A couple weeks back, I looked into the bloody implosion of the Santa Fe Tequila Company's two-outlet chain. And while talking with partner William Kennedy and getting the inside story on exactly how and why this concept had failed so spectacularly and so quickly, I also got from him a personal assurance that everyone he'd employed at SFTC was going to get the money that was owed to them -- even if it had to come out of his own pocket.
Everyone will "absolutely get paid," he told me. And I quoted him saying it.
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Well, I was apparently remiss in getting a guarantee of precisely when said payments might be forthcoming -- because people haven't yet got their green. I know this because of several comments left on my original blogs from people saying that they haven't been paid, and from e-mails from employees who are saying the same thing. Not only that, but these workers say they're also getting the cold shoulder from Kennedy and partner Joe Falco, with phone calls not being taken and messages going unreturned.
The only information that is coming is from former managers, who've been passing on what little they know and getting the front-line troops in a lather with stories about equipment liquidations, all the partners' money going to $600-an-hour lawyers and no one getting paid, for legal reasons, until at least January 10.
And this isn't fair because these guys -- the ones who rearranged deck chairs while the ship went down -- just want to know when (and if) they're finally going to see something for their labor.
So here's an idea for Kennedy and Falco: Talk to your people. Let them know what's really going on. No more talking through ex-management. No more leaking info like this was the Watergate investigation. No more rumors. Just talk straight about what's happening now. And if there are problems? Let the crew know. Because any news, even if it's bad news, is better than no news, and anything is better than a rumor. If nothing else, at least your guys will know the truth. -- Jason Sheehan