Is Speech Free and/or Appropriate?
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, October 4, 2017
I retired from real estate after 33 years in 2012. As someone in sales you would have thought common sense would dictate what they say and do in regards to not only what their customers have come to expect but also what their employees and their suppliers have come to expect. For most people in sales they understand this; but in light of the very recent Las Vegas murders, common sense has been lost on a great many people involved in sales like the entire National Football League owners and players and their sponsors.
Unwritten Rule (or maybe it has been written, I don’t know for sure): DO NOTHING TO UPSET YOUR WEALTH BUILDERS. By “wealth builders” I mean those people who in one way or another provide profits and develop your honorable reputation for you and your company and by extension to your employees. The best advertisement in the world is “word of mouth advertising.” Too many people have said and written this that to know who was the first to say it to give proper acknowledgement is impossible.
Just so you know exactly what I mean, look at a recent post on Twitter:
Greg Morelli owns a Deli. When Greg posted this despicable post on Twitter, was he so unconscious to think no one would take offense to his post? Did he think his “valued” customers would appreciate what he said? Let’s be honest here. Some would but I dare say most won’t. Is it possible that some of Morelli’s customers will now choose NOT to do business with Morelli? If that were to happen, what do you think will happen to Morelli’s business? Unless I am wrong and I don’t think I am, his business and profits will suffer. I also believe that as his business suffers it may come to the point of possibly closing; his indiscriminate post will mean his employees could lose their jobs. Suppliers to his business will lose their income from the Morelli Deli purchases they no longer make. This is a perfect example of “trickledown economics” if there ever was one.
America prides itself on its free speech which has been valued and earned by everyone including me. But there are times when there is no free speech by law if it involves politics and you are employed by the Federal Government, check out the Hatch Act. The Act applied to me for 20 years while on active duty with the Coast Guard and my wife as she was also employed by the Federal Government. While there was no act prohibiting me from speaking my mind during my 33 plus years in real estate sales, common sales in my opinion was a much stronger “personal Act” that insured I did NOT offend my wealth builders. My wealth builders were all of my agents in my company and all of the potential customers that chose to do business with my company. As in the case of Morelli and his Deli, it made no sense whatsoever so say whatever he felt like saying and then not to expect a backlash from outraged employees, customers and suppliers.
It is true that everyone has opinions, some much stronger than others. It is also true that everyone “should” be able to speak whatever they feel like saying or writing and they have that right. But there are consequences for what you say or write. You may be able to endure the consequences you bring upon yourself, but what about your employees, customers and suppliers? Maybe Morelli has made his millions and can survive in a hostile world but that is probably not the case for his employees, and most of his customers and suppliers. They will become known as “collateral damage.” Not a good place to be at least for them.
Will I ever make a purchase at Morelli’s Deli? Absolutely not. First because his Tweet is so over the top and offense to millions of people and Second because I am not in his area. Either way I would NEVER make a purchase at his Deli. More importantly, I fear for Morelli’s life and future. Just as he see thinks the shooting is a “community outreach” activity to rid the country of what he perceives as a threat, there are others who now may think that a “community outreach” activity towards him by a person or persons who oppose what he has said could be detrimental to his life and future.
The opening paragraph in the Charles Dickens novel, A Tale of Two Cities explains it best, at least to me:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, (and the rest of the quote is) it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, …”
We have just witnessed the “worst of times” in Las Vegas and now in the political diatribe but we have also witnessed “the best of times” in the way MOST of the country has come together not only in Las Vegas but also in Texas, Florida and now in Puerto Rico. It really is the worst of times and the best of times.
The question to everyone should be on which side of that quote to you find yourself? Are you engaged in the Best of Times or the Worst of Times? What are you doing to making better all the lives of all those suffering at this very moment in our history or what are you doing to worsen their lives? Most people in the later category are like Greg Morelli – doing it with their tongues! And to think they eat with those same mouths. Shameful and despicable come to my mind.