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You're a Cheater and a Thief If You Do This

by Glenn Shepard

February 17, 2015

Category:  Management

 

 

   

 

Longview, TX

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Lufkin, TX

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Houston, TX

March 5

 

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Dear Glenn,

 

I'd like to add to last week's Ask Glenn question from Leslie in Indiana

      First, I tip my hat to an employer who had an employee for 20 years. I do not see a lot of loyalty in today’s business world.

     Glenn you are so right when you say employees are not like family. They're here to do a job.

      The main goal in any business should be to take care of the customer.

     I have been in business for 38 years and have witnessed Leslie’s situation many times, but unfortunately no one has been at my company for 20 years.

   We deal with humans; the most complex of the animal species. We are dangerous, we have the ability to think. Sometimes our thoughts are for others and giving to them the best we can.

     Other times we are selfish and only think of ourselves, and “what is in it for me?”

    I encourage all of my team to cross train. This will help when the person you least expect, leaves to another job, voluntarily or not.

    The greatest employee Leslie’s husband has is hard working, dedicated, and is truly the secret weapon to the success of his business. That employee is himself.

 

Chuck in West Monroe, LA

 

 

Dear Chuck,

 

Well said. Employers - especially those of us who own our businesses - know these distasteful (and often dishonest) things always have and always will happen, but it doesn't make it right.

       This is why I wrote this week's article to address the employee's side of it.

      And I tip my hat to you for being in business 38 years. That makes you part of a very, very, very elite group of achievers. 

      Thanks for your comment.

 

Glenn in Nashville, TN

 

Click the red Ask Glenn button to submit a question. You may remain anonymous if your prefer.

My great grandfather used to tell me about the old days when business was done on a handshake and contracts weren’t needed. But in reality, a contract is created with a handshake.

Three basic elements must exist in order to create a contract - an offer, acceptance of the offer, and consideration (usually money).

An oral contract is created when people verbally agree to do something for a price. There are also implied contracts.

Imagine that you go to dinner at your favorite steakhouse. The server brings you a menu, which is their offer. It shows prices, which is consideration. When you place your order, you accept their offer and create an implied contract.

Now imagine that the server brings you the bill for $40, which was the price listed on the menu. But you insist the steak wasn’t worth $40, and offer $10. The restaurant can have you arrested for theft by deception. You had an implied contract to pay the asking price and are expected to honor it because you ate the entire meal.

The situation would be different if you took one bite and let the server know the steak wasn’t cooked to your liking. The restaurant would try to cook it to your satisfaction, or bring you another one. They probably wouldn’t expect you to pay if they couldn’t make it to your satisfaction, even though they’d have the right to because of the principle of caveat emptor (“buyer beware”). You might defend yourself using a legal precedent called “An Implied Warranty of Fitness”.

A similar situation occurs when you accept a job.

You create an implied contract that you will give 100% of your time, effort and attention during business hours every week, in exchange for receiving 100% of your paycheck every week.

If you only give 75% of your time, effort and attention, your employer still pays you 100% of your paycheck. When this happens, you’re cheating your employer.

 

A few minutes here and there on Facebook, looking for a new job, texting your kids, etc. are all theft because it’s not your time you’re wasting.

 

It’s no different than running your personal mail through the company postage meter, or taking home a pack of Post-it® notes.

 

You’re also cheating yourself, because your career will suffer. Integrity is a fundamental requirement of success in any field.
 

 

 

To Your Success ,

 

 

Glenn Shepard

 

 

P.S. The legal principles used here were greatly oversimplified to illustrate the point of the article, and are not intended to render legal advice. Contact your lawyer if you have legal questions about these principles.

 

 

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