By Baxter Black: QCS columnist
Say you’re one of many in the fast changing world of Agribusiness where companies, ranches, sales territories and work forces are being bought, sold, traded, merged and split one after another.
You are worried, with good reason, because the disposition of employees is always a factor.
“Downsized, early retirement, let go, transferred, promotions” — always reshuffling the deck of workers.
During times of high unemployment there is usually a corresponding increase in consultants, classes, seminars and infomercials on how to keep your job, get a job or create your own business.
One sloganistic career suggestion was “Have the key to what they want.”
I thought about that and concluded it’s not “Have the key” but “Be the key.”
For instance, be the only one in the outfit that can or will do some difficult or unpleasant task, like fixing split rim tires.
“We can’t let Lem go! He’s the onlyest one who can patch up a prolapse!”
Or the person at the dairy who knows how to take care of scouring calves.
I’ll bet General Motors fires 50 marketing vice presidents before they let one maintenance man go.
Feed lots have a lot more trouble finding a good mill man than they do finding a consulting nutritionists.
If you have a cowboy on your outfit that you can send back after a cow or calf that got missed on the gather, he’s worth his weight in gold.
See, be the key. It often has universal application.
If I was consulting a wife because her husband got drunk, came in late and stayed home Sunday morning, I would say to her don’t have the problem — be the problem. Take a stand; show a little irresponsibility.
Don’t have a headache — be a headache. I mean look at the successful misfits who have achieved notoriety, not by being part of the solution, but by creating chaos: Yassar Arafat, Ozzy Osbourne, Geraldo Rivera, Osama Bin Ladin, The Riddler, Howard Stern, Donald Trump, any obstructing bureaucrat and usually the political party out of power at the time.
However there is more to being the key, than just impressing your boss and keeping your job. Who knows, you might actually start something.