Need your expert advice on how you would handle the following incident involving a team member that although had agreed to come to work on a weekend (the whole team was scheduled to do the same) decided instead to go out to Disney with his girlfriend. Poor decision or insubordination?
We've been working for several months on this big web development project and have finally reached the end of out testing phase and were planning on going live within the next weeks. For that, the team agreed that we had to use a weekend for the 'go live' in order to minimize disruption during the week (heavy traffic during the week and very little during weekends).
During a meeting on Monday, the team started to discuss the logistics for going live during that coming weekend when a key team member notified us that he already had plans for the weekend. We then all agreed we could wait for the next weekend to go live in order to accommodate this key team member. Early the following week we restated our goal of using the weekend to go live and all agreed.
The Friday before the 'go live' weekend things weren't going as smoothly as we hoped, and we were all glad we had the weekend to work things out. As we started planning the logistics of who will do what and when, that same key team member that asked us to postpone the 'go live', notified us he was going to Disney with the girlfriend that same Friday night and wouldn't be back until Sunday evening. I was out that day on a customer visit and got a call from the supervisor (reports to me) telling me of the situation. I thought "there's nothing we can do, I'll deal with it on Monday when he's back".
On Monday I met with the employee that had been absent from the team effort during the weekend and after asking if I could give him feedback, told him "Bob, when you commit to working with your team on a project and you bail out last minute, here's what happens: the team gets demoralized because a key member is not around while everyone else is putting their best effort to finish the project; the team loses their trust on you; and I (you boss) lose my trust on your commitment not only to the project but to your own job."
At this point he started to explain that he was planning on working through the weekend as planned, but his girlfriend surprised him with tickets for Disney and something else and so he couldn't get out of that situation. He also tried to alleviate the situation by saying that he had a laptop with him and cell phone and people could reach out to him in case they needed his help and that all his part of the work had already been done.
I'm seriously thinking about replacing this employee since in my mind now we have a trust issue and if I can't trust an employee to do his/her job, this person can't continue to work for me. Am I wrong?
Any advice or comments? Am I being too strict or should I cut this person some slack?