A business changes hands

In this case, the business is a restaurant. The owner ran two and sold the first some months ago. Perhaps when he did this everyone should have wised up but, as far as I know, nobody did. The owner was changing direction: getting married, and starting a course in computing at a local university. Why would he want the distraction of his remaining business?

But since he still ran a restaurant he had staff. I am thinking of the ones I know, Amoke, Annie and Victoria. All of them are talented people. Amoke is an art student, Hungarian, and very intelligent. Annie has a masters degree in the area of cognition and has been trying to land a job as an educational psychologist. Victoria is a qualified doctor. And all three of these talented people have been working as waitresses in the café which has just changed hands. We (my wife and I) know them, like them, and think highly of them.

So when he sold the restaurant, did he gather these excellent people together and explain what was happening? No. He went on his honeymoon without saying a word. And what was the status of his staff then? Did they have jobs any longer? Were they, or were they not, expected to turn up for work the following week?

That is what they have been doing for the last two weeks, amid rumours that the new owners intend to close the restaurant for a month to refurbish it. What will the staff do for money during that month? If they want one, will they have jobs to come back to?

If I had known the business was for sale, and if I’d had the money (stop laughing, please) I’d have bought it myself and asked them to teach me how to work in it.

In a previous existence, I was asked by management to conduct an analysis of a particular staff function. The only way I could to it was to join the staff in question and learn the ropes myself. My conclusions were that the staff had a much better handle on what they were doing than management did, and that the management habit of having them report back all the time was reducing their efficiency.  They had created a team but didn’t trust them with the ball. The management needed the staff alright, but it wasn’t clear to me that the staff needed managing – something they did very well for themselves.

On this subject, a site worth vsiting is:


1 thought on “A business changes hands

  1. This is shocking. I sometimes suspect that there is a sub-population who never grow past two years old, at which point it doesn’t occur to them the centre of the world is anywhere but inside them. The rest of us are just toys out there.
    Interesting about the staff function analysis. Happiness in a working group is, I believe, correlated with how much people feel in charge of their part in the work being done.

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