Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tiger Mike: A Special Kind of Employee Relations

Edward Mike Davis ran a tight ship at Tiger Oil Company, and these memos from 1977-78 prove it. He employed what can only be described as a special, very special, brand of employee relations. First, a hat tip to my Mason law classmate (and fellow employment lawyer), Derek Bottcher of Paul Hastings for alerting me to this comedic gold mine.

As background, Mike Davis was the owner of Tiger Oil Company and he distributed these memos addressing various workplace situations. You really should read through the entire collection linked above. But, I have pulled out some highlights for your amusement:

Tiger Mike on Job Screening:
I am not fond of hippies, long-hairs, dope fiends or alcoholics. I suggest each and every person in a supervisory category (from driller up to me) eliminate these people . . . . Anyone who lets their hair grow below their ears to where I can't see their ears means they don't wash. If they don't wash, they stink, and if they stink, I don't want the son-of-a-bitch around me.
Tiger Mike on Office Communications
Do not speak to me when you see me. If I want to to speak to you, I will do so. I want to save my throat. I don't want to ruin it by saying hello to all of you sons-of-bitches.
And
I swear, but since I am the owner of this company, that is my privilege, and this privilege is not to be interpreted as the same for any employee.
And
Don't talk about other people and other things in this office. DO YOUR JOBS AND KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!
Tiger Mike on Birthdays
[T]here will be no more birthday celebrations, birthday cakes, levity, or celebrations of any kind within the office. This is a business office.
Tiger Mike on Tiger Mike

So, what separates Mike from your run-of-the-mill employee? I think he sums it up best himself, "There is one thing that differentiates me from my employees. I am a known son-of-a-bitch, and I care to remain that way."

Posted by Philip Miles, an employment lawyer with McQuaide Blasko in State College, Pennsylvania.