40 Life Lessons to learn before you turn 40. #6 People have patterns.

People have patterns just like Sine and Cosine.  You know, those wave patterns we had to learn in trigonometry?

I haven’t hired legions of people. My regrets though have been when I failed to ask and get references. Because we all tend to repeat bad patterns. (Another post on how to change that, but not today.)

My first real failure was a young guy I hired to help guard our home.

Living in Africa, guards are a reality of life. Tano* was a likeable young man. Good personality, from a good family. I knew his dad, who had been a faithful employee of friends for years. So when Tahnya and I moved to Dar es Salaam, I asked his dad to help us move in. Tano’s dad brought him along to haul stuff. And I hired him.

Then I went on an extended trip. Tano didn’t show up for work for days. Broke a window and pretended it wasn’t him. I had to fire him.

The sad part of the whole story was that Tano had worked for some friends before me. Had I asked around, I would have learned that he had a history of poor work ethic. He wanted to play football (soccer). He didn’t really want a job.

If a person has a previous history of conflict with a boss or leader, you need to have clear information as to how they have changed. Why will it be different with you?

I have a friend who has gone through numerous menial jobs for 15 years now. Every single time, his boss has not treated him right.  Maybe that’s the nature of the entry level job market, but somehow I tend to think there’s a pattern he won’t recognize.

Sine or Cosine?

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