Okay, I want to tell this story, but I need to be careful about what I say, and how I say it.
I had a coworker at one of the Disney locations I worked who referred to himself, in the third person, as “The Maverick.” Literally. He would enter a room and say, “Uh oh! Here comes the Maverick!”
I may have mentioned here that I don’t have a lot of faith in my own memory as far as dates, times, and important tasks go. Sci-Fi movies, dialog from The Simpsons, and times I’ve been insulted, those I remember for life. I need to write everything else down. So, I always carried a notebook with me at work, and would jot down notes as needed.
One day, The Maverick saw me writing down a reminder about something and confronted me about it. It seems at his previous location, in one of the theme parks, his coworkers had taken detailed notes of his “activities,” creating a paper trail that led to his being given the choice of either transferring out of that specific area, or being terminated.
I can’t say what he was doing wrong without getting into a lot more detail than I can here, but I can tell you that he was NOT endangering anybody’s safety, management was right to threaten to fire him, and the guests who complained were all from the same racial background. I know all this because he told me what he did, proudly, still utterly convinced that he was right.
Stories like this are why I believe, deep in my heart, that in any line of work where the jobs are filled by human beings, there will be a certain number of them who are incompetent or deranged enough to be a problem, but not quite enough to have been fired yet. We tend to overestimate the numbers of these problem people, because they’re the ones we hear about, either in amusing anecdotes, or on the evening news.