We've all been there. Overworked. Under appreciated. Fed up with it all. And then some little thing enters the equation to cause a flare up. On the "Duck Dynasty" episode of "Si-yonara" Uncle Si became unhappy with his working conditions quickly and let the guys know that he wasn't going to be around for them to kick around any longer. So... he quit Duck Commander...
(A quick aside: Although each of the Robertsons are distinct characters on the show -- and rest assured, they sure are some amusing characters -- Si may be the most eccentric. Opinionated and vocal, his Si-isms are classic butcherings of the English language, not to mention old sayings, cliches, and mangled mixed metaphors and malapropisms. Like Barney Fife on "The Andy Griffith Show," he is an integral part of what makes "Duck Dynasty" work as a reality show comedy. So if anyone was worried the Si's leaving the warehouse would mean less time on the show, fear not. The show just wouldn't be the same without him. Besides, instead of hanging out with the warehouse gang, he could hang out with brother Phil, the patriarch of the Robertson clan and quite the character (a master of the deadpan comment) himself.)
The guys were playing cards, basically ignoring him. He got aggravated because he couldn't find his tea glass. The guys assured him they hadn't taken it or hid it; they didn't know where it was. Si got angry and walked out, saying he quit. (That's right; he quit over a glass of tea.) The guys were so busy with their card game that they noticed his absence only when the duck call part he was responsible for -- the reed, a sliver of material cut just so to give the call its distinctive sound -- ran out and they needed more.
Meanwhile, Si made his way over to his brother Phil's house. Si explained what happened. Phil asked Si what he was going to do now that he was through making duck calls. Si said he would help Phil work around the Robertson property, because it didn't matter to him how he made his money, just as long as he got a paycheck.
Over at the warehouse, Jase (part of the warehouse crew, Phil's son, Si's nephew, and the boss' brother) let Willie (the boss) know that Si had left the building, quitting his job once again. Willie said he'd tell payroll to stop his checks. Jase said he'd already done that. Willie told him he couldn't do that, because he, Jase, wasn't the boss; he was. So Jase asked what he was going to do. Willie said the first thing he was going to do was tell payroll to stop paying Uncle Si. (Yeah, business is often conducted in such a roundabout manner at the Duck Commander warehouse -- and you just know Willie Robertson didn't turn the business into a multi-million dollar entity via such comedic runarounds, but it sure is amusing watching the Robertson brothers play the one-upmanship game.)
Willie phoned Si to get him to come back to work but Si told Willie he was now working with Phil.
The next day, Phil and Si traveled out to an area on Robertson land where they're shoring up some ground to make it more resistant to leakage. After watching Red, a family friend, operate a backhoe for a few minutes, Si informed Phil that he could do a better job, that he had operated every kind of machinery there was while in Vietnam. (Phil mused that that had been quite a few years back, but Si assured him it was like riding a bike.) Red had no objections and Si climbed into the cab of the earth mover and started pulling levers.
A few minutes later, after Si had scored a ditch that was allowing trapped water to escape and had swung the big shovel around just enough to have Phil and Red fear getting slammed by the massive metal bucket, Si declared the machine a "piece of junk." Red resumed his work.
Over at the warehouse, Willie, determined to prove the Si is replaceable, interviewed a reed-cutter and hired him. Named "Swede," the guys were skeptical of his fitting into the group after they established he had a nonsensical nickname (he wasn't Swedish, so why the name?). In the warehouse, he was competent enough, but Jase found the guy annoying when he wouldn't stop talking.
But when Jase went in to tell Willie he had to hire Si back, Willie was all about praising Swede's work. But Swede had already decided he didn't want to work for Duck Commander. Meanwhile, Si had showed up at Duck Commander to get paid, because Phil refused to pay him for destroying the work Red had done. He was there telling Swede how awful the job he had was (with Willie attempting to get him to stop disparaging the job) when the Swede said he had actually come to Willie's office to tell him he was quitting. As soon as he left, Si and Willie began haggling over Si's return. Si asked for a raise and got it. His other demands were met with a deaf ear.
At show's end, when the family gathered to eat, Si asked where the guys put his tea glass. Jase, exasperated, told him that nobody knew where his tea glass was.
"Duck Dynasty" airs on AETV on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. (EST).
Take Home Message: Sometimes, as the saying goes, you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone (also a great song by Cinderella). In the case of Si leaving his job at the warehouse, the guys didn't fully appreciate Si's absence just because a cog in their assembly line was missing. It was having to deal with the oddness of a replacement cog that made them appreciate Si, his sense of humor, and his eccentricities. And brother Phil didn't appreciate Si's working elsewhere until he came to work with him. In the end, he did seem to have a good time working with him -- until that swinging backhoe shovel came his way and he messed up Red's work. Still, Si just wanted some appreciation. And, truthfully, sometimes all we're looking for is a little affirmation. Taking people for granted after you've grown accustomed to their presence is part of the normal course of events in relationships. We just have to remember that we must sometimes step back and give a little credit where it is due to keep those closest to us happy -- whether their friends or colleagues or co-workers or family, or all of the above.