The parable of the lying tailor and the compassionate customer.|


Yesterday, I suffered a shocker. A huge shocker indeed. Because I learn’t the hard way why mixing business with friendship in these dangerous times has bitter consequences.

The story started four weeks ago. See, there was this tailor in town that I was used to bringing him my clothes to mend for close to one & a half years. A forty something year old man with grey hair & a business I was yet to fully comprehend. Or at least, I thought I had.

Then one day, which was a month ago, I decide to give him a chance to make me a suit. So I pay him half the amount for the material to use for the garment & trust that in one week, he’d finish the suit (mind you, I never even demanded for a receipt from him out of trust).

But woe unto me!

1)Personal matters aside, keep it strictly business.
So after week one, I come to the tailor & he tells me that he couldn’t finish the suit in time. And why’s that? Because apparently, he spent the money I had given him on his daughter’s medication (personal matter #1).

And since I had worked with this old lad for close to two years, I thought; well, for community’s & courtesy’s sake, it would be wise to ‘forgive’ the old lad & add him some more cash, which I gladly did out of trust & compassion (personal matter#2).

So another week passes & another week passes as the old lad gives me excuses about taking the suit to this tailor & that tailor to put this & that design & I was like okay…

2)Demand for your right! It’s first come, first served!
So two weeks ago, I pay the old lad a surprise visit & as it turns out, he was mending suits for another wedding that was happening far away (mutual respect compromised*).

My patience was running out & though I felt like  ranting & raving, I knew that I had to be courteous. So I asked him why my suit was still not ready yet & he continues with his excuses of his personal life, & how my suit was (still) being designed by so & so.

He even went further & asked me to be courteous enough to excuse him to make the current order of suits for a certain wedding because it was urgent (personal matter #3) .

That’s when I had mixed feelings. Though my instincts told me to trust this lad by virtue of his word, my mind told me that I was being taken for a ride…

& guess what?

3)My Mind was right! Businesses will likely use friendship to take advantage & compromise upon mutual respect after all.

And so the old lad promised me that this week, which is the fourth week, would be the ultimatum.

Monday passes, he promises Tuesday & Tuesday passes & so forth… which is basically what he had been doing for the past three weeks.

Thus, I declared that Wednesday was fed-up day & called for the intervention of someone I knew talked tough & kept things strictly business (personal matters aside). And that was none other than my mother (since I knew that my dad’s kindness & courtesy would be taken advantage of.)

And my oh my, here comes the shocker. After a thorough confrontation from my tough stanced mother, who wanted either the results or the money there & then, the old lad had no other choice but to confess.

That he hadn’t even began making the suit after all. That he wanted to start making it & finish the shoddy job on that same day. What utter nonsense! 

Of course, we could hear none of that & demanded for the money. It even turned out, based on the testimony of tailors in the locality that the old lad is a chronic liar after all.

So what else can I say. I trusted the old lad like a father but he repeatedly stabbed me in the back with fake promises. All my precious anticipation, energy & time was wasted for nothing. Without compensation!

That’s why I love quoting these wise words by Confucius;

Signs & symbols rule the world. Not words nor laws…

Kiruai Dennis is the author of “Man Up Or the Women Will” which is currently available on Amazon. Terms & Conditions Apply…