Sometime after your first year with your company, you start to settle in. All the onboarding is complete, the honeymoon is over and you've accurately assessed your job as a mix of positives and negatives. If you're still there and not on the market after a year, that generally means you're content. Hopefully you're learning and things are starting to click related to your role and how you can have success.
Another thing happens after the one year mark - you've settled into a clear understanding of who your teammates are, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and if applicable, the circumstances/topics/conditions that will make them absolutely self-destruct.
You're a good teammate - so you've likely tried to make the self-imploding teammate aware of his self-destructive, hot button issues.
So you do what a reasonable human would do after getting nowhere. They next time the mushroom cloud is getting ready to go up, you grab some popcorn, a Fresca and get ready to watch the show.
That's what happened to Buster Posey (catcher of professional baseball's San Francisco Giants) last week. A hothead teammate picked a fight with an opponent, and Buster decided to take this scrum off. If you don't see the picture below, enable pictures or click through to the site to see the setup. Buster's the one that's standing behind home plate while the #### is getting ready to go down:
Pretty good analysis from the Mercury News in the Bay area:
Oh, crap. Why do I have to deal with this knucklehead? Whatever.
Buster Posey can say whatever he wishes with his own words about what happened Monday afternoon. He can speak out loud and put his own spin on the way Giants’ reliever Hunter Strickland’s purpose-pitch hit Washington Nationals’ star Bryce Harper in the butt and sparked a bench-clearing meltdown. But anyone who watched Posey’s body language during the play could read and see exactly what was happening inside his brain.
Really, dude? And you expect me to defend you after . . . that?
The unwritten rules of Major League Baseball decree that when an angry batter leaves the box and charges at the pitcher, the catcher is supposed to sprint out and make an effort to hold back the batter before he reaches the mound.
Posey did just the opposite when Strickland plunked Harper, who reacted with a stare and then a sprint toward the pitching rubber. Watch the video. Watch Posey. As Harper storms toward Strickland, the Giants’ catcher actually takes a half step backward, not forward. Then he watches.
You’re on your own, pal. I can’t believe this. But you deserve whatever happens next.
As everyone knows, Posey is the center of gravity inside the Giants’ room. He has been almost since 2010 when he joined the team full time. He calls the pitches on the field. He calls out teammates when needed. He has a dry and wicked sense of humor but is a very serious man. We don’t see everything that happens when the locker room door shuts. But you get the impression that before any other Giants’ player speaks up, he at least glances over to Posey to see how he’s reacting.
Odds are you've got a couple of people like that pitcher in your organization. They've got talent. But they've got a hot button that limits them career-wise. You've probably already gotten splatter on you from the fallout when you tried to help them. Either they lashed out at you or someone else in the organization accused you of being in their camp.
At some point, you have to back away, let them implode and let nature take its course. It's Darwinian in nature. They've got a flaw and try as you might, you can't help - and you certainly can't fix it. They couldn't adapt.
You're a vet now. Sometimes you have to do what Posey did. Just let it happen and stay above the fray.
The honeymoon is over, right?