Got a ‘bad apple’? Here’s how to deal with ‘em!

Ok, so you got a bad guy around…one of those  dudes that is always at the bottom of trouble.

Well, I have certainly been around enough of those fellows particularly during my early days when I was in my twenties and full of pee and vinegar. One guy was a big strong driver who looked like a tackle for the Green Bay Packers.  If he didn’t get his way he would resort to a very disturbing array of violence and/or cunning. He was smart as a whip. He knew no rules; thought they were for other people. He had to be the center of attention, and if he wasn’t, he’d find a way to be. He also could weave so called friends around his finger, making them feel like he would do anything for them because he really liked them. However, he liked no one but himself. Through his cunning ways, he manipulated both men and women.
Humpy Wheeler
He exerted power, bearing and to some, importance. He was a good race driver with a lot of natural skill. Between his strong physique, brain and driving ability, some even thought he would be a great driver down the road.

He caused other promoters and me big problems. If he won a race he rubbed it in the other drivers’ face; if he lost, he blamed them or the scoring of our officials. I once black flagged him and sent him to the rear because he spun the second place car out. He recruited another driver and tried to block the track at the start finish line. When another promoter caught him cheating and disqualified him, he recruited a dozen other top drivers the next week, and they parked their race cars at the entrance to the pits.

Once I learned when an out of town driver won three in a row he paid a back marker to take the guy out. I confronted him in a one on one meeting and simply told him my track was just a little quarter mile, but it wasn’t big enough for both of us and I wasn’t going anywhere. He got infuriated and told me he’d never come back there, and I would go broke without him. Well, thank goodness he made good his promise and didn’t come back. Life became bearable again

We’ve all had this type and what do you do?

First, just watch any old Western particularly with John Wayne or Clint Eastwood. The bad guy is just like that driver and just keeps getting worse until….yep, the hero steps in and sets him in his place at the end of his fists, usually in the bar room. Well, this isn’t the days of the Wild West so you can’t ask the guy out for a duel at the OK Corral.

What you must do is first understand him. This dude is a narcissist, named after the god Narcissus who looked in the pool of water and saw his own reflection and fell in love.

This is a serious mental problem but there is a lot of it around…like the flu…narcissists are people who are in love with themselves and no one else. As a matter of fact, they may act like they love others but that is just a ruse to use others for their own gain. Some of our most devious criminals were afflicted of this as well as politicians, government leaders, actors and actresses, etc.

I learned, thankfully, to recognize this trait years ago and can tell you that there is no way to effectively deal with these people except to be rid of them. Now, if they are your boss, business associate, etc., that is a big problem because they are welded to you, but just knowing what they are can help you a lot even though they are also very vindictive people.

Now if they are a competitor at your track, then you can do something. These are people you have to come down hard on and never let them know that they can bully you or your officials around. Sooner or later they get the message and take their affliction where the going is easier.

I know one track operator that had a car owner like this. He had three top drivers and they were big draws. He kept threatening to keep them at home if he didn’t get his way. One race his lead driver took a crowd favorite out with a vicious hit to the left rear which sent him end over end. The promoter suspended the driver for six weeks. The car owner said if he couldn’t race he would keep his cars home. The promoter told him to do so and the owner did. The following week the promoter heard strong evidence that this owner had told the driver to take the crowd favorite out. Learning that, the promoter suspended the car owner for two years….one narcissist down the tube! The guy never came back to the track and the promoter lived happily ever after.

These people are really hard to deal with. You simply don’t need them. Life is tough enough. Treat them like consecutive rain outs and you will be much happier!


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