not to listen to Paul, and to take orders only from Tim himself, Paul decided that the disrespect wasnít worth the meager wages we pay him.

Thatís right. We pay him a bare minimum, although we also give him a place to live and health insurance as compensation. In return, he works long hours and makes sure the business keeps going. He has never stolen a dime or done anything that would reflect badly on us. He is meticulous with his paperwork, so we always know the status of both the clients and the money in the till. We couldnít have invented a better manager if weíd tried to dream one up ourselves.

Hereís the one thing he doesnít do. He doesnít always jump when Tim tells him to do something that is (a) outside working hours, and (2) beyond the scope of his job description. So Tim doesnít like him much (and, needless to say, the feeling is mutual). What happened today was the culmination of a long period of ill will, and I donít blame Paul a bit. If Tim treated me that way, Iíd do the same thing, and sue him for every employee rights violation I could think of. But he wonít, because he knows better.

6 May 2007

Red stairway.

After all this went down this afternoon, I spent an hour on the phone with Julie, talking her down off the ceiling. She was in tears when she called, and while I couldnít do anything to help the situation or say much that would make things look better, I could listen and sympathize. Sheís in the middle even more than I am, because while sheís tending to the Bossís tenuous health issues 24/7, sheís getting blindsided by Tim at every turn. She knows even better than I do how critical Paulís role is in the organization. More than that, she also knows him as a person and can empathize. It wasnít a good day for me, but it was worse for a couple of other people.

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