Why are some business men anything but Professional?

I wrote this post in 2004 and the conversation came up today 3/7/2011

Being a part of many industries for over 25 years I have had both the pleasure and misfortune to work with lots of different personalities. I have easily adapted working with people who are:

  • quiet or loud
  • overbearing or meak
  • demanding or accomodating
  • biased or open-minded

as well as people who waffle across the spectrum of any of these or other traits.

I worked with one professional with a distiquished Doctorate who boldly professed that he could be working with other professionals on a serious issue one second and then as if spinning on a dime, get totally wrapped up into the subject matter of a playboy magazine and then back to the serious conversations again. He called this “range”. I personally think he is a very confused and unfocused individual.

Another professional I spent time working with seemed to think that he could never do anything wrong. In hindsight (wonderful thing – don’t you all agree?), I now see why he accomplished very little. He spent most of his waking hours making sure that if he had any projects that could possibly go wrong there was going to be someone else he could blame the problems on. I sometimes wonder if in his Project Plan he actually budgeted time and resources to making sure that there was someone else to blame.

As much as I wish that it were not true – I have worked with:

  • racists
  • sexists
  • slackers
  • perpetual liars
  • unethical people
  • as well as down right theives and crooks.

Another type of self labeled professional that I have experienced are the “Hypocrites”.

These people can be two faced, back-stabbers and in many cases bold faced liars. You never really know where you stand with hypocrites.

  • You sign the contract and then wonder if they will keep their word.
  • You hire them and after they say they will work hard for a fair pay – they don’t
  • You counsel them on non-performance issues, they promise to correct the situation – and they repeat the same non-performance issue again and again.
  • You commit to them to buy a product at a specific price and without fair notice – they up the price
  • They promise to support your programs and then immediately go off and tell others that your programs are destined to fail

Again, Hypocrites are very difficult to work with. It can be done – you just need to watch them closely.

The last example I want to offer tonight is of a business man who was anything but a professional – “The foul mouthed fool”
Recently I experienced a challenging conversation with a business man who felt it necessary to disagree with everything I said thru the use of every 4-letter and profane word he could muster thru his alcohol tainted lips. He told me it was after 5:00pm (actually 5:45pm) and since I called him at home on his cell phone he felt like he could speak in whatever manner he liked.

We were speaking about a contract between our two companies where I interpreted it one way and he in another quite different way.

Every sentence out of his mouth started with or was imbedded with some of the most foul pronouns and adverbs you expect to hear at the country & western bar or in the ghettos, but not in a business conversation.

Early into his “heated” barrage of words as he expressed his disapproval of my interpretation of the contract, I asked him ever so politely to discontinue cussing to me. I explained to him that as business men we should be able to agree to disagree politely while we lobby our own interpretations.

He told me to “Get F***ed!”

Ok – now I’m no angel.  I had to work at cleaning up my language after working in a chemical plant for 10 years where I hung out with roughneck contractors and laborers for 10 years. Yet, I know when to keep my language clean and how to communicate properly with other business people. This guy has no F’ing clue.

He has proven to me that there are now and will always be people out there who call themselves professional business men who are actually “idiots in suits” or “foul-mouthed fools”.