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Sunday, September 27, 2015


As I began my morning, just like any other, perusing information, I came upon a question in an Objectivist forum about ambition. Evidently the person who had a misunderstanding about ambition was from Great Britain, that Utopia of the Welfare State, so it is perhaps understandable that they didn't "get" ambition.  Why would you when you're provided with everything cradle to grave?

It raised a question in my mind that no one has been able to adequately answer in my fifty years on this rock.

Parenthetically, for those of you wondering why the sudden exposition on Objectivist thought, I am stuck in a scene in the new novel, so keeping with my admonition to write something every day, this is my writing until the Muse is back from her booze cruise or I figure out how to move the story forward.

I have always noted that the Looter Class always project their fears and characteristics when they screech about anything not in the Loot and Scoot philosophy.  Take the Free Market, and I get this on a daily basis from a "Libertarian" son who mooches off me and refuses to work or go to school and is one smart-mouth comment from living in the gutter, the what I like to call the"

  1. "You can't really expect people to be honest.  People are just out for themselves." - No one can be expected to run a straight game is the theory behind this Harpie skreed.  Of course, darling, people are in it for themselves.  For what other reason would I do anything if not for myself?  However, what is best for me is that my enterprise continue running and, if I am smart, growing.  It cannot run and grow if I deal dishonestly with people.  Let me give you an example from my real life.

    I bought a washing machine from a local Big Box store and purchased the extended warranty because I have grown children in my house who have never once stopped to read directions. With six months left on the extended warranty a bearing went out making my washing machine sound like a jet engine powering up for take off during each spin cycle.  I call and put in a ticket and they sent out the local "service provider" who spent thirty seconds looking at my washing machine, never even touched it, told me a bearing was out and they they would put in the work request and get back to me within 3-4 days.  After 3 weeks I and numerous unanswered phone calls to the appliance repair people, who never told me their names or the company name, and left me with no paperwork whatsoever, and whom I had to look up online, I called the national service center to find out what was going on. They also could not get a hold of the "service provider".  Their "service provider".  That they hired and contracted to.  I was told they would get a status update and call me back within 4-5 business days.  I waited a week and then called them back, and here is where it gets interesting.

    The Service Center was able to contact a woman who didn't recognize my name (despite my daily calls and messages left with me phone number and name) but said she was on her way into the office and would check it out. I got on Google and left a very poor review for them which was one of many bad reviews by evidently anyone who had had to deal with these people and their extended warranty.  Now, the "service provider" who could not be arsed to call me back on any of my dozens of phone messages, suddenly found the bad Google review and called me back on THAT.  After evidently not reading the entire review or he would have known I was in contact with the National Service Center. He proceeded to lie to me and tell me that they had cancelled the repair and he could forward me the e-mail (for which I am still waiting) and that they had told him they would contact me with buy out offers.

    Naturally I get back on the phone with the NSC and let them know what their "service provider" had told me, which, of course, they could find no record for since they had sent approval and parts for the repair to the "service provider". At this point I, again, asked to speak to a supervisor type, because I knew the person I was talking to was not authorized to hear what I was about to loose. I spoke with a supervisor type who apologized and explained to me that this "service provider" was the ONLY one in my area.  After I read off the names of eight dealers within my area who were also authorized to repair my machine, then it went to, well, they were the only ones the local store had told them about, and therefore the ONLY ones who could repair my machine, which they evidently did not want to do, as it was work and not just a free check from a large, national company.  They are now offering me the purchase price of my washer, which I see as it should be, however I am also asking for the refund of the extended warranty price since they "would" not honor it by calling anyone else in my immediate area to simply fix the damned machine and now I will be without my matching set.

    Now, neither of the entities in this story have dealt with me honestly. What are the chances of me buying another appliance at their store and purchasing an extended warranty? None whatsoever. And, in keeping with Consumer Rule No. 1, I will loudly tell anyone I know not to deal with either of them because of this. It no longer matters that I have had years of good dealings these people, this one incident has forever marred that relationship. Because of that I will want no one else to deal with that and will therefore encourage them to take their money elsewhere.  In these days of the internet.  Think about that for a moment, and how Best Buy was forced to change many of its business practices due to entire websites set up to complain about their policies.
  2. Now, on to Consumer Rule Number 1. A person who has bought a service or good from you and has a good experience will tell another person about you but only if they know they are in the market for the same good or service.  However, if they have a bad experience, they will tell anyone who will listen (and many who aren't) about it, trying to ruin your reputation and thus your ability to bilk people out of their hard earned money.  In these days of the internet, their reach is worldwide.
 Now, if you have even two neurons rubbing together in your head, you can see where this is heading.  The local "service provider" has a very bad rep in my small town. No one will deal with them willingly and the ONLY hope they have to make a living is to work as the "service provider" for local appliance stores farming out their warranty work. When I was reading off all of the local dealers in our area to the supervisor at the NSC he was a little shocked.  I asked him if he wanted me to delve into the surrounding area for more. The local store had told them the "service provider" was the only one in the area.  The local store manager is obviously in cahoots with the "service provider" and thus you have the perfect example of crony capitalism which is not build on ambition but greed. And, if you've read my essay on Capitalism, you know that greed is the desire for something with no effort put in on your part.  It's a nice way to say theft.

In these days of the intarwebs, how long can a bad actor stay hidden?  Well, my local "service provider" only reacts to bad reviews he gets no Google. Before the information age it was easy for these con men to get away with their bad acts and chicanery. Now, the entire world can catch you with a simple word typed into a search engine.  That is the power of the market balancing itself without any government intervention. The only time it gets wonkyjawed, to use a Texasism, is when bad actors enter and try to game the system so they are making money with no effort on their part.  In other words, they are stealing from the consumers.

How does this wrap into ambition?  Easy, if the "service provider" cared to provide a service he would not have bad reviews left by anyone who has ever dealt with him in my local area. He has no ambition to better his life by providing excellent service, a service so superior to anyone else around that people are clamoring for his service.  No, he wants to be handed work by the local store manager, then do half-ass repairs ONLY when he feels like it, if he feels like it.  Either way, he gets paid.  There is no downside for him except for he may have to get his ass up out of his recliner and turn the TV off and actually do the job he was contracted to do.  That's not ambition, that flim-flam man.  He has no wish to deal honestly or he would.  He's already lied to me on a couple of occasions.  What are the odds I believe he will fix my washing machine?  Slim and none, because I already have had bad dealings with him, I don't want him in my house, ever.

An ambitious man would have A) not lied to me at any step; and B) done the work to the very best of his ability and exceeded expectations and then hope that I would call him if I needed repairs on any of the other appliances in my house.  He would have done this, made the consumer happy, in the hopes of repeat business.  Do I keep receipts because I like paper?  No. I keep them in the event I need a like good or service in the future from people who have acted well on my behalf, and in the end, their own behalf. By making my life better, they better their own at the end of the day.  They strive to meet my needs and I pay them accordingly.  I have no problem whatsoever paying someone for a job well done. I will fight tooth and nail against a bad actor, however. I see lack of ambition as a lack of will to live.  I really do.

Think of your own ambitions.  What do you want from your life?  What do you want to accomplish?  Then think beyond that.  How do you plan on achieving those goals?  Honestly or through lying and cheating?  Only one answer is right.

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