Sunday, November 4, 2012

establishing the alpha


There has been a little drama on the ranch.  It was only a matter of time.  I come from a big family, so  I'm no stranger to drama, but trying to manage a "he said, she said" situation from a distance and only by text message is a frustration I had yet to experience.  Consider me baptized.
We had been meaning to change the locks on the gates since we took ownership.  Unfortunately, since we are not there, and because all the service people need access, we hadn't made the change.  It didn't seem to be a problem, until I got a request from the previous owner (P.0.) to make a trip to pick up a trailer he had left behind.
The back-story (because there always is one) is that the P.O. and the caretaker are at odds.  When we were looking at the place, the P.O. began to tell us about how disappointed he was in the caretaker.  But, in the same breath, encouraged us to keep her.  To make a complicated story simple...everything the P.O. said (negatively) about the caretaker, the caretaker said (negatively) about him.  Seriously...same story, different antagonist.  Head-spinning.

Because the yaks are on the property and we aren't, we felt it was in the best interest to keep the caretaker.  Basically, we told all parties involved...clean slate..we don't put any weight to what either of you say, we are only interested in the facts.  
If we said it once, we said it 100 times.  And still...here we are....
P.O. sent me an email asking if he could come get his trailer.  I didn't remember seeing a trailer, on our last visit...so i simply asked the caretaker...."is there a trailer on the property?"  She said no...everything had been picked up and cleared out. So, I told the P.O. there isn't a trailer.To which he responded...if you don't give me the code to get in the gate, i'm showing up with the sheriff.  Yes, he went from 0 to 50 in half a second. 
When I was in the corporate world, I had to do a lot of counseling to under-performing and sometimes dishonest employees. Occasionally, I had to fire someone.  I had a special outfit for it.  It was a beautiful purple silk suit.  Elegant and powerful.  Part of my routine was to don the suit and establish my firing voice. I would drop my normally booming voice down a few octaves.  Basically, when you saw me coming in a purple suit, with a very calm demeanor, trouble for you was soon to follow.. I employed this same tactic  with P.O. and caretaker.
Mike backed it up with a phone call to the P.O.--man to man-- his message...don't make drama...you want to be a hot head, then take it elsewhere, we are not interested.
We successfully moved the drama off the land and onto a personal dispute between the P.O. and some other third-party (whom I don't know). But more importantly, we have established the Alpha. Its name is Larsen.

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