Name and Shame – Is It Worth The Drama?

Minted Words

Freshly minted words,

Descend on a page,

Textured and filled will meaning.

Concepts become alive

as the world gets re-crafted

By the skillful architect.

Unbridled yet in full control

The author, with courage

Weaves a delectable tale,

of heroes and villains.

Understood by those who

Unveil their eyes

to see.

Copyright Suzette Henry-Campbell 2013

It’s morning and I should be earnestly attacking my quantitative assignment due next week. I am now side-tracked as my “what’s happening in the world” diet, gave me pause to reflect on how ordinary citizens have become savvy in using social media to name and shame corporations that have failed to meet their clients expectations. It should come as no surprise that with this new level of engagement, everyone is quick to provide their side of the story to a wider audience. The difficulty is often a case of finding the truth.

Naming and shaming is not a new concept. It has always been used by those who believe that their stories reflect attitudes that pander to unjust, immoral, and unconscionable behaviors by the powerful. Large and small corporations that go counter to their careful manicured public face, are easy prey to those who believe they were victims of one thing or another. As beautiful a thing as the digital age is, one cannot help but wonder if our sense of entitlement is overtaking our ability to think rationally.

Retrieved from Google Images, October 7, 2013

Irrational behaviors court disaster. Where a challenge could have been dealt with at the primary level, results of sour experiences spill over into the cyber world with photos and narratives of our experiences. Even more telling are the comments which border on frivolous excuses to hate filled speech that would have many cringing at the very thought that they were uttered.

Recently, I read of a company that refused to have a father accompany his physically challenged daughter to the female rest room. The parents took to social media after, it is alleged, there were failed attempts to have the parent company give them audience. In its defense, the company released a statement which was a narrative that differed from the family’s perspective. Is that surprising? One thing that was not in dispute was the fact that an incident occurred.

Both parties have used electronic means to address this matter. The decision that has to be made is to take control of the situation before it spirals out of control. If the media reports are reliable, the entity, without seeking to invite the press, should call the family to meet with representatives of the company. At this meeting, without the glare of public scrutiny, an apology should be considered as a point of movement. We are often shuttered in by our own lived experiences and find it difficult to understand another’s perspective, hence the rabid defense of practices and positions that are socially constructed.

Having read the story, both the parent of the disabled child as well as the manager of the entity had an opportunity to resolve this issue without feeling that each had to justify the why, when, where and how. The outcome, as reported, is a manifestation of how disengaged we have become to the purpose of relationships. Instead, we opt for crafting notices that will shame the object of our dissatisfaction.

It is my hope that the parties will let go of their stubbornly held positions and engage in discussions that will provide a resolution.


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