I had a heated Facebook conversation over the past week. What started out as a conversation about the governments role in limting the consumption of sugar to a growing population of more and more obese children, quickly spiraled to personal responsibility vs the responsibility businesses to their customers debate. I personally think both are needed, and not used enough, however my friend thought otherwise. He stated simply, businesses have no responsibility to their customers, only to their stockholders. It was buyer beware. In his eyes.
Before I go any further let me say I don’t view this as a Republican ideal vs Democrat. This is humans treating other humans as they want to be treated.
To him, if a company is deceitful about the harm their product can cause you, it’s your fault. To him a company can spend millions on advertising to mislead you and misinform you. They can mis-label their products in all sorts of ways and if they succeed in their lies, thats your fault. The most amazing part of this is, that my friend is someone I met because he was one of my customers.
I explained to him that he wouldn’t feel so great if I was selling him on a new paint that would never need to be repainted only to find out 6 months later that the paint I convinced him to buy had cracked peeled and would need to be stripped and repainted. His own line of business, the real estate business has laws in place, that insure sellers disclose all information in regards to issues that could compromise structure of the property and overall protect the safety of the new buyers. All of this to no avail. He simply touted the virtues of capitalism and held on to his view that personal responsibility was the only thing lacking in this great country.
I love capitalism. I am after all a business owner. To me that doesn’t mean I can lie and deceive my customers and laugh all the way to the bank. I kept thinking about the words he used personal responsibility. Aren’t businesses run by people? Aren’t the decisions made by people? Do those persons have a personal responsibility to be honest?
Long before I started painting, I was taught to treat others the way you would want them to treat you. If you wanted to trust your friends, you need should be trustworthy. You can’t expect honesty, if you’re not honest.
I have always tried to be as honest as possible in my business. Sometimes it costs me money. Countless times when asked if I honestly thought something needed to painted, I told them honestly. Many times that answer was no. I could have told them yes, they would have trusted my opinion, and I would have made some extra money. I wouldn’t feel right doing that. I don’t add money to the cost of my paint, what I pay is what you pay.
I started my own business to have more freedom (although I work more hours now than I ever did working for someone else) and the opportunity to make money, but if I could only do that by deceiving my customers, and knowingly harming them in some way, I’d close up shop tomorrow.
Hey everyone this is my first blog. Frankly, I never thought I’d ever write a blog, the seem pretty lame. Well Let see if I can make this a little easier to stomach my blog will be about painting, how to paint, and what it’s like to be a painting contractor here in Charlotte. I’ll do my best to be honest and give you as much info as possible. I’ll try to cover all areas of painting like interior and exterior painting, as well as murals and faux finishes. If you reading this you probably found this by mistake or your one of my relatives. Well that’s it for this week. Next week I’ll actually get into a real topic.