We are all familiar with Captain Richard Phillips and his run in with the Somali Pirates but I feel a certain closeness to the situation. You see, when the whole ordeal was going on, I worked for a company based just a few miles from the Captain's home in Vermont.
The manufacturer I worked for also hired many Somali's from the local refugee population settled in Vermont. I had many conversations about their families back home, what it is like to be in Vermont compared to their country, and even their Muslim religion.
So when I heard about the Captain's capture I felt a connection. It was as if I could put a face on those involved, but that is not what this blog is about. It is about a business principle that says "you want the right person, on the right bus, in the right seat" A principle that challenges you to efficiently direct your assets.
This is a story about one of my Somali friends who was the "Wrong person, in the wrong seat, definitely the WRONG BUS"... We will call him Seth just for anonymity purposes. Seth was a production foreman for this company. The company was in the process of moving from one town to another but had not fully moved yet. Manufacturing had all moved but until a week before this incident we were operating part of the warehouse from a site 26 miles away. It felt good to finally have the warehouse moved and although it was not on site with manufacturing it was in a rented space some 3 miles away.
It was the off shift and Seth was missing a few components for a order on the line. He knew we had more in the warehouse so the easy fix was to get in his car and drive to the warehouse and retrieve what they needed.
He had not ever been to the off site warehouse but got directions and was on his way. Now as with most rented warehouse spaces the building we were in housed five different businesses. When Seth pulled into the parking lot he was faced with a decision. Which door leads to our warehouse? Then he noticed a awning over one of the doors and printed on it was the address of our warehouse so logically he thought "This must be the place"
He went to the door and was suprised that it was unlocked so he opened it and walked right on in. Immediately he doubted the choice he had made because instead of a warehouse full of components all he could see were men sitting at desks. A quick look around the room he noticed a set of steel doors at the far end of the room and he was back on track. "That must be the way to the warehouse" and set out for those doors. About half way across the room he was forcefully grabbed by a couple of the men. You see Seth was not in our warehouse. He was close though, just one door away from where he needed to be.
Seth was forcefully removed from the room he had walked into... in handcuffs. When you are of Somali descent close in not good enough. Especially when the offices you walked into were for the Enforcement Division for Homeland Security...
So you can say "Seth was the wrong person, in the wrong seat, and definitely ON THE WRONG BUS"