Avoidance Does Make It Worse

The Good Enough, The Bad and The Ugly Behavior

Today’s Scene: The Bad


As Boss WoreOut hung up the phone, his ear was on fire! That client had shared their dissatisfaction in no uncertain terms. His relaxed shoulders started tightening instantly. See, Boss had just returned from a two-week dream vacation.  He had been planning it all year with his wife. This European vacation was to make up for all the missed trips over the past 5 years as he had been building up his auto mechanic shop. Over the last year he had even promoted Employee PickMe to Supervisor to cover for just such times.

Employee PickMe was always dropping hints about how he wanted a raise. With the number of new customers trending up, Boss WoreOut decided it was time to start growing his service mechanics. This gave PickMe the opportunity to step up and lead. 

Sure, there had been some problems about a month before the trip. PickMe had been late two days in a row. In fact, when Boss offered him the promotion, Employee promised Boss that he would clean up his act, Employee promised he would not be late anymore. Boss WoreOut had stressed how important this was in being a successful supervisor.

But what was Boss to do? He had paid for the vacation. Boss just couldn’t fire Employee PickMe right now. Boss WoreOut planned to defer the issue until he was back and things settled down.

Now that Boss WoreOut is back, it looks like it is worse than he imagined it could get.



Boss WoreOut called in Employee PickMe.  Boss explained how he had just gotten off the phone with Client Z. Apparently Client Z STILL did not have his car back. Boss WoreOut explained to Employee PickMe that when he went to check on the car in the garage it looks like the project has not even STARTED yet! Incredulous, Boss asked what happened.

Employee PickMe explained that a door on the car was stuck.  The two walked through a ridiculous back and forth. How two weeks later, if we know that the door is stuck and will need to go to a body shop first, the project has yet to be taken care of or at least progressed??!?

Boss was just shaking his head. Not at Employee PickMe but at himself. Employee PickMe WAS a great problem-solving mechanic but Boss has NOW learned that not only could he not change his bad habits he was unable to work with a sense of urgency.

Boss Action!

Today’s lesson: A Boss knows avoidance delays the conversation but does NOT remove the need for the conversation.

While Boss talked a good game to Employee PickMe as to what leadership would look like and the requirements to find success in the role, he had set everyone up for failure. But truthfully the avoidance we are discussing is NOT the pre-vacation tardiness discipline. We are going all the way back to when Boss WoreOut was deciding to hire!

Boss knew that the successful person for the new role would be on time EVERY DAY and move projects along in a timely manner. Employee PickMe never demonstrated these key traits.  In fact, if Boss WoreOut had taken the time to really consider how Employee PickMe would fit he would have noticed that Employee PickMe had proven to require a strong guidance to move projects to completion. These ingrained personality traits very seldom can be switched with the assignment of a new title.

This is what Boss Actions means when we say to make them prove they are worthy.  An employee should enhance the company and have all the strong requirements BEFORE being offered the job.

Boss WoreOut was trying to make people happy AND make things easy for himself by avoiding the conversation with Employee PickMe about why he was not qualified for a raise.  He may even have had to specifically discuss areas of weakness for Employee PickMe. That’s not fun.

If your company requires a sense of urgency and punctual people for a role, your business will suffer until a Boss identifies the right people for the roles and attracts them to the company.

Worse, as in this case, Boss WoreOut now needs to fire an employee that was successful in his previous role AND bend over backwards to keep this client who is guaranteed to get their car 2 weeks later than originally discussed to avoid a negative review on YELP. All because this business owner was trying to make it easy on himself. ***sad trombone***

Scale on purpose,


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