Spitting In Your Soup
During the 1950’s Korean Conflict, six American GI’s were assigned to a housing unit. Fighting had calmed down, so they found themselves living in close quarters with extra time on their hands.
Predictably, they soon started playing practical jokes on each other…sneaking up on each other, rubber snake tricks, etc.
Quickly tiring of these games, they started pulling these little pranks on their houseboy Wan. They liked this good natured Korean boy-happy to have the job-and figured they’d include him in their practical jokes.
They would tie his boots together while he was sleeping and make loud clanging noises with their mess kits. Wan would jump up, thinking the enemy was attacking, and fall right on his face. Ha Ha!
They’d hang a bucket of water above his door and place a tripcord in the threshold. Then, they would call Wan into the room, and watch him get drenched.
One day the soldiers were sitting around drinking, and someone commented that Wan seemed a little down. They quickly realized that the cause of Wan’s depression was the practical jokes they had been playing. They had only meant to make him feel included, but obviously he only felt humiliated. The soldiers apologized and promised never to do it again.
Wan’s quick reply was “Ok, GI…then I’ll stop spitting in your soup.” Gross but poignant.
Anytime we deal with others in an unethical, or manipulative manner, we risk the same fate as our GI friends.
Maintaining an attitude of integrity, ethics, and fair dealing in any negotiation is not only the right thing to do…it’s the least costly in the long run.
Remember what mom said…”Be nice…” Not only is mature adult conduct in negotiations its own reward…You’ll avoid people spitting in your soup.
John Patrick Dolan, Attorney at Law, Certified Specialist Criminal Law, CSP, CPAE is a recognized expert in the field of negotiation. He travels throughout the world presenting lively keynote speeches and in-depth training programs for business and legal professionals. Call 1-800-859-0888 for more information.