I’ll share an example of a necessary deviation from mission statement. There are times where one must involve oneself in situations usually one would not choose to. There are exceptions to the rule. Getting home safely, protecting one’s loved ones, focusing on your intended vision of personal protection…all have forks in the road where decisions must be made where to momentarily deviate from mission statement based on need or necessity.
We had a guest at our business who arrived around American Independence Day. He immediately stood out – flamboyant clothing, strong southern-US accent, exacerbated body movements….I called him Elvis to my wife. He registered, snapped his fingers for his wife to come in and start bringing luggage in. They were here for 2 nights. At breakfast the couple were very animated, arguing at the table before finally leaving with plates barely touched. It was a trend we heard transitioning to the 2nd night they were here.
As guests’ personal dynamic is usually their own and we simply don’t know it, we don’t much choose to get involved, as long as it doesn’t disturb other guests. I’m there to run a successful business, feed & protect my family, and try to make guests have as enjoyable stay as we’re able. That’s my mission statement, and I haven’t had to deviate more than a few times from that mission statement, and only for the sake of the continuity of those 3 previous points. I also wait for proper or sufficient information before making a concrete assessment on a person or their filters, but I’m (as is my wife) pretty keenly-oberservant. Even minimal perception of partner “mistreatment” can sometimes be explainable prior to involving oneself in others’ business unnecessarily. Role-playing. Professional escort. Recent events fully the fault of one of the pair out of our scope of knowledge. These are usually a stretch but worth considering before ending up in an explosive situation not your own.
Last night the arguing hit a peak. Yelling, swearing, condescending and ad hominem remarks, aggressive tone, escalating sound. We had 3 guests here and 2 more arriving shortly. Still, I waited. What finally did it was that she wasn’t an active participant in the conflict, very submissive and transparently trying to calm him down, keep the conflict within the room, and offering up feigned apologies just to cool the atmosphere.
After the last “Mother fucker, I no longer need you in my life!” I intervened. We run a family place where some tranquility is expected and offered. As they were inside the room, I control the time, space, and tone of the coming conflict. It’s not like the street. I positioned myself to the left of the door a few steps back. It blocks off any chance for a right sucker-punch (angle from doorjamb, most people are right-handed and they weren’t out enough for me to see which hand he was), gives anticipatory space for attack (needs to close the gap to strike), and allows me to see if he has any weapon coming out of the door. (Though this sounds romantic and elite, it’s not…all of it happens in an instant and unconsciously after 25 years in the industry) I knocked and heard a “god-fucking-dammit!” *There are times I’ve had a nervous energy, knowing there’s an inevitable conflict coming. Not this time, I could feel some adrenaline, but generally I was pretty calm and fully-controlled. I chalk it up to being in the right, no inhibitors leading up so full capability to manage violence effectively if needed and escalated by the other party.
He answered the door super-submissive and trying to establish the “bro” connection, which I’ve never fallen for with a guy who’s so aggressive towards his wife or partner. I’m pretty clear on my position and I’m rarely swayed when it’s conflict-driven. I also talk with my hands, they’re constantly moving in-between myself and other people, a shield to gauge reaction and space from encroachers. I told him I got that sometimes “shit happens” but we have a business to run. My body language was strong and comfortable, immediately a put-off to him. Once I saw his hands I took a step in and said we could hear them from the house, other guests were next door shortly, and asked if they could keep it down. There were glasses of rye and the bottle on the bed table. He started nervously stuttering and mumbling. I cut him off and said “Anyways, I really don’t want to come back again, neither of us needs the bother.” I squinted my eyes so he’d see what I meant out of his wife’s line of sight. He agreed and apologized, saying he’d give a great review and thanked me for being so “understanding.”
Within 5 minutes, the lights were off, the tv off, and there was complete silence from the room. We didn’t see them until the next morning where they skipped breakfast and tried quickly leaving. I called him, caught up with him, and shook his hand ‘very’ firmly with unwavering eye contact and a sly smile, wishing him safe travels. He caught my glance for just a second and then looked down, reaffirming he’d give us a great review online for our top service. (He didn’t, zero surprise, it was a bargaining chip and misdirection attempt) They were gone. No violence. No guest disturbance. No grand display of aggression or machismo. As clearly it seemed he was an abuser, I cannot control the rest of their relationship and her choice as to whether she stays or not. Just a one-night reprieve with subtle message. Now I return to my regular mission statement. But we had other guests present and listening, a child within unavoidable earshot, no ability to leave, a business in operation, and the potential for great escalating violence right in front of our house. Or maybe, if I stretch enough of my perception, it’s not involving myself in other’s potentially dangerous (to me) scenarios as it would be on the street (how many 3rd-party good Samaritans….), but protecting my family, income-avenue, and clients…not to mention alleviating a potentially-violent act on our property before it happened. Mission-statement in-tact. Remember, sometimes the reach of your mission statement is environmentally-dependent and context-driven. It’s up to you to decide the parameters that that pre-analyzed mission statement extends to and what circumstances will dictate a shift in those parameters.