Face Value is NOT the Best Effort

The Good Enough, The Bad and The Ugly Behavior


Mean girls…blech. You know the types. Sugar and spice and everything hilarious when authority is around. We want to believe we grow out of this in high school or at worst in college. The truth is that “mean girls” (which can be male, female or any other gender identification) can be found in any place that the authority figure has limited access to the mean girl and her regular day-to-day work.

Today’s story starts with Boss Opportunity coming into the office buzzing because he found the “perfect” person to take on the marketing coordinator position that he had been considering creating. He had met Employee Regina at an event he attended. She certainly looked like she was handling things and presented very well. He overheard her talking about looking for a new opportunity and started the discussion. Once she sent over the resume, he could see she had the experience with the marketing systems his company needed.

She explained that her references did not include her current employer but she would make sure he got good ones. She interviewed so well over the phone that he was hardly concerned. He was only able to get ahold of one for the references but they said she was great at social media and website updates. Just what he needed. She was hired to work out of the office, even though Boss Opportunity worked mostly from his home office.

After a few weeks, he gets a call from one of the project managers, PM, asking for a meeting. It sounded serious and PM asked to have it out of the office.  That sinking feeling hit Boss, he was sure PM was going to quit or ask for more money or both. Boss was surprised. PM seemed to really like the clients and the work. He had been with the company 18 months. Oh well, time to find out what was going on. 


The meeting began with Boss Opportunity walking up to the table. PM seemed sad so Boss Opportunity assumed this was not going to be good. After they both ordered drinks, Boss asked directly, “So what is going on PM? You look upset. How can I help?”

PM nervously says “…Well. It’s Employee Regina.” Now Boss gets a big smile on his face. That Employee Regina was something else. She was really doing great on those website updates and always seemed to be in SUCH a great mood. Then confused, Boss Opportunity asks, “Regina? Is there a client complaint?” Boss really couldn’t even IMAGINE Employee Regina being rude to a client.

“No. The clients she has met all love her. The problem is how she treats everybody else. She literally calls people names. She tries to embarrass them, like, daily. She even makes fun of how they eat.” PM explains.

Shocked, Boss Opportunity asks, “Really? Is it one person and maybe they are making up stories over the new person? “

PM snorts, “No. She does it to EVERYONE except when YOU come in the office. Then she is like an entirely different person.”

Boss Opportunity, disappointed and still surprised, asks, “Why am I just hearing about this?”

“Because everyone else is afraid of her. I just can’t watch her treat anyone else like she is better than them. It’s disgusting.”

Sure enough, though Employee Regina was great at “the Job” she was literally a horrible human being. Boss asked for a few more conversations with others and the story was checked out.


TODAY’S LESSON: What you see is NOT all that you get with a new hire.

As a small business owner, the WHOLE point is to hire the best possible person for each specific position so that you do NOT have to be in front of them every day. This is why hiring is so critical during the beginning growth stages. The layers of supervisors that can be involved for the entire work day of each employee would be not just un-profitable but no fun. Babysitting is NOT the job of any Boss!

If an employee cannot be on their best behavior all of the time and with all of the people then they are not ready for a professional job! Fact.

Business owners that are excited by skill sets or specific experience can gloss over this critical piece in reference checks accepting a “fine” as a response to “How did she / he get along with co-workers?”

But a Boss knows that the reference checks must include multiple questions addressing team work, respect and kindness issues from multiple angles to get the best possible forecast of their behavior.

Nobody wants to work with a “Plastic” no matter how cute they look in their clothes. (Yes, I watch too many movies…)



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