I have a great friend who works as a Director of Security for a large East coast retail distribution center. She's worked for this company for many years and is a wonderful storyteller relating illustrative and "weird" analogies to share with her staff. She oversees a mostly male security guards staff with the stressful management obligation of security of a vast variety of merchandise ordered, delivered, and distributed through this huge-a-mongous warehouse. Located in bucolic mid-western Connecticut, you'd think this job would be relatively non-drama but alas - it is NOT! Often she forgivingly hires individuals who are either just-recovered drug addicts, prostitutes, convicts along with laid-off executives, retired military, and college students. It's a mixture of drama and intrigue that should be made into a movie! I often call her during my commute home from work knowing that she will be doing the same to get the latest on her trials and tribulations while on the job that day. It's always entertaining!
This weekend, while visiting for a girls weekend, she shared with me the most recent drama between two security guards who regularly worked together - one male and one female. They became 'deeply involved' and then proceeded to break up shortly there after creating a very uncomfortable work environment not lost on ALL of the employees that make this very busy distribution center roll. The young man caught in the drama with the love-thwarted female guard attempted to avoid her at all cost but my friend knew he had to learn this hard lesson of on-the-job love affair gone wrong and she was going to make sure of it. While he was in her office there was some problem reported over the radio requiring a security guard to go check and help as needed. This young buck knew he'd be asked to go but since he knew the person who was reporting trouble was the broken-hearted, ex-girl friend he wanted to get out of it. He pleaded with my friend to get someone else to go. Nothin' doin' thought my friend! This was a perfect opportunity to share a metaphorical analogy as well as ensure that he thought before he leaped into his next work-place romance.
My friend situated herself comfortably in her director chair and begun to wax poetic toward the young fella.
"You know what happens when a cute stray kitty comes around?"
"What do you do?"
"And what does it do after you have fed it?"
"It keeps coming back to get fed."
"So what happens if you stop feeding it?"
"It gets mad and bites you."
"Thats right - so what should you do?"
"Keep feeding it?"
"Well you could but then you are stuck with a cat that you don't really want - right?"
"Right - but I don't want to get bit either!"
"So this is what you do at the very beginning - you sprinkle pepper all around the parameter of your house to keep those cute kitties away! Then you'll never have a problem!"
"Oh - right - Wow! Ok so what do I do now?"
"I don't care what you do but right now, you gotta do what I say - get out there and find out what the problem is."