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Thursday, February 07, 2008

The white lie

In this JLC Online Thread, Sonny Lykos explains how, even when he could handle work on short notice, he told clients they would have to wait a month for him to do the work to avoid seeming to be desperate for the business; then, the next day, he would call to say that a client had made a last-minute cancellation and he could do the job sooner if desired. The issue, which Sonny sought opinion of others on, is has he violated his concepts of integrity.

The consensus is 'no', this type of white lie is not in any way harmful to the client, nor does it put them in any disadantage. Quite the opposite would be the case if, for example, the contractor said the work could be done the next day, and failed to deliver.
The issue of finesse or 'creative interpretation' in business dealings is important but should not be overstated. Small businesses with one employee working from home sometimes feel a need to rent a mini-office in a 'prestigious' location; or, when asked information about your years of experience (you are just starting out) you cite experience when you were the employee somewhere else. And of course, we are all guilty at times of the lies of omission -- not suggesting a 'problem' with our service that won't help sell it, but isn't necessarily something wrong at our end.

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