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Kindness does not always pay

October 3rd, 2017 by Bob Bly

I used to think, until recently, it always paid off to be nice to
everyone, or at least was the right thing to do.

But something happened recently that made me think that maybe
this should not apply to everyone in your life.

Here’s the story … and the one category of people I might no
longer apply my “always be nice” rule to:

When our new and expensive central air conditioner seemed to be
underperforming, I called CC, the HVAC company that installed it.

I had bought a premium AC unit, deluxe model, new custom duct
work, full warranty, and covered by 24/7 service.

And I paid a premium price for it.

So when the AC wasn’t working on a hot summer night, I called

Mike, their on-call emergency tech responded, said he was at
another job, and as soon as he was done with that customer, he
would call me, which he did.

At that point, it was night, the house was more comfortable, and
so I figured I could give Mike a break.

I told Mike to knock off early and go home — provided he or
another CC tech could come first thing in the morning, before the
house heated up again.

He said OK. But when I called CC the next morning, I was told,
“The day service shift is on a big commercial job now, so they
cannot come until late in the afternoon.”

Not a big deal, I know. So I did not make a fuss.

But look: If I had been a bad guy, and insisted Mike come and
work late, my AC would have been fixed on the spot. I would have
gotten what I wanted.

Now, with another hot day, I was going to pay for my courtesy and
kindness by being made to swelter and wait.

Hardly seems fair to me, right?

As a rule, it does us, as businesspeople as well as consumers and
human beings, to be nice rather than nasty or even difficult.

That includes being nice to everyone you deal with professionally
— clients, employees, and vendors like CC.

Well, I feel I have to be nice to clients, and I usually am. Not
difficult, since I like them anyway.

But the day after the CC incident, I was considering that maybe
with vendors and others who sell services to me, being nice all
the time is a little less critical.

I was ultra-nice to Mike at CC. And in return, I was penalized
for it.

So what’s a nice guy to do?

I think I’ll keep being nice, because life is too short to be an
a-hole … although I sometimes am, despite my best efforts to the

One more point….

If you are a service provider like CC, and a customer is nice to
you, and cuts you some slack, if anything you should show
appreciation — a short email, a note, or maybe a certificate for
$20 off the next service or product you buy from them, or a
Starbucks gift card.



This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 at 9:35 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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