Monday, October 31, 2011

The Continuing Saga of Senior vs Junior

Many people think that after Paul Teutul Sr. and Paul Teutul Jr. settled the lawsuit that they were locked in for two years, father and son would let bygones be bygones and eventually kiss and make up---WRONG!  To this day, father and son remain estranged. 

Recent episodes of American Chopper:  Sr. vs Jr. now includes an aftershow interview with the Teutuls on both side of the fence, OCC and PJD, and every once in a while the touchy subject of reconciliation comes afore.  Apparently, Senior is more keen on reconciling with Mikey than Junior.  Why is that?

Well, I could think of a couple of reasons:
  1. Mikey is obviously Senior's favorite (in terms of having fun with).
  2. Mikey is the only Teutul who can actually hit Senior in the balls (literally) and get away with it.
  3. Mikey makes Senior laugh (even during his many blowouts).
Senior admitted to the third one in last Monday's episode.  As for the other two, you can go back to the earlier episodes of the show and decide for yourself.

I have just finished reading Senior's business memoir "Ride of a Life Time:  Doing Business the Orange County Chopper Way" and in there you can surmise that Junior is his least favorite son. 


The primary premise of the book is HARD WORK.  Senior pictured himself as a workaholic, who, despite of any carousing the previous night, never missed a day of work.  As a father, Senior wanted to impart the same value to his sons.  He favored his second son Dan to whom he gave the reigns of his ironworks business as someone who is "willing to learn" and had the work ethics to succeed. 

Although he did cite Junior's innovative fabrication genius, he sees him as a know-it-all "who hasn't had to work for much in his life".  About this Senior says:
Not because he's lazy, but because he seems to have a natural ability to do almost anything he wants to do.  When Paulie played football, he was the best player on the team.  Whe ran trace, he was the fastest guy on the team.  When he was competitively weightlifting, he was always the best.  It all came naturally to him.
For Senior, Juniors natural abilities to excel in anything he does prevents him from committing to any endeavor.  Personally, I think Senior is so fixated in his philosophy of hard work that he does not see the natural talent of Junior.  I also believe Senior resents the fact that he is unable to teach Junior anything. 

Before Jason Pohl came to OCC, Junior was the designer.  He'd design bikes out of the fly.  No drawings.  We have all seen what kind of a custom bike designer Junior is in creations like the Fire Bike, Liberty Bike, Jet Bike, Gillette Bike, I Robot Bike, Comanche Bike, Army Bike and a lot more.  Every thing was done in his head.  Of course, to make his vision happen he had a team of excellent fabricators such as Vinnie and Rick to work with him.  Such is the world of CUSTOM bike that OCC was known for. 

Senior also questions Junior's commitment to deliver based on punctuality.  This is discounting the fact that OCC has not missed a deadline while Junior was there. 

Junior's problem with punctuality could have been addressed by counseling.  As a part owner of the company, Senior could have explained the effects of Junior's tardiness with the business.  First, owners should set an example to the workers.  Secondly, tardiness means loss of money.  With the desing all in his head, workers cannot work without Junior's presence.  If he reports for work 2 hours late, that would mean total hours late x hourly rate x number of workers on the project.  This is further compounded by the number of times overtime is needed to compensate for the tardiness.  Third, rules need to be enforced.  A logical consequence to Junior's tardiness should have been being charged with the non-productive hours of the employees affected and the overtime.  This way, there is no money loss to the company and Junior learns his lesson.  Unfortunately, Senior's counseling equivalent are blowouts that is reciprocated by resentment from Junior.  No wonder he screwed up his relationship with his children.  

I'm also under the impression that Senior doesn't have plans of reconciling with Junior.  I base this on his interviews in the show where he keeps on saying negative things about his eldest son.  How can Junior be inclined to opening the doors of reconciliation when you hear your old man lambasting you publicly?  If Senior keeps on stoking the fire of hate reconciliation is virtually impossible.

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