Most people have no clue who Juan Mascaró was, but a selection of his book Lamps of Fire inspired the Beatles song The Inner Light. Mascaró’s book was essentially a translation of the Tao Te Ching, written by Lao Tzu in the 6th Century B.C. The Beatles song, in turn, was said to be a summary of the Taoist ethics in which several suggestions derived from the four principles of nature talked about in the Tao Te Ching provided a description of what certain behaviors produce. For example, it’s like wondering why your eye hurts but then realizing that you got hot sauce on your finger and then rubbed your eye. The Tao Te Ching wouldn’t say, “Thou shall not get hot sauce in thy eye.” It would say “Dude, if you stick your finger in your eye after touching habanero sauce, it is going to sting.” It is no wonder Mascaró decided to translate the Tao Te Ching, as he was an impressively smart man. He once said, “…the thought manifests the word, the word manifests the deed, the deed develops into habit, and habit hardens into character, so watch the thought and its ways with care…”
It is too bad that more business owners are not more like he was. Perhaps if they were, they would be more successful. I don’t think many of them think about cause and effect at all. I have been sitting on this subject for a long time, and have decided that I can no longer keep my mouth shut. Perhaps there will be backlash for this article, but I am prepared to take the heat. Pun intended (in regards to the hot sauce mention above, in case you didn’t catch that). I do not intend on naming anyone specific, nor any businesses in particular within the quotes I use from the anonymous sources I have gathered, so I am not certain that anyone’s panties will get in a bunch anyhow. If that were to occur, my inner Tao Te Ching would tell them that if they had put on their big girl panties in the first place, they wouldn’t have to deal with the high-strung wedgies they might potentially be feeling after reading this article.
In my day-to-day dealings, I am regularly in contact with other business owners for various reasons. I am a serial entrepreneur and am not only working a full-time day job, but own three businesses as well, each of which I am currently operating on a part-time capacity. I have twenty four years of customer service under my belt since I started working at age fourteen, and many of those years have included business-to-business calls and some “telemarketing”. Nothing ceases to amaze me anymore about how disrespectful and downright abusive some business owners are when they are called, but what shocks me even more, is that these people do not stop and think about how they are speaking and to whom they may potentially be speaking to.
Let me simplify this for those of you that might not be with me just yet. It is called cause and effect. Do these business owners not think about the fact that I am another business owner in the same city, after I make it a point to tell them so? Do they not realize what the impact of negative word-of-mouth could be on their business when they go around talking rudely to others? To put it simply, if I tell five people, who then tell five people, who then tell five people not to do business with them, do they not consider what this could do to their business? Do they ever consider the fact that people they are pissing off are potentially blasting that kind of stuff all over social media sites, writing negative business reviews on Google about them, or dare I say maybe even writing articles about them not only on a local level but a national level as well? These are not actions I would engage in, but I cannot speak for everyone else.
When I mentioned on my personal Facebook page that the concept for this article had been formed, I got an amazing response. The context in which I was replied to was not only in the perspective of business-to-business dealings, but I also received input from shamed employees of employers who sound to me like Satan himself. To engage more discussion on this topic, I mentioned a scenario in which a group text message had been sent from an employee to that person’s employers to inform them of something routine. The employers then responded in a horrific manner, and thinking they were talking solely amongst themselves, proceeded to talk crap about the employee who had sent the initial message. One of my friends responded to this and said, “Yep I’ve been accidentally included in a group instant message chat before that included my boss and a few other managers. I found out my nickname at that job was Watermelons Oreo. Watermelons were in reference to my boobs and Oreo was in reference to my ethnicity. I didn’t take any action on it or ever mention it to HR or anyone. I should have sued their asses off.” Ok, seriously, let that one sink in for a minute before reading on. Another friend of mine replied, “You should have screen copied that and sued them. It’s unprofessional, and makes for a hostile work place, not to mention that it is derogatory and is sexual harassment.”
That same friend also said, “I wind up having to hear my bosses actually talk trash directly to me. It is frustrating when they call me lazy, when I’m sweating in the cooler, and when they tell me that that I need to pick up the pace when already I am helping three other people do their work.” He then went on to say, “Both of the Vice Presidents will regularly shout and yell at people, calling them lazy and telling them they have little to no work ethic, or that they are incapable of doing their duties. The bosses will regularly slam doors and throw temper tantrums but refuse to be accountable for their own actions. Many employees will not show up, or if they do, they will ignore their duties or perform poorly for various reason, but as they have received cash advances from future checks, they are allowed to keep their jobs so they can pay back the money they owe.” Let me point out that that if I could guess correctly, this one conversation has now possibly been seen by upwards of two hundred people that I have on my friend list. Is this really rocket science? I would like to also point out to that even if the businesses had been named, that it is not slander or libel when one truly believes what they have said or written to be true. So regardless of what said business owner might have thought if their business was named, or ever is named, there’s not a thing they could do about it, and no recourse they could take.
My hope is that if there are any business owners that read this article who haven’t learned the definition of I-N-T-E-G-R-I-T-Y, that they will make it a point to learn. Like my grandmother taught me, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all. For those of you who need the word integrity to be defined, who can’t lift a finger to type Google into that little toolbar above this article, let me define it for you. The word integrity stems from the Latin word integer which means whole, or complete. The literal definition as defined by Wikipedia is that “Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions. Integrity can be regarded as the opposite of hypocrisy, in that integrity regards internal consistency as a virtue.”
Socrates once said, “Regard your good name as the richest jewel you can possibly be possessed of — for credit is like fire; when once you have kindled it you may easily preserve it, but if you once extinguish it, you will find it an arduous task to rekindle it again. The way to a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”