Previous to being a poker playing reprobate and degenerate, yours truly operated as a trouble shooter, taking over public houses that were badly run, turning them around and handing them back to the owners of that said public house.
The owners were usually a large anonymous organisation who could see the potential of the place but were misled by the capabilities of a candidate to manage the establishment. Management is all about leadership and sadly some people have not got that ability to be leaders, because a successful leader has to have integrity, credibility and ability. The badly managed pub was usually a former bar staff member of that establishment who had been over promoted and could not cope with the challenges of leadership which a manager needs to run a public house.
A lot of the time the owners could not work out how a previously sensible staff members could be so disastrous as a manager. But after going around the country coming across the same problems over and over again it became clear to me what was the problem – the previous bar staff member was too close to certain customers who knew too much of the bar staff strengths and weaknesses and used that knowledge to twist the situation to their own advantage and the schmuck over promoted starry eyed bar manager could not see it.
Why would this be the case, why would a previously adequate staff member be so awful and lacking honour as a manager? Well in the license trade there are a unwritten class structure. The lowest of the low was a glass collector, above them were the bar staff member, then the chef, then the assistant manager then the manager and numero uno the owner. Now a bar staff member maybe below the management, but, they will take the most money from customer so there is a certain power in that the best ones take the most money and the best ones hand that money over to the management without pocketing any of it. Seems like a easy enough task, but, believe me I have seen bar staff member take the money and put it in their pockets. So when you have a staff member who doesn’t steal you try to keep them.
However, not all bar staff member can make that jump to bar management, why? Simple, bar staff members talk and talk and talk. When they are bored they will pore their hearts out to anyone who will listen and that is part of the attraction of bar work, you have an audience that will take notice because they have too. Some customers use this to their advantage.
When the bar staff member becomes manager they forget that they have let the customers know their strong points and their weak points and a customer who is manipulative will use it to their advantage especially if they are bitter and twisted in what life has given them. I have recently come across such a situation in which twisted individuals have manipulated a overly promoted former bar staff turn manager into being a dishonourable person. Out of fear of not performing in the management of an establishment, a person broke their word and used the excuse of losing customers, where the reality is that the customer knowing how worried the manager is about money they played on it and effectively end up running the venue by stealth,.
It is quite sad to see this happening and highlights that to be a leader you need to have integrity because without the knowledge that you mean what you say and say what you mean then why should anyone believe a single word that you say? The manipulating customers who I call ‘The Twisted Sisters’ have never been in a situation where they have been made to feel special therefore when the situation arise they use the information gleaned from the management to manipulate a situation. The management being a mug, swallowed it hook, line and sinker. The Twisted Sisters do not care about the management they just want things their way and will turn on each other – which they have done many times – when it suits them.
The ultimate loser in this is the silly manager who runs a rat infested mess of a venue with broken chairs, poor service, serious worries about the future and no way of sorting it out because effectively they do not manage their venue or their future.