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Guess who?

A couple of beers at a Caribbean beach bar is always an ideal setting for a catch-up chat.

In July 2014 I did exactly that with a guy who was dejected and disillusioned. He had just fallen from a lofty perch and although crestfallen he was determined to claw back lots of lost ground.

A year earlier he had been booted from a very prestigious job. That dream assignment had initially promised heady success considering the resources he had to work with but that all went pear-shaped on a foreign assignment when specific instructions weren't followed. A sudden and severe fallout ensued.

During my chat this guy was classy enough to not name individuals nor play the blame game but by the completion of our second ice-cold Stag beer it was very apparent he had been double-crossed by those he thought had his back.

He lost his job in a shocking manner after being called for a meeting on a completely different topic. At the end of that benign meeting he was hastily taken aside and informed that his services were no longer required. Suddenly, in a matter of minutes, he was fired and told to leave his post immediately.

Trust and loyalty are two very important attributes in people and when those components break down, hurt prevails. My catchup partner on that calm evening by the sea was hurting. He had been deceived, then dumped, and his outlook was tenuous at best.

He told me that he would have to look at any options that presented themselves in the meantime and slowly start that climb again to reach those lofty heights that he so much enjoyed. Starting immediately to work on the same level was impossible, given that public opinion had scarred.

He was determined. He informed me he had erred and learned plenty. He told me he would get back there and that he loved a challenge. I had known my beer partner for 30 years and had always liked him and his integrity, so I had no reason to doubt him. I remember thinking at the time that he was being optimistic. He would now probably look back on that conversation and agree.

Exactly four years after his well-chronicled axing, and almost three years after our beach bar beers, my mate’s outlook on life is completely different.

He has now achieved something quite sensational and his success is a testament to the stellar bloke he is. He will be rewarded with stability again.

One article I read yesterday paid him a glowing tribute regarding his man-management skills and how he had guided his bunch of "alley cats as they seized the moment".

Mickey Arthur was my drinking partner three years ago and he will now be smiling like a Cheshire cat.

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