PEMBROKE, Mass. — This actually happened to a dry cleaner friend of mine. His 15-person operation was going pretty well. The owner brought his son, recently graduated from college, into the business. But soon there was trouble. His key staffer began complaining about the company and management. Everything was, “The kid didn’t know what he was doing,” or “This place is run by lunatics.” The rest of the crew became surly and uncooperative. The owner got scared—he didn’t want to lose his cleaner of 10 years—so he arranged for his son to leave.
Was this the right decision? Well, it was true that the son didn’t know what he was doing, but that was because he had just graduated from college and hadn’t spent a lot of time in the shop. But it was also true that the kid was young, energetic and full of enthusiasm. And he just might have been the best thing for the company. But the father will never find out because he cut his son’s dry cleaning career short.