The New Hire

Like so many others, he came out of the Vietnam “sadness,” deeply scarred by his experiences. He was a medic, a hero, and ready to get on with his life. When he came to me looking for a job, he was not yet ready to take on more battles and wanted something to do that was entirely different from anything he had done in the past.

It only took minutes for me to know I would hire him, and when I did, he asked, “why do you hire me since I have no experience with children?”

I told him it was no problem and not to worry. I would help him learn. I knew then that he was a gift coming into our life. And, maybe, we were a gift in his life? 

In no time, he became a member of my inner circle. If a job needed doing, he took it on. If he needed help, he asked and was given what he needed. No task was undertaken without him also taking full responsibility. Other staff members recognized him as a leader and readily cooperated with him. He led in whatever he was called upon to do. 

Our staff was in training for over six months before the Youth Hotel opening, and he facilitated them earning some money doing various jobs for the hotel. He made it easy for Lenette and me to do our jobs, her to design and outfit, and me to deal with the administration and other details.

Sometime later, Hilton Corp. purchased the International Resort and Hotel. The Youth Hotel died soon after, as did the Hotel itself. We moved on, and as a result of fulfilling a request to study a failing resort at Lake Tahoe, we were hired to implement the program we designed. I chose a select crew to join us at Lake Tahoe. I wanted the best people to ensure that the family program we designed would succeed.

The vet that did such a remarkable job for us in Las Vegas and my other inner circle members came to take over and operate what was a tennis club (29 tennis courts), condos, apartments, restaurant and bar, pools, and other resort facilities. I selected our vet to be the marketing director, a job he had never done before. 

He began slowly but picked up speed as his experience grew. In time he achieved a near miracle with articles in airline magazines and other media, and our resort filled up with reservations for the coming summer. Other members of our inner circle did their job as if pros in the resort business for years. A full house was expected, but it rained all that summer, so cancelations came as fast as the raindrops.

No problem, as he sold out the resort for the coming winter snow scene. Once again, we had a full house of reservations, but, as luck would have it, the rain continued all that winter, meaning no snow and canceled reservations. The resort owner offered to sell it to us for pennies on the dollar. This was during the Carter period, and high-interest rates made it impossible to find an investor. We sadly let it go, and we moved the Inner circle into our home while Lenette and I left for our seven-and-one-half-month Mexico adventure. 

Our vet and former marketing director found a job with a major Casino and Resort Corporation. It took a while, but he was recognized as an exceptional talent and began his upward climb in a very tough business. He ended up head of marketing and sales. He earned it.

I admire this guy—He was like my son so soon—He is that today


Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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