When I go to quote on a job I am often asked the question, ‘So…How much for cash?’ or alternatively the suggestion is made (‘nudge nudge’) that the customer is happy to pay cash, with the implication being that a hefty discount might apply.
Up to now I have been fairly genial in my responses and politely declined any ‘cash’ offers as I haven’t wanted to offend people, but I am increasingly feeling like this is something I want to confront. It gets tricky because some people genuinely want to do me a favour by refusing an invoice and they struggle to get it when I decline. Then it gets weird and I have to explain why I would prefer to be honest…
I wonder, why am I the one who has to do the explaining?!
I know its supposedly part of Aussie culture and all that, but at core it is simple dishonesty. Its taking what isn’t ours and denying the state what it is due.
Call it theft if you like… (and if you don’t ‘like’ then that’s too bad)
What’s particularly disturbing for me is the number of people who call themselves Jesus followers who don’t bat an eyelid at trading ‘under the table’. What kinda discipleship is it that allows for this?…
It seems that in our culture we all believe in honesty – except when it disadvantages me. We’re happy to be honest so long as there isn’t a personal cost attached. This stretches beyond cashies and into most of life.
But what kind of pathetic ‘honesty’ is that?… Seriously… it is a sham. Conditional integrity is no integrity at all.
At the core of this issue is simple selfishness and greed. ‘More for me’. And the belief that it doesn’t matter if we rip off the government.
It matters because it is stealing.
It matters because every time we do it we shape our character.
It matters because we make a statement by our actions. We tell people what kind of people we are.
It matters because we deny our government $$ to provide services.
It matters because it creates an uneven playing field and disadvantages honest operators.
Whether we are people of faith or not, this is not a contentious issue. Its black and white and I’m tired of being the one who looks kooky for saying ‘no’. Lately things have got tighter in my business and I have lost a number of jobs to people who are doing ‘cashies’. Last week I had a customer accept an $1100.00 quote, only to be called a few hours later and told that another person had agreed to do the same job for ‘$800.00 cash’.
Yesterday I was asked to beat a quote – a silly price – and I refused. I sent through my most competitive price only to get a text in return that said, ‘Let’s meet and we can talk ‘cash’.’
I sent a text back. “I don’t do cashies because I believe it compromises my honesty and integrity. Still want me to quote?” I haven’t heard back, but I’ll be interested to see if they join the dots and whether they want to pursue my quote that is several hundred dollars higher than the ‘cash’ quote.
I think I know the answer… And while I care about not getting the work, I care more about the message it would send if I did work for cash.
There are many aspects of life and faith that are grey and difficult to discern, but this isn’t one of them. So if you’re currently doing cashies why not have a re-think and ask yourself what it says about you and your business?…