Racism versus Return

91 Replies

"We found a few companies that are actually a little cheaper and have better reviews. We’re getting some estimates tomorrow."

That would be the bases for my decision. I prefer to avoid judging people or showing prejudice based on their personal flaws unless it would negatively impact my business to not do so. 

In this example the contractors obvious racism would not likely have a negative impact on my business leaving me to select based on all other factors.

If I did however hire him I would be having a discussion in advance regarding his attituded make it crystal clear, on the personal side, that  he is to keep his opinions to himself on my property if he expected to be paid. He may choose not to work for me.

I can tell you that the fact that you're asking this question means you already know the answer to what you think you should do.  Often times the decision that's harder to make is the one to go with and the path that's more daunting to tread is the one that we should be going down.

Redwood 6 ft costs about $40 a lineal foot here. Substituting with other lower priced wood like pine etc will split and shrink. Vinyl fence seems to last a bit longer(no painting is required. White or yellow) but it costs even more. The redwood board prices have risen more than double.  They come only from this area.

@Grayson Gist

This is a great question. I don’t have an answer for it. I love questions that cause me to exam my beliefs. Basically, it is a situation of judging someone who judges others. This question initiated a follow up question. So if I wouldn’t spend my money on using this man’s services, would I rent my property to him? In other words if I would not spend my money on his services, would I take his money from him as a tenant? Do I only rent to people that I approve in their belief system. Hmmmmm.......

"Henry Ford was a virulent anti Semite."

So the question is do you go through life basing your business decisions on your own ethical, moral and social beliefs and standards. Of course may business people do but if the beliefs or standards of others do not have a direct negative impact on your business should you be using them to judge. Racism strikes a very emotional chord but where do you draw the line when judging others or is there even a line. Should we rise above judging others that are not to your standard. The obvious answer of course is "each to their own" based on the fact that decisions are for many personal and not business at all.

Many, like myself, that make decisions based only on business, excluding any emotion, are often judged by others negatively. From their perspective decisions are always personal in nature. They are highly influenced by their emotions and fail to comprehend how others may not be handy caped by emotions. They are many times ethically and morally clouded when making business decissions. 

Question:

Are you justified as a business person to hold your tenants to your ethical, moral and social standards. Do you impose your standards on your S8 tenants as a example.

@Max T. @Thomas S.

I see there was a formatting discrepancy using the app yesterday to post my reply. The quote while fitting at face value was meant to be a separate entity from the following comment. 

To clarify, in competitive bidding scenarios I don't believe in the American thinking of get three bids and take the lowest, pitting the bidders against themselves and the owner against the winning bidder. I like the more European approach of get three bids and take the middle when basing the decision solely on price and not value.

For the record though, if Adolf Hitler came to me and asked for a bid to build a concentration camp it would most certainly be met with resistance. A company although a sovereign entity should still hold itself to its own moral, ethical, and social convictions.

@Grayson Gist

I agree with the previous comments, you may save a few dollars going with him, but should he decide to name drop, and inform anyone that you are/were a client of his, I do not see any scenario in which that would be beneficial for you or any other business. Fortunately, over time business has a way of weeding out people that conduct themselves without integrity, or morals. I do agree with previous comments that it may be beneficial for you to reach out to him and inform him of why you chose a different company.

Sum up, spend more now to distance yourself from him, to ensure it does not cost you more in the form of profit loss by negative word of mouth in the future.

I don't ask contractors how they feel about certain social or political views, but if the guy is going to blurt out and prove he's a racist while he's giving me a price quote, then I sure am not going to ignore that he's a blatant racist. Not speaking out, or ignoring this fact, is the same as supporting his racism. And that is how the country moves backwards in time when racism was acceptable (as if it still isn't for many people). You're going to ignore this so you can save money? In other words, your acceptance of racism is for sale. 

Who cares why he is a racist, you're not responsible for his views or ignorance. Do what you feel is right and stick to it, no need to justify you actions.

Now with that said you better own you actions and you'll sleep well knowing you did the right thing which would far outweigh any "savings". I wouldn't engage the contractor and point out why you feel his views aren't acceptable, rather keep it professional and simply leave it as you chose someone else who you felt provided better service.  Telling a racist they are racist isn't going to do anything but cause a fight...there's a time and place for that but building a fence isn't the right platform...

@Grayson Gist . I love this question and I love the many responses. Another point to make is, that by being an example of treating all people respectfully and fairly (even those I disagree with) may inspire others to re-examine and change their own views. I’ve never found calling people names and judging them as particularly helpful. Of course I do admit I’ve certainly have enjoyed the feeling of self righteous indignation. It feels good but is seldom really helpful.

@Matt K. Matt I do agree with you that he will not be able to change a racist views by telling him that is comments are unacceptable, however he still should be told that he is losing that piece of business because his moral compass is not acceptable to Matt. The contractor is free to continue his way of thinking until he has lost enough business to maybe reconsider being so vocal about his warped views.
Originally posted by @Russell Andrews :
@Matt K. Matt I do agree with you that he will not be able to change a racist views by telling him that is comments are unacceptable, however he still should be told that he is losing that piece of business because his moral compass is not acceptable to Matt. The contractor is free to continue his way of thinking until he has lost enough business to maybe reconsider being so vocal about his warped views.

 What's the benefit of that? At best they both walk away thinking the other is wrong etc, at worst.... he opens himself up to harassment etc from this contractor. Two life lessons I learned early on dealing w/ contractors and really just people.... 

Don't engage crazy, you have no idea what a person is going through or are capable of. 

If you're the chef talk about the dish, but don't feel the need to give away the recipe.,,,


This contractor isn't professional, he won't care about lost business. How do I know this; simple, a true professional would NEVER share these views on a job walk.  I simply won't do business with them, they don't need or even deserve to know why, end the communication. We as a society have gotten used to oversharing and it doesn't end well for anyone.... 

Now, standing up for what you believe in etc.... all for it. Every belief/message has a place to be heard... but just like this guy spouting off racist bs on a job walk is unprofessional so is me telling him why he is wrong...

Being an immigrant myself, I've had to work with many different people and  have heard numerous things ranging from light ignorance to hard core racism.  I can respect other's opinions and beliefs and would not confront anyone based on what they believe in, but I would never do any business with people who think their personal beliefs and opinions must be shared in business environment. 

When I do business, I care about person's integrity, skill set, and client relationship. I don't care about the color of skin, the kind of accent they have, and what their sexual orientation is. If one behaves like a pig, I will stay away. 

Originally posted by @Vladimir Titarenko :

Being an immigrant myself, I've had to work with many different people and  have heard numerous things ranging from light ignorance to hard core racism.  I can respect other's opinions and beliefs and would not confront anyone based on what they believe in, but I would never do any business with people who think their personal beliefs and opinions must be shared in business environment. 

When I do business, I care about person's integrity, skill set, and client relationship. I don't care about the color of skin, the kind of accent they have, and what their sexual orientation is. If one behaves like a pig, I will stay away. 

I agree. You don't have to like someone to do business with them (as long as they are qualified to do the job).

I doesn't make sense to burn your bridges. Although I prefer not to deal with racists, I add them to my B list (without letting them know I don't deal with racists or that I even have a B list). As a former homeowner, if the contractors on my A list were unavailable and I had a job that had to get done, I approached my B list to find out their availability. 

Originally posted by @Anthony Wick :

I don't ask contractors how they feel about certain social or political views, but if the guy is going to blurt out and prove he's a racist while he's giving me a price quote, then I sure am not going to ignore that he's a blatant racist. Not speaking out, or ignoring this fact, is the same as supporting his racism. And that is how the country moves backwards in time when racism was acceptable (as if it still isn't for many people). You're going to ignore this so you can save money? In other words, your acceptance of racism is for sale. 

I don't disagree with you, but even if we hypothetically don't care about racism when picking a GC and want to make it a "pure business decision," it's a horrible business practice to run off at the mouth about it unsolicited as that guy did. We don't micromanage every aspect of what a GC does, so part of their value proposition is their good judgement when it comes to business decisions. 

His business decision was to randomly go on a racist tangent to a potential client rather than spend that same time talking about how great his fences are or what steps he takes to minimize the noise impact on client's tenants... it's not realistic to think that he's suddenly going to have great judgement when it comes time to make a decision about how to put a fence up. His neurons fire randomly, not rationally. Who is to say what in the heck this guy is going to do if he's digging a post-hole and finds what appears to be an unexpected utility line. Get angry, blame immigrants, and pull out the jack hammer?

@Douglas Christensen

"if Adolf Hitler came to me and asked for a bid to build a concentration camp"

Your just taking bids on building not actually managing the camp right. Maybe it should be more about a persons qualifications for the job than about the person themselves. As an example suppose you were taking bids on building a wall. A contractor, that is know to be a racist president, puts in a bid to build the wall, should he be automatically excluded from being hired to build the wall.