INTEGRITY

Posted

THEN

This topic was suggested by an individual who had been shortchanged by a group of workers at his new house. He needed to have it underpinned with brick, and he hired it to be done. Before they had finished he had to be away from his house for a period of time, and he went ahead and paid them for the agreed upon price for the completion of the job. When he returned the workers were gone and had not laid another brick after he left. He never saw them again.

I will make this topic brief as there is not a whole lot to be discussed that is not already known. We all have been victims of dishonest dealings at one time or another and are vigilant when dealing with others to insure an honest result.

There have always been deadbeats and always will be. It seems, however, that there are more of them today than there were those in times past. As far as I am aware, my father never signed a written contract to either do a job or to have one done. An agreed upon amount and a handshake were as good as a signed contract, and all non-agreed upon issues were solved to the satisfaction of both parties. It was an honorable thing to say of a person that they were as good as their word.

If something was borrowed, it was returned after use, generally speaking. If a cook wanted to borrow something like flour or sugar, the amount was returned after the borrower had replenished their supply. If a neighbor needed a tool that they did not have, it was loaned if it was not in use, with the assurance of knowing that it would be returned when the job was finished. If there was damage done to the item, it would be repaired to the original condition in which it was borrowed. The exchange went both ways, and it was a practice that neighbor help neighbor.

Most business owners operated upon a credit system and prospered in doing so. Credit was established at one’s favorite business and purchases were made throughout the week or month, and payment was made after payday. Of course, there were those to whom credit would not be extended because of their reputation, and there were others who failed to pay their debts, but by and large people were to be trusted. It did not take long for word to get around if a person was not to be trusted, and then most required that person to have money in hand when a purchase was made.

NOW

In most business transactions today, it is prudent to have a signed contract whether buying or selling. In this contract it is also wise to make sure that specifics are included. It is also not wise to pay upfront before the agreed upon results are finished and satisfactory.

I assume that there may be some out there, but I personally know of no business owner who does regular credit business today. Personal checks are not accepted in more and more places because of those that are passed without sufficient funds in the bank to cover them. Personal identification is required in places that still accept checks and also in check card transactions. There are so many scams and dishonest dealings on phones that many are hesitant to answer them now, figuring that they could get caught up unknowingly in a scam and be unaware of it. It has reached the point to where if persons are unknown to you, be leery of them.  

Even many marriages today will not be performed before a pre-nuptial agreement has been reached and signed. It seems obvious that even marrying partners don’t trust one another in the modern era. This, I learned recently, not only covers financial and domestic matters, but the number of times per week or month that sexual activities are required. 

I promised at the beginning of this topic that I would make it brief. I am a man of my word.