America is the land of opportunity and free speech. Everyone is entitled to
speak their mind and express an opinion.
Professionalism seems to have escaped some of us. At the very least, good
manners have flown out the window somewhere along the way. I say this because of
an incident that took place during a recent event where an official from a U.S.
Government Agency made himself available to address a group of businesses about
the mission of his specific organization, and how they fit into the overall
scheme of our government operating day-to-day. This gentleman presenter is in
fact a dynamic, informative and articulate presenter, and a gentleman. He is
also a retired Marine Colonel (Oo-rah!) whose son is a Marine
serving our country. Those that know me, know I have many friends in the Corps
and have a high level of respect for Marines in general (Yes, this is me
setting the stage for what come next.).
Remember free speech? Not when you launch into a verbal assault consisting of
a staccato of whine-based questions that have little relevance to the topic
at-hand. Not on my watch.
In a nutshell, one of the guests took an accusatory tone (that tone would
be whining) with the presenter as to the contracting practices of
government agencies which basically did not include some consideration
(awards) to this assailants company. This inappropriate line of
questions was obviously not intended to secure an answer from the presenter
since this wannabe Geraldo Rivera spewed out his comments one after the
other with barely a pause in between.
Basically, he was picking a fight.
Needless to say, if the disgusted in that room had been glaring at him
through Red Dot Scopes, he'd have been lit up like a holiday ornament.
It wasn't what he said, but the manner (or lack thereof) in which it
was served up. It was discourteous and disrespectful and was uncalled for. The
same questions posed in almost any other way, might have gotten him a
knucklehead award instead of the Jerk-of-the-Day award.
The funny part is that he doesn't even realize how much damage he did to his
company (did I mention that he's the CEO?).
In addition to a friend that works for a very well-known and very large
defense contractor that has already removed that company from the "call list",
there were two other senior managers from two other similar organizations that
intended to do the same. Not to mention the government agency official whom he
Want to know how many phone calls and emails of support we've received for
how the situation was handled? Lots!