Robert Parker, Jr., spent his entire wine career adhering to very a strict rule; namely, he’s paid his own way.
This has allowed for him to candidly say and write whatever he’s wanted. As a consequence, his reviews and assessments have always been from a very pure, unencumbered place.
When he decided that he needed to branch out and hire employees, he gave his new people their parameters, based on his established ethics (one can only imagine). These ethics created the reputation. Very simply put, any employee (including Jay Miller – whom is no longer in Parker’s employ and has set the wine world reeling with opinions) is representing his or her boss. Simply put, “If you don’t like the heat, get out of the kitchen.” For anyone becoming a Parker associate, it means that you’ve stepped onto a very visible stage, and the responsibility is yours to adhere to the rules and regulation. You, too, will eventually get a shiny star if you “represent.” When you step outside of the rules, however, you’re skating on thin ice.
This is just life, period.
I’m an employer, and if I’m going to take the time to train someone and give that person a chance to develop and bloom and represent me, that person owes me the respect of adhering to the rules (and I have very few). If she or he isn’t happy, the door is right there, and I don’t hold anyone back. Down the drain goes all of my training, caring, etc., but please move on. Employers are used just as much as employees use their employers. When it’s for mutual benefit, everything prospers and grows. When the party’s over, as it seems to have been for Jay (regardless of who’s pulled the plug), it’s time to move on.
THE DEBATE: Is it appropriate to have junkets?
- Sure, just as long as you haven’t signed onto a code of ethics that says, “The money you’re earning from me also needs to be used for your travels. Do NOT, I repeat, do not take any money from anyone for your travels.”
THE BIG QUESTION: If an employer has launched you and your cache is built from someone else’s payroll, when you become a free agent to do whatever you want to, do you believe that standing is going to instantly follow you?
THE BIG ANSWER: No, it won’t. There will have to be a readjustment time, so you’d better have some reserves. (Been there, done that, and got plenty of scars/good stories in the process.) If you don’t believe this, just reflect on when the Beatles broke up. They were a worldwide, wild sensation as a group; individually, they all had to start over. Yes, they had some cache, but the audience for them now had to choose sides…