If there was one thing my father taught me when I was growing up, it was that a man’s word is his bond. I took that to heart, perhaps a little bit too much. I am regularly teased for never, ever being late, and if I tell someone I will do something, I do it.
There are always exceptions to the rule, things that may be out of my control, or perhaps I find that I can’t follow through. When something like that happens, I always let the involved person know. I loathe not fulfilling a promise. I really wish that others felt this way too, but it seems people rarely care enough to follow up.
I could list business people who have told me they will come down to do this or do that. And when the time comes for that meeting, or appointment, nothing but crickets, and I am left wondering about the low standard to which they hold themselves. Usually by the time the person gets back to me days or weeks later, I am rarely in a mood to discuss much with them anymore.
When I first moved here, I had a handshake agreement with someone over a property. Two weeks later, that individual informed me that they changed their mind. I remember as if it was yesterday that I said to that person “Your word is not your bond”, and they became indignant, but after eight years here, I find this is commonplace.
I should also mention the Meta Marketplace. I frequently sell things online, either for myself, or for a family member. It has gotten so ridiculous now that I don’t even put up my phone number. It seems that most people on there want to either haggle down a very fair price to an insulting number, or ask you to hold it but never show.
Here is a one example that sticks out in my mind. I recently had an ATV trailer for sale. The ad clearly stated no holds, first come first served. When I got a text from Stephenville, I informed the person once again that it was first come first served, and I would not be holding it for them.
Well, that person didn’t reply, but a local person came down and paid me for it right away. So
guess who got the trailer?
An hour later the Stephenville buyer said they were almost in town. When told it was gone, he grew angry with me, which is also a prime example of how entitled people are these days. If someone feels that they are owed respect, is it too much to ask that they show that same respect to others? How hard is it to let people waiting on you know that something has come up?
If somebody tells me they are coming, I inherently believe them. As we all know, to drive anywhere in town is no more than fifteen minutes. So if you are two hours getting here when you say you’re on the way, then that’s an issue. We all have other things to do, and usually I can’t wait around for two extra hours.
If you were to ask for something and it takes me days or weeks to follow through, then I wonder why you would even bother to ask me ever again. Nor would I blame you when you don’t.
This isn’t to say that everyone is in this category, but you don’t remember every single great burger you get from a fast food joint. You remember that one chunk of cold cardboard you swallowed.
“Perception is reality,” said Lee Atwater.
If I have noticed something, then that becomes my reality. And I have noticed that this reality I am describing to you has changed my own behaviour. I no longer hound people to follow through on their word. It just frustrates us both. I no longer expect people to follow through. It’s just easier, and less aggravating.
René J. Roy is an award winning photojournalist and editor-in-chief of the Wreckhouse Weekly news. He is very much looking forward to the 2023-2024 hockey season. Go Habs Go!