By Marsha M. Brown
Almost every day something comes up that I hear or think about that I want to share with you all. My thoughts might not matter to a ‘hill of beans’ but occasionally you might find a tidbit here and there that you have also heard and wondered if it were true even if only out of pure curiosity.
In the past 2 weeks I’d heard several times there was a list of businesses that have recently extinguished their affiliation with a well-known business manufacturer of daily use products supposedly because that company’s C.E.O. shared a friendship with our former President Donald J. Trump. Honestly, I thought the claim must be exaggerated considering there was no competition; because broad disassociation might affect that business; possibly spiraling down through the employees, their families and beyond if the company should suffer then further to the customers who enjoy doing business with both entities. so, I basically brushed it off. Then…
I attempted to place an order somewhere I have purchased many items from for years. In fact, I really liked how they did business overall having always found their staff and reps to be polite, friendly, and eager to help whenever I called with questions about an item I considered buying and on numerous occasions, I expressed gratitude for their rep’s kindness and professionalism and their customer service. Many times, I had complimented them and referred everyone to them as well.
So, back to when I called them to place an order…I told them I had heard they might be on a ‘list’ of businesses no longer promoting or offering products from a manufacturer and that I wondered if it were true. Immediately…he said yes, they were no longer associated or affiliated with the business in question. No qualms…no hesitation…no denial…just freely stated they were no longer associated. I told him politely that if that were the case, I was extremely disappointed and that it was hard for me to understand why they would do that.
Mostly because anybody who knows me well can attest to the fact that I stand up for what I believe in; that I care about the underdog; the mistreated; or folks who suffer hardships not due to their own making. I’m a big girl but not a bully; intimidation and fear mongering are uncalled for no matter who does it; I can look at both sides to everything, fairly weigh out the pros and cons of the subject matter and debate depending on my knowledge of the facts as they are presented. So, I contacted that same business again to ask why they took the stand they did obviously knowing some if not many customers might also have a negative reaction as well.
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On the second call I made to them, I was greeted by a polite young lady upon which I prefaced the conversation explaining my prior call several days before and how I wanted to continue a good relationship with them, I was perplexed and not sure I could. The young lady said they “weren’t picking sides” and that “it wasn’t political”. I asked, “Why then?” Obviously, she was uncomfortable trying to explain their position and it seemed probable she had been asked this question by other customers, so I thanked her and asked for a manager or someone I could talk to. When the Supervisor/Manager came on the line, I briefly explained how much I had loved working with their business having appreciated their extreme customer relations, but I was disappointed and puzzled as to the stand I understood they had taken. She also immediately explained that it was “not political” and that they could have just decided not to sell or promote “them” for other reasons because “that happens sometimes”. In fact, the name of the Company was confirmed to me. Lastly, I said, I have been a customer…a good customer for a long time always finding their service to excel in customer service, and their general demeanor but as much as I wanted to continue doing business with them, I stood on principle and based on their confirmation, I would have to shop with one of their competitors from that point forward.
I finalized the conversation with this…” The Company of which I speak employs many people; it has had an outstanding reputation for quality and is not a direct competitor to you, so if you all have chosen to suddenly drop or kick them to the curb based on their relationship with someone not in direct competition with your business, I can no longer support you either. They have employees to pay, families to support and children to feed and to punish someone over who they personally like, support or don’t is plain wrong in my opinion.
Based on conversations with the three representatives, their immediate claim ‘it wasn’t political”; that they were “not picking a side” pretty much told me they had had other calls before mine because I had referenced nothing about politics. So be it. As having been a loyal consumer, who had enjoyed numerous shopping experiences with them over the years, I will survive shopping elsewhere and so will they…I’m sure…survive without me…until such a time perhaps when a lot of “me’s” pile up.
There are very few people throughout my life that I have not respected; that I felt had unreasonable crappy attitudes; that seemed to enjoy putting others down when it was uncalled for rather than lifting them up to a higher plain. I am old school…and I appreciate that God made us all different. What we do with what He gave us is up to us…how we spend our life…what kindnesses we show others…what we do edify others ahead of ourselves…and what we want to be remembered for by others is up to us…now.
Courage is a trait that is wonderous and special – but not when used to hurt others, bring them down or by playing big shot tyrant. We can think alike, or we can disagree but fairly…not by setting out to destroy, dismantle or damage another. I hope the Company I contacted recently will reconsider and if they do, I will not hold a grudge…I will be happy and I will be glad they realized it seemed more of a ‘follow the leader game’ they turned away from than a ‘I’ll lead the way to something better’ and if and when they do…I will resume doing business with them and respect them even more than before.
As for the other national chains or conglomerate businesses that may have chimed in, I will not take my time to investigate with them directly…one huge disappointment was enough for me. But…I believe that our Lord takes account of the things we do in this world out of goodness or not…
Lastly, I had a memorable phone call this past week from the sibling brother of another precious Vietnam veteran. The brother had called me once before to comment on GIG LINE for which I appreciated very much but this time, it was more than a compliment; we had a heart-to-heart talk and in essence, I came to know how very much he loved his brother, and I could sense his pride in him. I told the gentleman that if he ever got the chance to call me when he was in his brother’s company to please do so, just so I could thank him for his service and tell him that I loved him and then I broke down. I have felt the pangs of war through my husband’s eyes and his tears and while I genuinely love all our veterans…those who served in Vietnam are especially close to my heart. In all sincerity, I am thankful to God they came home for us to love them, appreciate, and honor them, and mean it when we finally…finally…welcome them home.
Until next time, be happy, be safe and be proud; as Americans we have endured a lot throughout our history…we have come through excruciating times together…because we do better when we’re ‘together’ than apart and disconnected; I pray we don’t forget the past but remember it to become better for each other If you have a comment you would like to share with me, good bad or indifferent, you can call my cell: (252) 202-2058 or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org God bless you and know that I love you with all of my heart. Stay tuned.