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Basic Levels of Consumer Integrity that Presently Permeates Society

Reality is not always pretty. But here is a tad bit of it for you today. Well here is an interesting occurrence that is of interest. And this is in any town middle class USA, mixed races neighborhood, the person in question happened to be white. While standing in line a counter for my turn to order and pay. A lady was talking to what could have been her daughter (teenager) and with her was a young child about 3 or 4, who carried a doll and was messing around with whatever was at her level she could reach. So this little girl picks up a candy cane with a Santa on top, a small doll about the size of a Silver dollar. While her mother is watching her, she breaks the candy cane in two and rips the head off of the Santa. Her mom, Paula, says "oh, oh" and takes the object (broken candy cane and mutilated Santa) from the little girl and pushes it out of the way from the clerk who is now ready to take the mom's order.

Seeing this I said to the clerk this lady would like to pay for this Candy Cane that her daughter broke. The lady so embarrassed of course denied it and said oh I didn't know, which of course was a lie. Feeling embarrassed she paid for it, $2.59, no big deal. Or is it. This is stealing. Stealing from who? The franchise owner of the store and probably the clerk who seemed to have a small interest in the company. The lady so appalled takes out her money, lots of twenties, a few hundred bucks who knows maybe $500.00 and starts counting it looking for an extra couple of ones to pay for the item broken. Trying to show, I guess how much money she had, which is really pretty darn irrelevant. Since she lied, cannot control the kids she brought into the world and basically tries to steal real money from the company she was patronizing, by trying to hide the problem, crime. Interesting.

It appears as business owners we are suppose to cater to these people who spend money at our establishments, yet they are ripping us off blind, meanwhile there are so many regulations on franchises and small businesses that it is very tough for most franchisees in a recession. Now the clerk was thinking this was a not so good situation, the lady was caught red handed. The lady was embarrassed thus causing an unpleasing experience. So what is to be said for Americans? The lady in question was quite a liberal type, the kind that likes to cause a scene until it happens to them always complaining about how they feel about everything and gossip and TV. Yet it is so interesting that when it is on the other foot and she is to blame, she will take no responsibility. She then indicated that I was a self-righteous Christian nut case and that I probably beat my kids. Interesting because I am not all that religious and I have no kids, This is quite alarming, even when brought to be made responsible for her actions she flatly denied it and then attacks me? I am not to blame, I even recall as she got into line she cut me off and took my place.

So let us see here a lady will not take responsibility for her own child, steals from a franchise company filled with hard working people and a franchise owner who is leveraged to the hilt in debt in the middle of a recession trying to make ends meet, is not to be made responsible for her own actions? How can this be? How can our society have come so far and now suddenly no one is responsible for any thing. You and I are responsible to our employees, customers, our families, yet these consumers who come in are way out of line, yet we must deal with them. And if we somehow insist upon responsibility the consumer calls the BBB, bad mouths us in front of others? And of course everyone takes the side of the consumer because the big bad business owner (franchisee) is rich and they can afford it. Really? Can they really? If we allow our kids to grow up and believe this type of behavior is okay, then they too will make it the norm, surely if we are to continue as the greatest nation in the World, we can have people made responsible for their actions.

Including the government, the BBB, and our selves. Why should the consumer have any more rights than the business owners who provide them jobs? Create opportunity, allow money to flow and pay the taxes to keep the system going? So let's see a consumer can rack up $40,000 in credit card debt and file bankruptcy and have never a care, never taking responsibility for anything. Yet as business owners we are personally responsible for everything, every single thing we do, no matter how trivial. This is insanity. The lady in question should have been arrested for petty theft for that little stunt, trying to hide the evidence of what her daughter did, she could have told the clerk and the clerk might understand. But instead she just pushed it aside where no one could see it.

Why? That shows such a lack of integrity and dishonesty. The same consumer watches the Enron thing or Martha Stuart and says hang them? Well, if they are to do that shouldn't they be held accountable too? Shouldn't we all be aware that the average consumer would lie in a heartbeat if they thought it could save them $2.59. What is your integrity worth? Is your number that low too? Is your integrity high enough that no number can be placed on it? Would you do something dishonest or misrepresent yourself like they do at the BBB or FTC for kudos or like the scam artists who tele-market for the Policeman's Rodeo? Knowing that Americans are fearful of being put on a watch list by the new Patriots Act? Think about it. We have lost all integrity in our society and all levels, the consumer and average American is to blame, the problem is not Corporate Malfeasance, the problem is lack of responsibility and it starts at age 3-4, what are we teaching our kids. And why are we listening to the consumers and liberal rabble rousers who have no sense of the ethics to speak of talk down against the small businesses of this country? Why are we allowing this lack of integrity to permeate our entire society at all levels and all nationalities, in all cities and in all levels of economic status.

The lady in question was not without money, she could have done the right thing or even mentioned it to someone, yet she chose not to. Instead she was dishonest, for no reason. The only explanation is that she lacks character and integrity. So there is your consumer in a nutshell. This should be a lesson to those who own franchise stores to watch out and those who own service businesses that when someone does not feel like paying you after the job is done, they will make up an excuse and lie about the service.

Are you sure, you are ready to own a franchise that deals with consumers. And if you are a franchisor, you better make sure the buyers of your franchise have integrity otherwise they will ruin your brand name, go out of business eventually and then probably blame you, file a complaint with some agency or hire and attorney to waste you time and money, even if you win, you already lost. The franchising industry needs to wake up and see the truth of what is going on here.

It starts at the counter and it starts at ages 3-4. Stay heads up America, look outside.

"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs

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