Life teaches me a lesson every day. I figure out what each day’s lesson is and then I share it with you… so life teaches us both lessons every day!
I would like to tell you about a terrible business I dealt with recently but I can’t. In parting ways, I agreed to sign a gag-order which detailed that I could not talk about them, or disparage them on social media, or acknowledge that they bullied me into signing something that essentially said I could not bully them back.
I do not think it violates the terms of the gag order, though, to tell you I moved recently, and I will just leave it at that.
I struggled (a LOT) with whether I was going to sign it or tear it up in front of them and fight it all the way. When I say I struggled, I mean, there were late nights and tears involved, and it took a lot of time to swallow enough pride to do something I feel violates my own moral code (not to mention my First Amendment right).
I hate bullies. I can not help but stand up to people who think they have the right to push others around. Even worse, I hate businesses that do the same. If I lose a customer, I want to know if I can save them. If I can’t, I want to know if I could have, and when. I want to know what I could have done differently.
What I don’t do is make my customers sign something that says they can’t tell anybody I am a shithead. I understand there are people who I am not a great flavor for. There are people who talk bad about me. There is probably somebody doing it now. But that’s okay. They have a right to feel however they feel and they can tell whoever they want about it. My actions, integrity, and character speak for themselves and when they don’t, other people will step in to defend me if they feel I am being attacked unfairly.
I have as much right to defend myself as anyone has to attack me. In the end, though, I realized two things… and I signed the paper (though still heavy-hearted about it).
- A year from now, it won’t even matter. I will be living somewhere happily and the experience would have just been a bad day I barely remember.
- A business that needs gag orders is already doing a better job of destroying their business than I can.
The great thing about bullies is that they are their own worst enemy.