Saturday, December 22, 2012

Kübler-Ross Model Nailed It

I've been waiting for the appropriate time to share and I suppose now is as good as any.

American Foodservice, hub's employer for 13 years, has sold.  A family owned business for 26 years, they made the decision last week to sell to a regional player, Reinhart Foods.  They have gone from a 125 employee locally owned business to a 14,000 employee, largest privately owned food service distribution company in the country.  Yeah - quite a difference.

I have quite a bit of experience with M&As, consulting with private equity firms that are purchasing organizations.  It's a little bit different to be on the other side.... and on the impacted end.

Suffice it to say, we've gotten really good at yoga breathing over the course of the last few weeks.  Deep breaths, calming chi, all that jazz.  So far it's working pretty well.  And the acquisition has caused some bumps in the road but otherwise seems to provide some advantages to hubs, so we are happy about that.

But I had forgotten that the employees of the impacted acquisition actually grieve the change.  Full five stages and everything.  When they first hear the news, they are in shock.  Total disarray for about 5 minutes.  Cannot believe what they are hearing.  Complete denial.  And then.... the ANGER.  I can't believe I was loyal to you and you sold the company, anger.  Everyone gets there eventually.  Slowly, they move into bargaining - trying to figure out what could have been done to have not sold the company (even though it's totally out of their hands).  Slowly, move into sadness.  This one may take awhile.  And finally.... acceptance.  It is what it is.  There is nothing I could do to make it any different.

Long term?  We don't know.  We are relying on faith.  Going with the flow.  Every day is a new change, a new adjustment for hubs.  And I have to say, as much crap as I give him for requiring structure, he is battling through all the changes beautifully well.  I'm not so sure I could handle it that well.  And the unknown... well, it's definitely lingering in the back of both of our minds.  

But we can't live in fear.  Because that's not living at all.

I gave Kate a necklace when Jeremy left for boot camp that aptly said "One Day at a Time".  I think I might have to borrow that mantra for awhile.  A simple reminder that sometimes you just have to get through that day and allow yourself to feel the success of it rather than worry about the future days ahead.

So as Christmas inches closer, I'm even more grateful that we have a warm home, food in our fridge and are able to provide for our family in the manner in which we do.  And I'm unafraid of change (so I keep telling myself over and over)... if we have to change, we will.  And we will still have a warm home, food in fridge and will provide for our family.  We are warriors and will continue on.

Have a great Saturday, friends.  Stay warm today - it's freezing in the Midwest! I have started my 5 day vacation of hibernation and I'm totally excited about that.  I have no intention of leaving the house other than to visit the P's on Sunday.  Yep - just call me a hermit!


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