I watched my car’s life flash before my eyes during a minor fender bender. I had the right of way – she didn’t yield – she plowed into the front bumper of my car.
With a neck and shoulder pain and my health history, off to the emergency room we went. Hours ticking by. A child is carried in by his father, his mother and older brother close behind. He slammed himself into a door and knocked himself out. A few minutes goes by and we came to the conclusion that the door was right, in fact, it should have hit him harder. Screaming, he holds his mother’s face in his hand and hits her full force. His father walks him to the other side of the room and speaks quietly too him. The 7 year old proceeds to scream “You suck” to his father, then hits his father too. The parents take him from side to side of the room and just speak to him. Now, now, let’s not act bad, they tell him. By now the entire emergency room is voicing what should be done with the child. The woman next to us demonstrates for the father, the proper method to slap the child into good behavior. Another woman instructs them to take the boy outside. Another woman says he needs to go on the Nanny show to straighten him out.
The volunteer, a very tall older gentleman, talks to the child. Nothing is having an effect. His screaming is loud, and he does seem to be feeling better. “You suck” seems to be his basic vocabulary along with “No, no, no”. After more then an hour of this, they get the point and take him outside. I imagine that some of the people are fantasizing about ambulances and accidental rollovers.
Later, he returns in a wheelchair, all smiles and is escorted to a room. I’m not sure I agree with the people that wanted him beaten on the spot, but I did get the impression that the child was in charge, not the parents.
It works in business as well. How many of us have worked with a person who runs the show with their temper, the tantrums, their ability to make things go their way by being miserable. Are you tolerating an individual who runs your business without them being in charge? They are the squeaky wheel, the one we all tiptoe around. Don’t make her mad, we say, just keep her happy. If you’re tolerating a grumpy soul, perhaps its time for you to have a conversation with them. Find out – are they so unhappy that they need to part with you and your business?
Who’s really in charge – you or your employee?