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How to Make a Good Decision and Increase Your Self-Esteem

Dear Friend,

In the early 90's I was working as a General Manager for a very large and popular national restaurant chain. (They're even bigger today.) I was responsible for around 100 people, all told.

Because I live in one of the wealthiest counties in the country, it's not easy to staff a restaurant that has a "plantation mentality" about wages.

This company wanted a certain kind of employee, and if I followed the company screening process I would only have about 25. I regularly bent the rules of the hiring process about as far as possible in order to get to the level of approximately 100 employees.

I hired Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Native American Indians, Gays, people with facial hair (this was really bad), bald people, short people, fat, skinny ... you name it. If I thought they could do the job I hired them.

And about 90% of my hires worked out just fine (which in the restaurant business is way, way over the norm.

One day a divisional vice president walked into the store, and approached me. "We need to talk privately," he said. We walked outside. "The company has a big problem," he said, "and we need your help. We also need to be very discreet about this. Can I count on you?" My experience in large corporations is that when high powered execs want something done, "discreetly," it's usually not a good thing. So I said to the VP, "You haven't told me what it is you want done." He looks at me and says, "How many homos do you have working for you?" I said, "I don't know, I never counted." "So you do have homos working for you?" I said, "Bob, I'm busy. Why are you here?"

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"The CEO wants all homos out of the company by Monday."

I started laughing because this was up near the top of all the absurd demands that I had ever heard.

Bob had a pained look on his face.

"This is serious. It's the AIDS thing," he said. "If we don't fire them, customers will sue us."

We both stood there looking at each other.

Finally I said to Bob, "If the CEO wants to fire all the homos in my restaurant, let him get on a plane, come here, and do it personally. I'm not going to do it! And you can tell him that from me!"

I walked back into the restaurant, and left Bob in the parking lot. At that moment I couldn't have felt better. I looked in one of the mirrors, and I swear I was 10 feet tall.

About 5 weeks after this incident, Bob appeared again; this time to give me a "management review." Normally this is a long and tedious process. We sat down at a table, and he said, "I don't have much time. I have to be in Philadelphia in a few hours, so let's make this quick. He turned to the last page, showed me the score, (99 out of 100 possible points), and said, "Sign it, the review is over. Keep up the good work."

I signed it. As he was leaving, I said, "So Bob, how's that CEO project going?"

He gave me the finger, laughed, and kept walking.

I went back to the mirror.


Sean Furey

P.S. A lttle courage and compassion can go a long way toward improving your "mirror" image. For more information on how to make decisions that supercharge your self esteem, go here.

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