Let’s get a few things straight, here. This is not some rant against the digital future. Or print vs. ink. This is simply a reflection on what we lose when a place for people to congregate, engage in commerce, participate in society disappears. Especially when it didn’t have to.
I’ve been to the Mishawaka store. It was like a lot of Borders stores I visited over the years and I thought it was a nice place. But clearly, these employees felt some connection. You often see that in retail and I’ve experienced it. It’s quite a rush to think that what you do matters. You can see these sorts of connections in offices and warehouses and building sites.
I’ve seen it in many of the magazine wholesalers I’ve worked with over the years. The drivers and employees on the shop floor and the managers really felt they were doing something worthwhile. For the employees of Borders#195, that’s all gone now. Some of them will find new work. Some of that work will be in better places with even more camaraderie. Some won’t. That’s the way it goes.
If you are the boss in your operation, the CEO, Director, Senior VP, Manager, whatever, do yourself and the people who work for you a favor. Be responsible with the people who work for you. Treat them well. Be kind. Be considerate. Be fair. Practice polite manners. Be firm. Be honest. Don’t be greedy. Be clear in what you ask for. Reward success. Be honest. Treat failure as an opportunity to learn. Teach. Punish the bullies and let them know they are not welcome. If you loose money, cut your salary first.
Because, when it’s all over, and in every business cycle, it always comes to an end, you won’t get this from your former employee: