Your 24/7 Reality Show
March 4, 2011
Do we do what's right, because we know it's what's right? Or do we do what's right because someone may be looking?
My parents went to get a painting professionally framed last week. It was a gift to them and they wanted to hang it over the sofa. Having never done anything like this before, they asked the clerk for some help and advice, and the clerk proceeded to show them the most expensive frame, mat and museum glass available. They were shocked at the price, almost $500, but having no frame of reference, they agreed, paid and left. The almost $500 price was 40-percent off the regular price. There was a sale going on. It was a bargain.
When they told me about the exorbitant cost, I was shocked. We drove back over to the frame shop and patiently stood in line, waiting our turn to speak with the clerk. She looked up, saw Mom and Dad, and also noticed me standing with them. Her facial expression let us know she wasn't happy to see us.
After waiting about 25 minutes, it was our turn. The first words out of her mouth were, "Are you here to get your extra 20-percent off?" Apparently the sale was extended to 60-percent off today, not even 24 hours after Mom and Dad made their purchase. Would have been nice for her to share that fact with them when they were making their purchase decision, eh?
Long story short, I informed the clerk that we would like to see some other pricing options for the painting. After telling me that it was impossible to change at this point, and seeing that I wasn't going to take "no" for an answer, the impossible quickly became possible. Mom and dad selected another frame, mat and glass, for $300 less. She refunded their credit card, and without saying any more, looked at the next person in line and said, "Next." I chuckled and shook my head, and we turned to leave the store.
So let's review. My parents are in their 80s, obviously senior citizens, most likely living on a fixed income. They had no prior experience in purchasing framing services and told the clerk this, asking for her help. The clerk saw them coming, counted the potential dollar signs and stuck them for as much as she could. She didn't do anything illegal but it wasn't right, either. She thought that no one was looking. But someone was.
How will we react to the choices and opportunities that we are given today? Will we invest a full day's work for our employer today? Or will we just do enough to get by?
Will we spend that extra minute on the phone with the listener who calls? Or will we cut them off ASAP, regardless of their question, concern or comment? It's not illegal, immoral, unethical or unscriptural. But is it right?
What if the cameras were rolling 24/7? What if our life was a full-blown reality show? Would we act and react differently? Would we think before we spoke?
Would Mrs. Framery Clerk have handled the sale differently if it had been HER 80-year-old parents' money? Would she have reacted more helpfully the next day if "Eye-On-News" cameras were present and rolling?
Live your life as though the camera is following you today. Imagine the focus; consider the replay. Hopefully, the sound and images will be the same with or without an audience.
Lights! Camera! Action!