My Secret Chef - How to show your inexperience in a service industry.

People don't want to look stupid. So they act stupidly in an attempt to avoid being embarrassed personally. has a business (My Secret Chef) that is run by a young Weber State business graduate (Adam). My Secret Chef has been on the site for a while and this last week made it's first sale.

Now I had met with Adam and offered to put him on the site gratis since hes a young guy with a semi-struggling business. Since his business had been put on the site without the usual payment, his banking info had not gone through the usual process and since he'd not yet sold anything his direct deposit hadn't been initiated. So, when he made his first sale he recieved an instant email notification that the sale had been made and wanted to know how he would be paid. (I had explained it previously but it had been a while.)

(By way of explaination: Nimble directly deposits all sales for the previous 7 days into the listed businesses checking account every Friday.) 

So what did Adam do? He charged the customer full price and told her he'd refund the sale to her card if and when he got paid.

Did he behave in his own best interest? I'd say no. In his desire not to loose a single dollar of potential income, he blamed everything on a third party... us. Then he sent us a nasty all-caps email demanding immediate email although he'd been told that the deposit would go through on Friday (which it did.) So he was in a position of having charged the customer and receiving payment twice.

Had we done anything wrong? No. Had we not done anything we were supposed to do? No. Did anything not work the way it was supposed to work? No.

What should he have done? Even if he'd never been paid, he should have told the customer, "You paid for this in good faith and I'm going to honor this."  Then he could contact us if he didn't recieve payment the way it was promised.

Adam showed his inexperience with customer service and business relationships by overreacting. He damaged his relationship with his customer, his relationship with us, and our relationship with the customer. He's made himself conspicuous as a potential problem and used up all his good will with me personally. Fight Club.

The moral: Business is about the value of personal relationships. That's what I consider capital and I value a business relationship over $20 worth of cheese.