Business Acumen, Manners and Common Deceny

So I just finished a job for a woman that required surveillance for one day a week, over the course of a month. The client was not rich and early on expressed that she may need to stop, so we lowered our price by a third to help. Single mom and all, ya know. All Good.

Well we finish the case and we got all the evidence she could need, that could be found. Obviously we can’t create situations or information. We even put two guys on the case for surveillance, when she could only afford one, so as to ensure results.

So we email the report and photos. No issues. Then with one day notice she says she needs one of us in court to testify as her attorney told her the report is hearsay otherwise and texted “but you probably already knew that”. I told her that wasn’t an option as people were all tied up and one day notice is not enough. I also told her I was not sure why the report would not be allowed as we typically don’t have this problem. If it is an issue we could just sign an affidavit, etc. to make the report valid. She left the conversation that she would try and get back with me.

So no word for a whole day. I then asked what happened and she didn’t answer. After a couple no answers I called, no answer. Eventually she responded by text and the tone seemed like our firm did something wrong on purpose. She said she felt like she wasted her money and we let her down by not being in court. I felt terrible because I am in this business to make money by helping people. So I offered to go to court another time, I offered 2 days free surveillance when I am available, still 24 hours later, no answer.

Which brings me to this question……..where have business ethics, manners and common sense gone?

Is it selfishness? Is it a time crunch? Is the Burger King way in the world, to have everything my way! Is it the younger generation’s new way of doing life? Is it simply that they were never taught?

Think about some of the insanely rude things that go on in the world now days, especially with technology and the “Don’t be a sexist” generation. Obviously I am a guy, so just flip the following example if your not.

My first example is the constant request or expectation that the customer can somehow get a discount or a better deal. Where does this come from? I don’t know a lot of people that can afford to work for free. I do not believe we live in a barter system. Personally, my prices are average and based on taking into account what is needed to perform the job with the best people I can get.

My second example, slightly off topic, is opening doors for women, elders and yes even other guys. Are we all in too much of a hurry to take an extra 5 seconds to open or hold that door for another person, out of common decency and respect? If you are guy it’s funny too because women love that in the movies, “awe so romantic” or “such good manners”. However, in the real world it seems to be sexist, “I don’t need you to open a door for me” and even HR / PC police in the business settings are saying that its taboo. Well I was raised with God, good parents and manners and I will open a door until I die. I taught my sons to do the same.

My third example is people that are too busy to answer your texts or emails, but they demand you answer ASAP! What is that about? Power? Control? Ego? Maybe just dislike? I understand a once in a while thing. However, if it is common, I say it is simple disrespect or rudeness. My answer to that is to return the favor and when they ask why, tell them the truth. I expect common decency and respect.


My fourth example is the person that takes the longer than normal lunch or brakes. Again, on occasion this is not an issue. However, if you’re in a job where others depend on your presence and you’re gone too long, on a regular basis it becomes an issue. First off, you’re not doing the work you’re being paid to do. Two, you’re not pulling your weight at your job. Three, your possibly hurting your company of customer service is an issue with this.

My fifth example may be one of my most taboo ones; it is the constant use of the cell phone today by people. Whether it be texting, phone calls or the use of the web. I hate when you’re talking to someone and they just walk away to take a call or text and don’t even say anything. I have been in meetings with customers, bosses, vendors, etc. and they all have stopped in their tracks to answer a call or text on more than one occasion. What happened to professionalism? It has even trickled into regular life. People texting during church, texting or “whispering” on phone calls during movies, at weddings even funerals. It’s like people have no sense of respect at all. If this is YOU out there, STOP IT NOW!

My sixth example is a gross one, but more common than ever. It is the people that chew, yawn, sneeze and cough with their mouth open, uncovered, just spewing who knows what around the world. What is wrong with these people? When I was a kid I was taught cover your mouth with your left hand, so you can still shake hands with your right. I was also taught to wash your hands right after. There is nothing worse than coming across someone out of the blue, when you were not expecting them and their mouth is gaping open an aircraft hangar. I have actually told people, feel free to cover your mouth. Shock and Awe on some I tell you.

My last example is [pardon my frankness] the Screw your Neighbor attitude in the business and personal world now days. I remember years ago they valued a team player. People helped each other get the job done. They covered each other backs. Now days I see more of a “ME” mentality and it needs to go.

Who knows the reason for the decline? It could be pressure to perform-with less, it could be office politics, and it could be the general loss of respect that people have for others now days. Once respect was given until it was lost. Now it must be earned ahead of time. Whatever the case, we all need to practice the golden rule a little more and get back to solid character principles of respect, common courtesy and working your share.

So my plea is this; if this is you – then change your behavior now. If it’s others you know – find a way to help them change. If it’s me – slap me and say get it together heathen! I personally prefer the world of manners and decency. Have a wonderful day!