No Way They’ll Ever Change
By Lyle R. Hill
“I need your help Mr. Hill,” the early morning caller began, “and I hope you have a minute to talk with me. My name is Al Reed. I’ve been reading your articles for the past few years and I think you can provide me with the kind of advice I need.”
“Okay Al,” I replied, “let’s hear it.”
“Well,” he said, “I’m really fed up with the people I’m working for and I want to quit as soon as possible.”
“I see and I suppose you have been told that I do a little recruiting work and you would like me to help you find another job. Is that it?”
“Oh heavens no,” he replied. “I’m not the least bit worried about finding another job. Companies are begging for help right now.”
“Then I don’t understand. What advice do you want from me? I don’t see how I can help you.”
“I know you can help,” he began. “As I said, I have been reading your articles for a while now and I know that underneath that calm, nice-guy appearance you try so hard to project that there is a twisted, evil, diabolical, sneaky, scheming, cynical …”
“Hey, that’s enough,” I interrupted. “You’re gonna give people the wrong impression of me. Now do you want my help or not?”
“Yeah, I do … sorry. So here’s my story. I came to work for my current employer a little over three years ago. When I started I was told that I could advance in the company as fast and as far as my talent would take me. But I just kept getting one lousy assignment after another. I was not appreciated or respected and worst of all, the first advancement opportunity went to someone else. Supposedly they had more experience than me.”
“So I’m guessing Al, that after a relatively short period of time you kinda threw in the towel and just did what you had to do, right?”
“Once I realized the way they were, yeah, I got discouraged and became like everyone else there, just doing their time and collecting a paycheck even though I had wanted so much more.”
“Okay, Al. What do you want from me?” I asked.
“Mr. Hill, I want you to tell me how to get even with them for the way I’ve been treated. I just have a feeling that you will know how to do it.” “Actually Al, I think you should sit down with your boss and tell them how you feel.”
“A waste of time Mr. Hill. No way they’ll ever change.”
“You don’t want to at least give it a try Al? You might be surprised.”
“Mr. Hill, I’m telling you. There is no way they will ever change! So now are you going to help me or not?”
“Okay, I’ll help you but you have to do exactly as I tell you. No deviation. Agreed?”
“Absolutely. Tell me what to do.”
“Here’s the plan. You have to start to become the best employee they’ve ever had. Do the dirty work with a smile on your face. Even volunteer to do some of the hard stuff if it comes up. You come in a little early every day and you never leave at the end of the day without asking your boss if there is anything else that needs to be done before you go. You never criticize, whine or complain. Be as positive as possible and no matter how busy you get, be supportive and helpful to your coworkers. Become a true team player.”
“I’m not getting it Mr. Hill. How does this get even with them?”
“Al, after you have become the best thing that ever happened to them, you quit. It will devastate them.”
“Now I see. Great idea. I’m all in on this,” he somewhat happily responded.
“And Al, one more thing. Call me after you leave so I can hear how well my plan worked. Okay?”
“Will do and I’ll start on this tomorrow morning. This is going to be good.”
A couple of months passed and I had not heard from Al so I thought I should give him a call on the cell phone number he had given me. After all, by now my plan should have worked. He answered on the first ring.
“Al, it’s Lyle Hill and I haven’t heard from you so I thought I would give you a call to see how the plan I laid out for you worked.”
“Well,” he began, “it was kinda weird. I did exactly what you told me to do and after a few weeks, some strange things started happening. They actually gave me a raise without me even asking for it. And they started giving me more responsibility and actually asked me for my opinion on a few things. I can’t totally explain it but I started to feel like I was part of the team.”
“So I’m guessing Al, that when you quit, they were pretty shocked and disappointed, right?”
“Oh I’d never quit now,” he replied quite emphatically. “You see, they’ve changed. They’ve really changed!”
“Yes … I guess THEY did.”
Lyle Hill has 50 years of experience in and around the auto glass industry. At one time he operated 71 auto glass retail shops and a wholesale auto glass distribution business. He is currently the managing director of Glass.com®, an information portal that connects those selling glass products and services with purchasers.
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