The Kansas City Star's Kent Babb has a massive -- and we mean huge -- piece on the anxiety around the Chiefs' headquarters and operations. If you'd care to have a look -- the chief theme is that GM Scott Pioli has created a culture of fear, paranoia and worse -- you can read all 3,800-plus words right here. Here are a few snips to get you going:
Some of [Pioli's] changes involved shutting off access and protecting information. Non-football employees, including those who had worked for the Chiefs for decades, were told that they weren’t allowed on certain floors, or in certain areas of the team facility. Business-side staffers with an office window facing the practice fields were made to keep their shades drawn during practices. The team president was no exception. A security guard made the rounds during practices, sometimes interrupting phone calls and meetings to lower shades.
During his first year, Pioli noticed a candy wrapper in a back stairwell and waited to see how long it took to be picked up. About a week passed, and it remained in the stairwell. He placed the wrapper in an envelope, and during a meeting of department heads, Donovan, then the team’s chief operating officer, brandished the wrapper as evidence of the attention to detail that Chiefs employees had grown to ignore. ... Pioli also sent a memo with detailed instructions, including which stairway to use and which doorway to enter, when using the facility’s gym.
When Pioli took over the Chiefs, he seemed determined to eliminate the chance of a competitor spying on his team. This past November, a security guard noticed a sedan stopped on Lancer Lane, a public road that runs adjacent to the Chiefs’ practice fields, as the team’s morning session was beginning. The driver took a photograph on his cell phone, and the guard ran toward him, standing there until the man deleted the picture. As the guard returned to his post, he told a Star reporter that, if the man hadn’t erased the photo, the guard would’ve confiscated the phone.
When some staffers wanted to speak candidly, they set appointments with coworkers to meet outside the building so they could talk face-to-face. Others, trying to skirt an impression that employees shouldn’t fraternize with those from different departments, occasionally left the facility at different times, in different cars, so that team administrators wouldn’t know they were having lunch together.
Suburban Applebee's did report a spike in sales starting in January 2009, so you draw your own conclusions. Please do read the full story. At the very least, it gives us an excuse to post that picture and link to Rockwell's classic song.
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