How to sabotage your own event


It is really wonderful how the life could be surprising. I’ve spent three years at our lovelly company and there is always something new to blow me up. This thing never stops me wondering: the most stunning, devastating and endlessly irritating attribute of a human species is the stupidity. Based on this statement, I have to admit something. I don’t know how it’s possible, that our company is still operating.
In the past days I’ve witnessed couple questionable decisions from our top management. I’ve posted already one story inspired by such a problematic issue and yet again there is another one (see also Another human story post from the last month). This time the situation is even more ridiculous.

Our boss is on the something what gamers and geeks all over the world call “killing spree”. Since the March 2016 he already fired 6 people (number of employees in March 2k16: 13; currently employing: 10). Let’s don’t talk about all aspects of such a behavior.  It’s obvious, that it’s bad for newly hired people, it’s bad for current employees, it’s bad for our business partners and for our customers as well. Still, it was kind of o.k. when all these personal issues had been happening at least half year before the event. Usually everything got stable soon enough, so our event team got time to settle and do our job properly. This time, this last story, is just imaginary, metaphorical cherry on the top of the craploadpie called laying off.

I’ll set you into the picture.

In about one month we are going to have an event called FOTOEXPO. It’s lovely one day festival of photography, if you are in Prague on 22nd of October 2016, come to visit us. (If you can’t make it to the event, do not worry. I’ll come back here with short report.) It has quite success and definitely it has a beautiful message. This event had been prepared mainly by 2 people. Business part of the job, which is obviously important thing (you have to pay the bills – right?!), had been done by this guy (let him be just a “guy”). But the real spirit of the event had been maintained by ex-colleague of ours (let’s call her the “Spiritual Mother”). It was the Mother who was suggesting tone and feeling of the upcoming event. It was the mother who was discovering new showcasing photographers for the event. And by the strange coincidence, it was the Spiritual Mother who was handling with all the other things (which included medial and professional partnerships, production things from ticket printing to banner placement and all the buzz around). I guess you got an idea… Even stranger is the fact that this Spiritual Mother, despite her influence over the event, was “just” an assistant of the guy.

Can you guess what’s next?

The Mother got fired and everyone was surprised. (Well, I guess the guy wasn’t.) Are you asking for the reason? Bad communication and cooperation with the top management. I mean, what kind of reason is that anyway? Of course it is a reason, but one month before the D-day, you are laying off the person, which knows – really like everything, for this reason?  Only because there was some kind of verbal conflict. Possibly caused due to the pre-event stress, which is totally normal anyway… There is no logical, nor professional justification for this. Even if the communication would be that bad, which I believe wasn’t. Even then, you shouldn’t lay off such a key person. You are not doing this one month before the event. Especially not if this person was doing her job, which she was.

Here is what I’m thinking. One month before the D-day you don’t have enough time to hire someone else to take over. And if you would find someone that magically awesome as Spiritual Mother was, you wouldn’t have enough time to break him in. In the terms of event management it’s equivalent of suicide. It doesn’t give a sense in terms of professionality. If there was such a problem with the communication, logical would be to wait until the event happen, let her do her job and lay her off afterwards. In this situation, all I can smell is just harmed ego and huge abuse of legal power. Sad truth is, that this is what Macho boss can do. Such an irrational decision is about to do big problems to our event planning.

Well guys, I certainly hope, that you won’t see the difference during the event. We’ll  try our best to fill in to the big shoes. It will be a mess, but we’re no strangers into this kind of situation. We have some shitstorm ahead of us, but we got guts to bear it. The Spiritual Mother is out, but her spirit remains – at least for this edition of the FOTOEXPO. Come to see it, it might be never as good again.

Regards, Frank

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