Once Bitten Twice Shy

Once bitten twice shy is a great, and fairly common saying. It is an idiom that means if somebody is said to be once bitten twice shy, it means that a person who has been hurt, or who has had something happen to them that was life-changing in a not so desirable way then they will be far more careful the next time around. I think everyone has experienced situations such as this. Whether it be a deal you made where you ended up getting cheated out of some money, or a time when you got your heart broken by someone you thought would never hurt you.

Either way it happens and makes a person leery of trusting others for a long while, if ever again. As a small business owner I have experienced many situations in which I was the target of somebody trying to pull the wool over my eyes, and/or screw me out of some money. At one point in time a few years ago, I had a small crew of people working on a job for me in Rolla Mo. while myself and another crew member were working on a different job in St. Robert.

I trusted the crew members that I left alone without supervision because they were all hard and honest workers, at least I thought they were. I had been leaving this crew on the Rolla job for about two weeks with very little supervision from myself. The only time I really stopped by there was to drop off more material, and take a quick look around at the work they were doing and all was well. That is until I got a call one afternoon from the contractor that I was doing this job for.

The call started with me getting an ass chewing like I had never had before, and caught me totally off guard. After some time on the phone with this man I kind of figured out what was going on. It seems one of my crew members that I had been leaving alone on the job for a while was planning to screw me over. They had been sabotaging my job in hopes that they would be able to show the contractor the shoddy work that was going on behind his back so that he would fire me and hopefully hire them to replace me.

Well, luckily I had known the contractor for years and after some smooth talking I convinced him that I would finish the job personally and fire the member of my crew that caused these problems. So, the plan backfired for the sneaky crew member. Not only did they not get hired by the contractor, but they lost the steady job they already had. Even though this situation didn’t turn out all that badly for me, it still caused me some friction with the contractor, and caused me to never have the same level of trust in my employees ever again.

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