by Diego Nascimento

It is common for the word disappointment to invade our lives. It usually arrives unannounced and in ways that grieve the heart. I want to share something that happened to me last month. If you’re part of the group of people who get emotional easily, I suggest you stay calm and grab a box of tissues.

I had to make a long trip. During the trip I opted for a break to rest in a traditional snack bar/restaurant chain. I had just eaten lunch and it was already nearing the late afternoon. I took the plate and chose a cheese bread. I was hungry and wanted to buy the whole store out. In the distance I saw a slice of creamy cake; it was love at first sight and soon it was already on my plate. Quietly I walked over to the employee responsible for the cash register, and then started to bite into the cheese bread. Seconds before I took another bite of the cake I heard a female voice say, “Sir, please forgive me, but I will need to take your cake back. It’s not fit to be served.” When I looked more closely at that piece of cake I realized that the bottom was green with mold and stains. As that piece was no longer available, I was directed to get something else in its place for the same price.

I will not hide my disappointment. My attempt to stave off hunger was frustrated by the lack of professionalism of the team in charge of snacks and groceries.   Soon after this happened I continued on my trip, and I thought to myself:  that was a good example of a “small” flaw which could become a “big” challenge.  Imagine how many items acquired in recent days which were not fit to be sold. The Consumer Protection Body (PROCON) receives daily complaints about various problems in delivery service and defective products. If we took a survey, we probably would discover unfortunate cases of what I call “scheduled disrespect.” The definition is simple:  It’s when a person or company sells something different from what is disclosed, especially if the product or service is not in a usable condition.

Beware of the transmission of information if your work is in an office, for example. Never sell something defective if the client is unaware of the fact. This becomes even more serious when the seller on “the other side of the counter” knows about the problem. In the story I told about the cake there is a positive point:  The employee who noticed the mold on my piece was proactive and warned me about it. She could have just let it go, but, instead, the girl chose not to be an accomplice in this failure.

As an advocate of Corporate Communications and best practices of Professional Ethics and Conduct I could not let this situation go unchallenged. I wanted to share this seemingly simple case so that we could understand that our eyes need to be increasingly attentive to everyday situations. I will close by saying this:  Do your best, wherever you are.

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