I once had a boss who, at the end of my 11-hour day, told me he wanted my desk cleaned in two days.
Yes, my workspace was a mess. Only problem was, his could have made a seamless appearance on “Sanford & Son.”
Sleep deprivation gave me the courage to note the hypocrisy, at which point he went all intellectual on me.
“Well, I’m the boss,” he offered.
Now, unlike the guy I once worked for, Chad Knaus has actually accomplished something meaningful in his life. But no matter the boss, one concept is constant. All you ask of him is to make the same demands of himself that he’ll ask of you. If he doesn’t, blood pressures start to rise, and production starts to wane.
Saturday night I was checking out “NASCAR Performance” with Larry McReynolds, Bootie Barker and Knaus. And as much as I tried to pay attention to Barker’s detailed explanation of positive and negative camber, I just couldn’t take my eyes off Knaus’ shoes.
Yes, his shoes. Knaus went on national television wearing what appeared to be low-top Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers.
Normally, I wouldn’t care one lick if a man chasing middle age wanted to show up on TV or anywhere else looking like a wannabe hipster. The problem is that Knaus runs a ship so tight he makes Sgt. Hartman from “Full Metal Jacket” look like a pansy.
A crewman who is the least bit unshaven on race day can be dressed down by Knaus, something that has been caught by television cameras. Why does Knaus feel he can be so flippant about his appearance when he shows up for work somewhere?
Life is stressful enough for Knaus’ charges. The man now has a backup for each pit crew member, and mixes and matches whenever he feels someone is under-performing. It is the most grinding experience one can face in a NASCAR garage.
Knaus’ success is unquestioned, but even before the fifth title I suggested that Knaus step down as Jimmie Johnson’s crew chief before this whole thing exploded. It will eventually, and Knaus leaving on top will guarantee that people will only remember the good times.
I can’t help but think of Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, who after years helping lead a stuffy organization has now chosen to rappel off a building dressed as an elf and tend bar wearing a bandana/spiked hair wig in the last year.
I understand his need to unwind. But after going out in public and letting his hair down, he sure as hell better not be snipping about minor dress code violations by anybody on the 25-man roster.
I have a feeling Cashman knows when to avoid, “Do as I say, not as I do.”
Knaus? Not so much.