I was having lunch outside with a friend one breezy spring day. She’d ordered the duck special and two glasses of wine.
I had the sandwich and water.
When the check came, she said, “I forgot my wallet. Would you mind picking up the check this time?”
Noting the look of frustration and anger on my face, she said, “Sorry. It’s just friendship. Nothing personal. I just expect this kind of stuff out of my friends.”
Is that justifiable?
Should I keep her in my cell phone?
Later that day, I came home to find my boyfriend all dressed up. Drenched in cologne. Hair moussed. Binaca poised jauntily over his mouth.
Expecting that he was about to surprise me with a date, I gave him a huge hug. He squirted his Binaca and kissed me soundly. Then he told me I was the prettiest girl he’d ever seen.
The doorbell rang. He sprinted into action, opening it widely to display a blonde-haired girl in a short skirt and a neckline that plunged to its death somewhere around her bellybutton.
“I’m off on a date, babe.” He winked. “Don’t wait up.”
My heart sunk, and he saw my consternation and confusion.
“No worries,” he said. “I’m just a man. This how we roll. Don’t take it personally. I’ll be home later. Promise.”
Is that forgivable?
You know, he is just a man.
As they walked out the door, my phone rang.
It was my landlord. He wanted to let me know that he’d been approached by a businessman who wanted to rent my apartment for $200 more a month than I was paying.
And since I’d been living there for 5 years, my lease had turned into a month-to-month contract. So I had 60 days to get out of my apartment.
Sixty days to leave my home.
Because a man wanted to pay $200 dollars more in rent than I was paying.
I cried, and the landlord said, “I’m really sorry. It’s just business. You understand, right? Nothing personal. No hard feelings. It’s just business.”
And that was acceptable.
Could Someone Explain to Me How “It’s Just Business” Is an Excusable Reason to Be an Ass?
Would you keep a friend who took advantage of you constantly?
Would you stay with a partner who cheated often?
Those are toxic situations to stay in. You know that. I know that.
So explain to me why we stay in business relationships with people and companies who consistently take advantage of us, lie to us, and effectively steal our money – and then we make it okay with ourselves by saying Well, it’s just business. It’s nothing personal.
It is personal.
It is our money earned by our time and hard work. It is our trust. It is our families and health and happiness.
And we’re fooling ourselves if we think it’s justifiable because we don’t see their faces and they don’t know our children.
Behavior that we wouldn’t condone in a friend or a partner shouldn’t be tolerated, or worse, encouraged in companies (or even landlords) by feeding it with the “it’s just business” lie.
It’s time to sever the ties we have with these people/entities. Just like we would with a cheating boyfriend.
The healthiest thing to do? Stop participating in the relationship. Find other relationships that are healthier, based on trust, and foster happiness.
And don’t ever look back and wonder how things could have been.
You Know What I’m Talking About?
If a shampoo you use says “natural” on the label, and it’s anything but natural – throw it away and never buy anything from that company again.
If your bank continues to pile on unfair and unnecessary charges – take your money out of that bank and never do business with them again.
If a company pollutes your neighborhood or city or you know it’s polluting a neighborhood or city – stop buying their products, ever, no matter what.
If you buy anything from Monsanto (RoundUp or farms that use GMO foods) STOP RIGHT NOW.
There’s no need to hold grudges. There’s no need to make new laws. There’s absolutely no need to go on anger-fueled tirades.
The world is a huge place full of incredible options and the nicest, most authentic people you could ever wish to meet.
And there’s no reason why any one of us needs to make a decision to stay in an unhealthy relationship … because it’s just business.
None at all.
Take the It’s Not Just Business Pledge
If you’re tired of hearing government, newscasters, people next door saying it’s just business in order to justify inhumane and uncaring business practices and decisions, then do this:
Pledge never, ever to use the words it’s just business in conversation. Ever. With anyone. Even yourself.
And if you hear someone say it’s just business, ask them why they think we tolerate greedy, unscrupulous behaviors from businesses when we wouldn’t ever tolerate those behaviors from our friends.
Ask them why there has to be a distinction. Why we can’t all just act in kindness. Whether or not they think it’s okay to remain in unhealthy relationships, regardless of who it’s with.
Let’s get rid of this silly phrase, this staid and outdated idea for good.
And let’s all just be human and act humanely, yeah?
Businesses are made of people. They are not robots. They are not soulless. They are not justifiably heartless and greedy.
They are made of people with whom we eventually form relationships.
It’s time we expect our relationships with them to be as healthy as any other.
Or healthier, even.
(It’s far easier to find a new shampoo than it is to find a new spouse. Remember that.)