Playing nice in the real world or how loyalty and integrity saves me money!

Posted May 30th, 2012 by Mimi

Playing nice is something that seems largely forgotten in the big wide world of instant gratification and the 'me' culture.
Things like 'loyalty' seem to only extend as far as buying the same branded handbag, jeans or sunglasses year after year. Or getting a free latte` when you've bought nine.
Not too many people understand the concept of loyalty, unless it comes with instant gratification, be it admiration from their friends or a smiley stamp on their rewards card.
If you want to make the most of your hard earned cash, not just now, but ten, fifteen or twenty years from now, loyalty, honesty and integrity could be key long term strategies.
Returning to favourite businesses over and over, paying our bills promptly, and referring friends to good tradespeople and others with whom we've had dealings, has gained us free loads of firewood, free deliveries when we've all been too sick to leave the house to grocery shop, social opportunities, free or discounted flowers for the home and plants for the garden, and reduced rates on all manner of things from handyman tasks to major electrical work. All because we were long term customers who referred friends without the expectation, implied or otherwise, that we wouldreceive something in return.

Being a long term customer also saved me from a great deal of embarrassment when I once filled my car with fuel, only to discover I did not have my wallet with me. A genuine oversight. However, had I not been a regular at that service station, I may have struggled to convince the manager that I did, indeed, just live up the hill and would return promptly with my wallet, to pay for the transaction.

When I was a child, there was a Mum and Dad style shop on every corner. All of them would run a 'tick', where regular customers could 'run up' a bill. You'd go there, buy what you needed, and then be trusted to pay later, whether that was tomorrow or a month from now. This was pre-credit card days of course, and mostly pre-supermarket chain. This system largely functioned well, and helped many families through a tight financial spot. Alas, these are long gone. But loyalty and honesty and integrity were key ingredients in that happy relationship.

As much as the household budget is of crucial importance to me, sometimes it's not worth doing the run around to another suburb or store to save a few cents or a couple of bucks even when things are tight. Loyalty to my regular service station, mechanic, video store or supermarket gains me far more in the long run.
Play nice. Be polite to tradespeople, checkout assistants, the postman, the delivery van driver, the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker. Pay them all promptly and with a smile. The checkout assistant of today, is the entrepreneur with the thing you want, tomorrow.
Loyalty, manners, financial integrity...crucial ingredients for playing nice.
Don't you think?
Edited for spacing :)

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