I Can’t Shut Up About Bob

by Rachel Laffer

DEC 11, 2017

As I currently sit in front of my laptop, I’m awkwardly pointing my index finger at my face and reminding myself out loud on repeat to “Shut up, Rachel.” I prefer to do this in the privacy of my own home, so as not to upset the general public. It was bad enough when I decided to brave a Target run the day after I got my face lasered and traumatized a small child in the frozen food section.

I’ve always envied people who, in the face of disagreement or injustice, could calmly take a deep breath and “sleep on it.” My brother, who’s always disappointingly nodding his head at his little sister, is one of these calm, collected types — unflinched by long silences, customized Starbucks orders, statement T-shirts, people who cut in line, loud cell phone talkers, and even unruffled by personal attacks or conclusions that beggar belief. And then there are the gun jumpers, the Mexican telenovela types like me: impulsive, emotional, so horribly unmediated that Deepak Chopra wielding a large mallet couldn’t shut me up.

And that’s the state I’m in today. I’ve tried to sit on my hands, point a finger at my face, and yet, I can’t help myself but to blurt out, “Bob Hall is ‘retiring’? Come on, people, really?!” I was not alone in being inspired by the culture he espoused as RSFA Manager. In my glowing report, “Halls Presence and the Covenant’s Future,” I cooed, “Mr. Hall sees himself as a facilitator and mediator — to remove roadblocks when needed, but otherwise provide just enough guidance and support so that staff get on with what they need to do on their own.” Perhaps this working style was at odds with the one Mike Licosati describes in “Cronyism Returns to the Ranch,” where he warns that Board members’ “micromanaging” and “helicopter bossing” of RSFA staff would lead to the latter’s departure, “as few true professionals will work long term under such conditions.”

I suppose I can speculate until I’ve conspiracy-theoried myself into a Ted Kazinsky tizzy where I forget to bathe and am obsessed with crop circles — but it’s not going to bring Bob back. And I guess I could read the tea leaves until I’m steeped and stink of an old British royals dental work — but I don’t know what the Board’s current plan is for Bob’s replacement. That said, I sure can think of a good one.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Christy Whalen. Instead of lighting money on fire and hiring a fancy executive search firm, why don’t we choose someone whom we already know. Christy knows the Ranch inside and out and from every angle. And, hey, she’s already been to this Ranch rodeo before, as we all know she was interim RSFA manager after Bob Overton left and before Bob Hall was hired. Christy has proven she can assume the role and be extremely competent in the position. She’s been with the RSFA since 2015 and has over 30 years of experience in leadership roles, project management and communications. Maybe Ms. Whalen doesn’t want to throw her hat in the ring, but I think there are a lot of members who would do it for her. With so much change and tumult in the recent past and a lot of work and progress ahead of us, I think we should stick with what we know. And Ms. Whalen is a natural.

Ok, I’ll shut up now.

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