Integrity – Do the right thing
I have a problem. I see things in black and white. My coach says I am an Absolute. It means I seek perfection and that does not exist in the real world except perhaps in nature. Walking in the woods or sitting in a tree stand is a place I can find peace with this idea but most other places it’s harder. ‘Gray area’ is a thing I struggle with a lot.
We have to define right and wrong for the “Integrity” thing to work so let’s talk about that. As a person of faith, I believe it can be summed up in two statements.
Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. It’s not my intention to make this a sermon so let’s focus on the last part for this discussion.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Some would say it as “Do to others as you would have them do to you”. Another thought that can add to this discussion is the difference between the truth and something being true. The truth is a complete picture, the bottom line. You can say something true but if the intent was to deceive it was not the truth.
Doing the right thing costs us. It might be money or time or both but it has a cost. The cost is probably less if we do the right thing early.
Let me tell you a story.
I represented a buyer who purchased a house that was listed for sale. On the day of closing the sellers were still moving out. They asked us to allow them to finish the move after closing.
At that point the right thing would have been to delay closing but we didn’t do that. It would have been inconvenient for my clients. We had contractors coming to replace flooring and they had to be out of the house there were living in so we thought it would be OK to let them finish after we closed.
While the sellers were moving out but after closing, we discovered the air conditioning was not working. It was true the seller had it ‘serviced’ and there was a receipt but once we got to the truth we found the contractor put over 4 pounds of refrigerant in the system and it had leaked out again. The seller had been told by the contractor this would not fix it but they hid it from us and my buyers were stuck with a system that didn’t work and required a new coil for a cost of $1600. The seller looked me in the eye and told me he would cover the cost and ‘make it right’ but that turned out to be a lie.
As their agent, I should have kept us from closing until the seller moved out 100% (per the contract) and verified the AC was working. I didn’t know adding 4 pounds of refrigerant was an indication of a problem but I learned it is because of this.
Because I didn’t do what I was supposed to sooner, I hired my HVAC contractor to install a new coil and I paid for it. It was the right thing. It was the thing I would have wanted done for me.
I’ve chalked up the lesson to $1600 worth of tuition and moved on. I didn’t pursue the seller other than to write them a note and send him the bill but he ignored me. I’m not surprised but I was disappointed since they didn’t do the right thing.
There is more to come shortly on our culture. The next thing is “Customers always come first”.
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Thanks for listening,
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