Why I wouldn’t hire Trump - as requested by Ron on Mary Gravitt’s blog

I mentioned on Mary Gravitt’s blog in answer to something she said about people excusing Trump’s vulgar behavior because he’s in business that I wouldn’t hire Trump and could write about that. Ron asked me to elaborate.

I’ve been in business for my adult life, starting a summer in college, part of it working for my father, part of it working with my father, part of it working alone. There are aspects of my business that have shifted over time, though some are remarkably stable. There are people I deal with, at least on occasion, who I have known for more than forty years. 

What that tells you is that I depend heavily on repeat business. Actually, a whole lot of businesses do. How many times have you been on the phone with a business where you were asked to take a survey after your call? How many times have you had businesses you deal with ask you to take an online survey about them? These businesses want you back. 

Here’s how they don’t get you back:

  • Get too arrogant with you, particularly to the extent of treating you as less than significant.
  • Fail to learn anything about what they’re doing, like Trump has done with government. That’s a great way to show a customer they’re not worth your effort. The same goes for the public.
  • Back you into a corner. Not an experience you’d like to experience again and, if you have a chance to avoid having it again, you won’t. Guess how?
  • Act like their priorities utterly trump yours, that they count to themselves way more than you do. If their competition treats you better, who are you doing business with?
  • Renege on a deal. Nothing helps a negotiation like going into it with zero credibility. Also, nothing destroys credit so quickly.
  • Lie to you and get caught. See above. 
  • Try to structure deals that take advantage of you as if you were the enemy. If you want a deal to be stable, supported by all parties rather than any of the participating parties constantly attempting to undermine it, you have to watch your partners’ interests so they have a vested interest in your arrangement continuing.
  • Treat you like you have nowhere else to go. Sooner or later you will have elsewhere to go and, at that point, you’re going. If you were treated well, you’d stay, and anyone else looking to move your business would have an uphill fight. In my business, people change jobs within a rather small industry, so the guy who thinks you screwed him could easily end up somewhere very important to you.
  • Avoid responsibility for anything and everything. If you do business with someone, there has to e some sense that they’ll bother to have a back other than their own 100% of the time. 
  • Act entitled. Salespeople aren’t. Nor are service people.
  • Violate confidences, like Trump did with intelligence to the Russians. American diplomats and the military had fits when Trump passed Israeli intelligence to the Russians without Israeli permission. 

Any of these could easily be a dealbreaker. But all of them at once? 
I honestly don’t understand why anyone is stupid enough to do business with this guy. 

Maybe it’s the Selling Ice To Eskimos bit. He might be able to pull it off, but Eskimos don’t need ice, and if that hasn’t occurred to them, it will. 

If a salesperson is really good, they can sell ice to an Eskimo once. If they’re exceptional, twice. Just don’t show up in that neighborhood for a third sale. 

If you aren’t welcome in the neighborhood for the third sale, it gets awfully difficult to close. 

Ron, I hope this is what you had in mind.

Views: 45

Comment by Ron Powell on March 9, 2018 at 11:47pm

Pretty much...

Trump doesn't have the qualifications or the temperament to manage the local Burger King or Taco Bell. Why people think he is capable and competent to do anything of merit or consequence is way beyond me...

Comment by moki ikom on March 10, 2018 at 12:49am

is this original with you ksalaami? 

If a salesperson is really good, they can sell ice to an Eskimo once.

If they’re exceptional, twice. Just don’t show up in that neighborhood for a third sale. 


Just during my lifetime in this god-forsaken empire of hypocrUSy i have witnessed terrorUSt$ selling democrUSy over and over again and getting away with, indeeed alway$ profiting from, it. 

Comment by koshersalaami on March 10, 2018 at 6:09am

Yes, Moki, it is original with me. I’ve made the point before, but I haven’t phrased it about showing up in the neighborhood for a third sale before, that’s more or less a paraphrasing of what I’ve said.  The main thing on this list that is not, or at least explicitly not, is the point about structuring deals as if you’re the enemy. My father used to say that a deal that wasn’t good for all participants wasn’t a good deal, and that’s me translating his point. 

I’ve been thinking about the democracy question lately. The United States is not currently functioning as a democracy, it is functioning as an oligarchy. Mary Gravitt is basically right about the Kochs actually running the country. And this isn’t assertion, it’s quantifiable by looking at populations in the United States divided by income and the extent to which their priorities become policy. The short version is if they’re middle class, their priorities don’t, but if they’re wealthy, their priorities do. So there isn’t much democracy to export, and the US has a very nasty history of not respecting democracy abroad whenever said democracy is perceived as interfering with American economic interests. Actually, the US has a very nasty history of not respecting anything abroad whenever it is perceived as interfering with American economic interests. 

However, there are things about America that are worth exporting, really two. The first is domestic freedoms. You can pretty much say or write anything here without getting arrested as long as you don’t plot to kill someone or commit an obvious crime that should be a crime like kidnapping someone or blowing up a building. The second is that we are better at integrating immigrants than any other major nation on Earth. Europe is trying to integrate a Middle Eastern Muslim population right now and they are embarrassingly bad at it. Perhaps I should define “major”; let’s say economically, culturally, politically, and militarily influential. But “major” almost doesn’t matter - I can’t think of any nation outside the Western Hemisphere close to us in that regard. Maybe Australia or New Zealand; I don’t know enough about either. 

Comment by koshersalaami on March 10, 2018 at 6:11am

I agree with your comment. 


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