Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Boycotting jerks and their companies

Good morning economists. While surfing the web, I came across this article on how to boycott a company. While this seemed kind of extreme to me at first, I quickly realized that I was guilty of such behavior in the past. Allow me to present my stories.

When I was 14 years old, my mum used to send me for grocery shopping to the nearby store. Given, the store was only 100 meters away and it was located in a very quiet neighborhood. I remember I could carry two or three bags at a time because I was using my bike. One day while playing with my friends, the grocery owner's son deliberately damaged my brand new bike. Although my parents fixed the bike the very next day, I refused to visit the particular grocery store for the next 10 years because neither the son nor the grocery store owner apologized for the damage! (Yes, I was holding a grudge). I preferred to buy groceries from another store that was further away. The grocery store owner had lost 10 years worth of shopping.

My second story is also from my personal experience. A couple of years ago I ordered take out from a Chinese restaurant which admittedly was not conveniently located in regards to where I live. However, I really liked the food so I was a repeat customer. One day I ordered my usual which cost 7.90 Euro. When it came time to pay I noticed that I had a 5 Euro bill, two1 Euro coins and five 20 cent coins, that is, 8 Euros in total. I paid the owner (who happened to operate the cash machine at the time) but he did not have a 10 cent coin to give me change. (It is necessary to emphasize here that in the case of take outs in Cyprus, tips are not typically left). Now, OF COURSE, I would tell the owner not to worry about the change but before I communicated this to him he said "I do not have any change. I guess I owe you 10 cents."

I remember thinking at the time how much of a bad move that was!!! It was not the value of the insignificant 10 cents, it was the untactful approach of the owner that bothered me. For 10 cents, he lost me as a customer. Needless to say I did not return to the restaurant ever again. It closed down two months later. Apparently people were boycotting the owner because of similar incidents.

The moral of the story? It is not enough to be a professional at your place of work. You may be the best at what you do but if outside the workspace you are a jerk chances are that your business will suffer.

Have a boycott free day!


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