Saturday, January 9, 2016

When the cigar lounge IS the douchebag...

A place you thought of as home. You consider this cigar lounge your very own Cheers, probably complete with your own Norm, Cliff, and the rest of the gang. This is your home away from home. Hell, you probably even eat some meals here. And maybe you've cat-napped in the back once or twice. (No judging here. We've done it.). You're relaxed, comfortable with both ambiance and people. This is your safe place, whether packed with friends or vacant of most lifeforms.

Until things change.

Nasty gossip about you or a friend. Yes, bartenders know everything that's going on because they speak with all the guests. But if (when) they decide to spread any kind of news, whether true or false, they become Patient 0.**

What these gossips forget is that for many of us, we're friends beyond the bar. And just like every other real friendship, we're going to protect each other. So while the bartender bitches about someone, a friend is nearby. That bitching will get back to the person. Not only have you lost that person's trust, you've probably also lost their patronage.

Yes, we're all human and sometimes need to get something off our chests, and sometimes not to the right people. But don't look shocked when you discover why they haven't been in as much, which brings us to something even worse...

Don't lie. You'll get caught, and that just makes everything so much worse. According to David Whitford and Peter Elkind in the Fortune article "Big Business and the Art of Lying,"It's a toxic landscape that poisons personal relations ('Failures of personal integrity, once revealed, are rarely forgotten'), and on a bigger scale, engenders reflexive distrust."

Yes, my mother is known for asking me, "Don't you ever let anything go?" When it comes to something like this, or how we couldn't go to 4th of July fireworks when I was eight because the truck battery died, the door not having been closed tightly, then the answer is "No."

And ultimately, that will hurt the business.

Sorry may seem to be the hardest word, but it will restore many more friendships and business acquaintanceships than another lie. Trust me.

*A completely made-up scenario, about as far from our kidless home as possible. Plus, my parents have a Bernese Mountain dog, so anything BUT yippy.

Meet Baxter. He's actually much bigger now...
**"The initial patient in the population of an epidemiological investigation." --source--don't judge]

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