Some kid thought that school should have had a snow day, but the school decided not to have a snow day.  The kid left a message on the home phone of the school administrator.  The school admin’s wife heard it and fired one back … leaving a message on the kid’s phone.  It was pretty rabid.  Take a listen:

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4178986&affil=ktrk

In case the video link dies, here is what Candy Tistadt (the wife of the school admin) said to Dave Kori (the student):

“This message is for Dave Kori.  How dare you call us at home.  If you’ve got a problem with going to school you do not call somebody’s house and complain about it.  My husband was up at 4 o’clock this morning trying to decide the best thing to do to send you to school on a day when the weatherman is calling for one thing and another thing happened.  You don’t begin to know what you’re talking about.  And don’t you ever call here again.  My husband has been at the office since 6:30 this morning.  So don’t you even suggest that he purposely didn’t answer his phone.  He is out almost every single night of the week at meetings for snotty-nosed little brats.  And he may not have called you but it is not because he is home.  It’s because it snowed.  Get over it kid and go to school.  Get an education.  That’s what you’re there for.”

At the end of the video, Peter Jennings says, “the school administrator says that the experience has been embarrasing; it’s just plain horrible for his wife and they both have learned a hard lesson about the long arm of the web.”

There are always two sides to a story.  The student is 17 years old.  I would love to hear his voice message.  It might give more insight as to why this wife left her’s.  But regardless of what the student said, the wife should never have returned the favor.  Or if she did, she should have been much nicer about it.

I took a few negotiation classes for my MBA degree.  One of the biggest lessons I learned about life came from those classes.  In the beginning, we all thought negotiation was about being the toughest … who could drive the hardest bargin and how you could undercut the opposition.  But as the course went along, we learned that people held grudges even though this was just a class.  We eventually learned to be nice when negotiating.

And then there was this one simulation that turned everything right side up.  Both parties in the negotiation had legitimate beefs with the other.  They were at an impasse.  But the “winner” of the negotiation would be the party who kept level-headed … who forgave … who asked forgiveness.  There were no monetary gains to be made for making such concessions.  Rather, it was simply the right thing to do.

And so when I hear that the school admin and his wife learn a hard lesson about the long arm of the web, I think they learned the wrong lesson.  Instead, they should have learned that it’s better to be nice because it’s the right thing to do.