There’s a great scene in the old movie “Road House” where Patrick Swayze’s character Dalton has come in to clean up a rough-and-tumble bar, and he’s letting the employees know what he expects.
One of the rules he tells them: “I want you to be nice. Until it’s time not to be.”
Seems like a good a metaphor as any for the $930 million deal announced this week in which Regions Financial Corp. has sold its longtime Memphis-based investment firm Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc. to Raymond James Financial Inc.
Employees have been worrying about job losses over the last several months as the sale dragged on. City and business leaders worried the city might lose a prominent employer and a major corporate tenant in any deal that emerges.
Raymond James CEO has been telling everybody who will listen that there will be some degree of job cuts, but they won’t be significant. And the firm will still have a major presence in Memphis.
For now, everybody seems to be paraphrasing Dalton’s rule this way: Let’s be optimistic. Until it’s time not to be.