Most of us would agree that robbing a police officer is a stupid thing to do, but does it make anymore sense to rob their spouse?
What about complaining about your banker to a fellow customer that just happens to have a sibling working for the same branch?
Would you ever intentionally spray the neighborhood kid with the hose if you didn’t know who their parents were?
My point is that we are pretty good at not doing stupid things directly to the people who could rapidly take action against us, but what about other people. Do we ever stop to think about who these people might know and how our actions could come back to bite us?
Let’s take the first example of robbing the spouse of a police officer. I don’t care if the officer is male or female, you are going to be hunted down, found, and prosecuted. It is almost as much a man hunt when you hurt a police officer directly, and hurting their spouse would engage the same wrath because you went after a family member.
Not too many banking customer realize that the things they say often get back to the bank’s management without a relative blabbing your remarks. Many times it is the customer who is loyal to the bank that likes to tattle on their fellow customer so their bankers know who they are dealing with. In banking, it pays to be friends with the bankers and when you need a fee waived because you screwed up, a good relationship will often save you the money.
The last example is meant to introduce the overall concept of parental involvement in the lives of their children. Hosing a neighborhood kid to be funny isn’t going to be so funny if their parent can kick your butt. Yet if you don’t think about who that child might be connected to, you are risking a lot by acting first.
In this country we have layers upon layers of employment laws. Teens and young adults are often victims of lame managers that don’t follow the rules. They rightly figure that this new employee is clueless and they can get away with harassment, wage and hour laws, interview questions and my all time favorite game of forced resignation. Yet I can tell you from experience that Mom & Dad are not that naive, and can spot these actions immediately. And can you imagine if one of these parents is a Human Resources Professional?
Now while I can advise my daughter how to react to these situations, my personal talent comes in the form of knowing how to track and document the actions of the manager into a solid corrective action. In other words, I know how to document a path to eventual termination, and/or a winning lawsuit. And as a well-connected Human Resources Professional, I can often find the right person at the company to turn this documentation into for immediate disciplinary action.
Factor in that if a person is capable of noting inappropriate behavior, understanding the applicable laws, can document it and get it to the right person, imagine the additional motivation of a parent protecting their child. Talk about the mother grizzly effect!
My advise it to play by the rules with everyone, because you never know who they know and how it can come back and bite your inappropriate behavior!