Dziennik Chicagoski -- January 02, 1897Courtesy Is Welcomed Everywhere
There is not one clownish, rude, or despotic person in the world who is in a position to win the hearts of others.
No matter how well educated a clownish, rude, or despotic person may be, his high learning means nothing to others, and does not win the respect, if the individual is unmindful and negligent of others, or discourteous to others in their presence. Even an uneducated person, if he is pleasant and courteous, wins the hearts of others, and, in every instance, may count upon their help and support.
Mention is not being made of the type of civility that is associated with flattery, and is intended for personal gain at another's expense, for there is an appropriate German saying for this: "Das sind Katzen, die vorne lecken und hinten Kratzen." [Editor's note: This is the equivalent of "nice to your face--knife you when your back is turned".] We have in mind the kind of 2courtesy that every person has a right to expect and demand--sincere politeness, not exaggerated, without superfluous condescension or the servility of a Judas.
If we have the right to demand from everyone pleasant politeness, then we have the more right to demand this from those whom we support and help to enrich with our money. We have the right to demand politeness from businessmen of all nationalities, as well as the right to expect it.
Those of other nationalities have long plied the trade of the businessman. It was long afterward that we followed suit in our fatherland, imitating the Germans and the Jews, and only after them are we able to garner even stray bits of trade. It is little wonder that they exceed and excel in every phase of business. They surpass us in buying material and merchandise; they stand above us in the keenness and consideration that are so necessary in business; they excel us in the methods of selling their goods, and what is more important, they represent the pinnacle of politeness and patience, which they display no 3matter how small the purchased item may be.
It must be admitted that we do not as yet possess these qualities, chiefly because our forerunners in business lacked the patience, consideration, and cold-bloodedness that are so essential in business.
Today, at last, we are straining every effort to enter this field. Our brothers in Europe have taken a definite step in this direction. We in America, outside the saloons, groceries, butcher shops, and shoe stores, however, cannot brag of our achievements in the bigger and more lucrative businesses. Those businesses that we have are small indeed. One will ask why these few Polish businessmen cannot maintain and enrich themselves. By and large, we are to blame for this, because we do not patronize the Polish businessman. The young Polish businessman is also largely to blame, for he would like a person to buy what he offers, and accept without question the way he offers a piece of merchandise.
We cannot blame the customer who enters a Polish store and informs the proprietor 4that he or she desires a pound of coffee of a grade higher than that previously purchased, and never returns again to trade because the following reply is received, "Then please go elsewhere to find a better grade"--or when one of our businessmen spots a newcomer in his store (who has heretofore been making purchases elsewhere) and greets him in a rude fashion to the effect that he has been trading somewhere else. Others, having a poor selection of goods, reply that they do not keep goods for the aristocracy (in the event that the customers wish cannot be fulfilled) and rudely walk away from the counter. Still others lack patience, and would like to get rich in a month and, because of this, they charge unusally high prices for their wares. No wonder, then, that such stores are avoided by the customer. A purchaser should not be offended just because he wishes to spend his own money. It would be interesting to know what our businessmen would say if they were treated the same way by commercial and industrial houses they deal with.
The Jew, American, German, and, in fact, merchants of all other nationalities treat their customers with kindness and consideration. At times it happens 5that a customer enters a store, looks around and walks out because he does not find anything suitable to his wants. The proprietor does not treat the prospective purchaser with rudeness, nor does he throw merchandise roughly upon the counter, but apologizes and leads the person to the door, begging him to return again.
These are the qualities that we lack, and, until we remedy this, our business houses will never be larger than the small shacks found in the European country fairs.
Let us not criticize a person because he has not traded with us, but be joyful because he enters our store and desires to patronize us; let us not get angry because a customer criticizes our merchandise or returns it, but accomodate that person to his satisfaction, even if it involves a slight loss. It must be remembered that one person influences another, and so on.
Where the businessman is pleasant, courteous, and accomodating, even a poor 6grade of goods is appealing to the customer's eye.
The above suggestions are intended for our mutual good, and are not intended to hurt anyone. They should serve as a stimulus to right our wrongs.
A Well-Wisher of the Polish Businessman.
I D 1 b, II A 2
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