I am supposed to be in Portland, Oregon this morning. I should be having breakfast in my hotel, the Hyatt Place Portland Airport/Cascade Station, and then getting in my rental car and driving to Salem, where I would have the opportunity to lunch with SAIF employees as well as John and Kim Plotkin. Yes, I am supposed to be in Oregon.

But I’m not. Good thing I never told anyone I was coming. They will never be the wiser.

I made the decision Sunday. John and Kim Plotkin were having an open lunch at Bentleys Grill in Salem on July 1st, and I was going to be there. If you’ve been under a rock you may not know about the saga of John Plotkin, who was unjustly terminated after just 3 months as SAIF’s CEO.

Unfortunately bad weather in Tampa last night meant delayed flights and missed connections. After learning that I would not be able to reach Portland until late the next afternoon, I cancelled my arrangements and returned home.

Why would I fly across the country to have lunch with people I have never met? Good question, and I have pondered that a bit. I wrote my original article about John Plotkin right after his termination, and I thought I was done with the story. But then the comments started. Employees angry at what had happened flooded in. I’ve discussed this before, and won’t dwell on the details here, but that response is what drew me deeper into this saga.

I have had some people suggest I should attend the 100 year celebration that SAIF is throwing today, or commenting that they wish I could be at the Plotkin lunch. I had no business at the 100 year event, and announcing I was attending such would have simply made this story about me. And you see, this isn’t a story about me, and although he clearly made a huge impression in his short time as CEO, it is not really a story about John Plotkin. This is a story about employees; remarkable employees, with greater integrity and ethical standards than the people they work for. It is a story about a group of people who, absent the Governors intervention and correction, are collectively better than the company that currently employs them.  That is a rare phenomenon, indeed. Attending the lunch unannounced would’ve been a chance to physically show my support without altering the focus, and an opportunity to put faces to the nameless who have been expressing their displeasure, and clearly deserve better.

Sadly for me, that will have to wait for another time and place. I hope they reserved a fairly big table. I suspect they are going to need it.


For a list of Bob’s other SAIF/Plotkin articles (as well as a couple old AASCIF articles that get picked up in the search), Click here.

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