Honoring Obligations

Posted by Jennifer on December 17, 2010 – 1:59 pm

girafePhoto by MacUK

How Boring is Your Blog? I read that today and am giving it some thought. Today probably isn’t a great day for deep ponderings though. I’m kind of down.

The Agreement

Last fall I set up a basic blog for a local kids clothing store. At first it was just a freebie thing because I liked the owner. But then she wanted to pay me, and wanted a specific design etc. I put some real time into it, setting up feedburner, gmail, sitemeter and into explaining how everything worked. I also paid out of pocket for a designer since we were recreating the look of her business card for the template and that was beyond my scope of expertise. I was happy with the amount of credit we agreed upon. I spent a little of the credit I had earned but the bulk remained unspent as I waited until there was something I wanted. Yesterday I visited the store. Wouldn’t you know it but the owner had sold this spring and the store had no record of a credit for me.

The Disappointment

This morning I received a call from the current owner. There is no record and she feels no obligation to honor the credit. Nor does she need the blog. I’m bummed. I did sent an email to the previous owner; I’m hoping she’ll do the right thing and honor the amount she owes me though I’m not holding my breath. I’m not too smart sometimes. Yes, I admit it! I have nothing in writing so I’m just sad and out of luck I suppose.

The Right Thing To Do

If that were me in the place of the previous owner, I would honor it out of pocket; either paying cash or purchasing the promised credit. I’m not saying that simply because I want what is owed to me. I’m saying that because it’s the right thing to do. It doesn’t matter what circumstances are, we always need to honor our obligations to the best of our ability!

image Photo by Valerie Everett

The Reminder to Self:

#1 It’s important to have contracts and agreements in writing, whether it is paper or an electronic copy, like an email.

#2 It’s important to always honor my own obligations to the best of my ability so as to not be responsible for someone else feeling the way I feel right now; cheated, let down, betrayed.

#3 It is important not to jump to conclusions and to give the benefit of the doubt. I have not yet heard back from the previous owner and she may very well do the right thing, in which case I would need to apologize to her for thinking otherwise.

#4 It is important to realize that I have the power to choose how this affects me. I can choose to be untrusting of others, bitter and hold a grudge. Or I can choose to accept that, unfortunately, things didn’t go as I had planned but in the grand scheme of things, this is not important.

I’m sure that we’ve all been at the short end of the stick so to speak.  Did you resolve it or just live with it?

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6 Responds so far- Add one»

  1. 1. JDaniel4's Mom Said:

    She should have called you and told you she was selling.

  2. 2. Chelsey Said:

    I’ve been on the short end of the stick too many times. Unfortunately you can’t make someone resolve something so I’ve had to live with it…

    I believe keeping your word is very important. I don’t make promises and I teach my children not to make promises because even the simplest ones can be too hard to keep at times. I don’t promise my kids we’ll go to the park — I say “I hope we can go today” because I can’t control the weather or the emergency that happens at the last minute.

    But, a business arrangement is different… It’s a shame you didn’t have an e-mail or something as proof. Even if you did that person may not honour it though… Gone are the days of a handshake meaning something. Back ‘then’ your name and your word meant everything to you.

    My policy is to spend credit and gift cards asap. I had a gift card fall out of my pocket recently and there was no one to blame, but me (and that pocket!).

    I’m sorry this has happened to you and hope the person does the right thing.

  3. 3. Mimi Said:

    I am so sorry you have to deal with this. You’re definitely right to say we’ve all been there. And its true you can’t make someone do the right thing. We can be praying for them and that they feel convicted enough to be honorable. Hoping you hear back positively!

  4. 4. Elizabeth O Said:

    I hope that the former owner steps up and follows through with her obligation to you. It is a shame that it happened but even if she doesn’t hold her end up at least it is a lesson learned.

    My story is about when I first started to buy from Facebook boutiques using Paypal. I didn’t understand how to address when a boutique does not follow through with a purchase (Paypal purchase protections). By the time I realized I’d been scammed it was too late to do anything. But I did learn my lesson for future purchases and hopefully will not be scammed again. I still feel bitter toward this person but I am trying to let it go as obviously there is something wrong with them if they need to cheat/lie.

    Thank you for sharing your story and you are paying it forward so to speak so we are learning from your lesson too. Your story reminds me that we have cliches for a reason; fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me and learn from your mistakes or you will be doomed to repeat them. So even if it is hard to let go of the hard feelings at least you are moving forward wiser and with your integrity.

  5. 5. Marcus Borg Said:

    Thanks for attributing the use of my “daft giraffe” Jennifer. Great blog.

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