Have you ever experienced anything like this? You sign off on a purchase order because you’re the Lead Link of the world and because you’re all about delivering happiness. A short time later some guru shows up at your place as a result of the signed PO. He proceeds to walk into your most sacred of spaces, pulls down his pants, takes a dump, and then leaves the remainder of the invoice in your hand. I’m pretty sure that’s what happened to me about a week ago.
The “guru” in this case is Bud Caddell. When the PO came across my desk, I thought it said “Spuds”, as in Spuds MacKenzie. I figured we were going to bring in a celebrity for our Roos n’ More event. Man, was I wrong. Dud shows up at Zappos rip roaring about how hard this self-organization stuff is. He’s talking to everyone he can. Chef Boyarbistro even talked to Dud. I guess Dud doesn’t like the squirts anymore than Zapponians do. I’m not privy to the details of their brief conversation, but I did see a lot arm flailing and finger gagging in the mouth gestures from boy wonder. Chef is great. He took the feedback like he always does – handed Dud a feedback card and walked back to his cooking lair.
Like any good leader, I engage with the enemy. The first rule of engagement is to never initiate the conversation. The second rule is to slowly back away from the table and mumble so that your opponent struggles to grasp what it is you’re saying. We played this game for a while. I’ll give Dud credit, the guy stood toe-to-toe with me. He let his long locks of hair drape down in front of his face so I could no longer make eye contact. From there it was like trying to converse with Cousin Itt. Well played Dud, well played. We continue to enact psychological warfare on one another until Fred and Arun arrive. Fred scans the room to determine his first move. He realizes I’m neck deep in it with “the little consultant that could” and proceeds to transform into a little known, skitzo Nic Cage character, The Bad Lieutenant. Before I can intercede, Fred picks up Dud by the hair, slams him into the wall, and slaps handcuffs on him. He quips, “Those zollar store cuffs come in handy, huh punk?” Dud is stunned, possibly knocked out. Fred drops him back in the chair, arms cuffed behind him. Dud’s head hits the table. He’s out. Arun is giddy. He jumps up and high fives Fred and me. Fred, still in character, looks disgusted at Arun and says, “There’s more where that came from.” He pulls out another pair of cuffs and dangles them in front of Arun. I haven’t seen Arun run that fast since our last board meeting with Amazon. Fred calmly walks out of the room and leaves me with Dud to deal with. I let Dud take a nap, realizing he’ll inevitably wake up and continue his escapade to undermine my leadership – all on my dime.
Sure enough, at the end of the day, Dud is hosting a talk with all Zapponians who are interested in hearing lies and more lies. I decided I would attend in order to take names. I had one of my tin “men” up in the air vents to detect any potential teal defectors from a better vantage point. You can never be too safe. Dud starts his talk and is hiding his bruises from earlier in the day fairly well. He tries his best to convince the Zappos family members that he’s empathetic to their situation, then starts into a terrible comedy routine. He cracks jokes about Scientology a couple times. Oh Dud, that’s SO FUNNY. As if Battlefield Earth isn’t a masterpiece, both in novel and film form. Keep trying, duddy. He then reveals he’s registered hellocracy.com, which we all know is ridiculous. Holacracy is teal, not red. The devil is red, not teal, Dud. Come on, look in the mirror! I zoned out from there. Someone handed me a mic towards the end and I managed to talk about something magnificently teal. I don’t remember what exactly, but I’m pretty sure whatever I said was a knock out, much like Fred’s maneuver on Dud earlier in the day.
I left after the talk was over. I needed to finish my next email manifesto that will change Zappos forever. Dud probably went to his next victim; flashing a smug grin, taking a dump all over their floor, and collecting a paycheck on his way out the door. “Thank you sir, may I have another?”