John O'Connor

An old college friend spent one summer delivering pizzas. For reasons that will soon be obvious, I won’t reveal his name.

After several months of being shortchanged, lied to and otherwise abused by the national chain he was chauffeuring pizzas for, he and several fellow drivers decided to get a little payback.

So on their last evening of work, they drove their company-owned cars to a parking lot, eased the front bumpers against a brick wall, and stomped on the gas. As he tells the story, the tires and transmissions on those vehicles were pretty much ruined as a result. He and his partners in crime thought the prank was hilarious. Their only regret was that they couldn’t do more to get even.

But what if it had been his family’s pizza joint? Or if the drivers’ brooding sentiment had been detected and responded to? Of if the manager they worked for wasn’t such a jerk? Would they have felt justified in trashing a fleet of cars? Probably not.

What about the “drivers” at your facility? Do they have a real connection with your mission and goals? Do they feel that they are doing work that matters? Are they respected?

Or do they believe that corporate tools are siphoning off their will to live?

If you are mistreating your staff – even unknowingly – you can bet on one thing. They’ll find a way to get even. And chances are pretty good you won’t even know how. But they will. And you can be absolutely sure that the resulting mess will be much worse than bald tires.

John O’Connor is Editorial Director at McKnight’s.