It’s Just Too Easy
I learned or should I see became reacquainted with something I have known for quite some time. This thing was in regards to business and friendship. How quickly and easily that line can be crossed.
My lesson and subject matter falls into the realm of “not mixing business with pleasure”. Now that is a wide open field, so let me narrow it down for you. This is about cheating versus doing things the right way. Let’s concede a couple of things here as we get started, most everyone of us has fallen into each of these categories at one time or another. However, most of us is more comfortable in one area than the other and we individually know what area that is.
Several years ago I was licensed as a real estate agent and thereby introduced to the concept of a fiduciary relationship. This fiduciary relationship was of the utmost importance in this field because misconduct while serving in this capacity was governed by law. Therefore, if you didn’t do the right thing you could end up facing legal consequences. I will NOT tell you that folks do not cross that line, I am simply saying there is a bit more at stake than ones good name.
How about that, one’s good name, or reputation? Fiduciary came to mind because I believe we conduct ourselves in a fashion that fiduciary is implied; whether or not it is stated or proven to be the case, and we are oftentimes very disappointed when we find out otherwise. In our society where we are hungering after dirt and garbage(i.e. media seeking entertainment rather than news) why would something like a reputation be of any concern? Big businesses, small businesses, and even individuals can all be equally unscrupulous; magnitude being the only difference.
We want to feel safe. We want to know there is a place(or person) we can go to and get, without worrying that certain improprieties will NOT occur. Here’s the rude awakening we are avoiding, there is NO WAY TO TELL. Deceit is everywhere and our naivety makes us easy targets. That disappoints, that hurts, that is reality. The truth is there are very few areas that cannot be likened to shark infested waters, an area that used to be dominated by ironically the legal field.
This is not being harsh, but again simply being real. EXAMPLE: If you work for an accountant you stand as good a chance with a stranger handling your tax needs, as you do going to your employer. A family member in law enforcement is as likely to give you a ticket as the officer patrolling local streets. I don’t even need to broach the subject of attorney’s we ALL have stories an example. The problem now is the legal profession is not alone. “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” comes to mind; but what do you do when they are looking and behaving the same? Understand this is the way “they” get in, the window of opportunity is open and we not only opened it we invited “them” in.
Therefore, you must safeguard yourself and take nothing for granted. Every business transaction should be treated accordingly; do not mistake a smiling face and/or cordial greeting as an indicator of the end result of that same business transaction. One who exercises good manners and decorum should not be used as a barometer as to what one can expect from that same businessperson.
I will end with a touch of levity here; as letter carriers my case-partners and I used to characterize our treatment at times by our employer and/or supervisors with “if you’re gonna screw me then at least give me a kiss”. Nowadays think of your business transactions from the standpoint of, if you are getting a kiss you are probably being screwed.