Burning Bridges

I was appalled, embarrassed and intrigued to witness a professional bridge being publicly burned today.

A business owner sent an email out to their contact list – quite and extensive, of which I am a member, asking for donations for a charity she is sponsoring. It is a well known charity and the email allowed for easy donations, should you be so inclined.

I was out of the office today and so didn’t retrieve my messages until after 5pm. The owner’s email went out earlier in the day and I also had a REPLY TO ALL message with the same subject line from one of the recipients of the original email.

The second message came from a vendor of the business owner saying “I would love to help. But could your company pay their overdue invoice from a year ago… I’ve received lots of promises but no money.”

ouch.

Now we all have a business to run and part of the operations of a successful business involves the collection of funds. This vendor clearly was frustrated and angry at the lack of payment of a legitimate financial obligation.

But public FLOGGING?

Was that really necessary?

I am afraid, that in my eyes, although I can be sympathetic to the plight of the vendor, this email response only served to embarrass me on behalf of the business owner and make me question the professionalism of the vendor.

Was the vendor right to publicly burn their bridges with the business owner and potentially all of those on the contact list?

I don’t think so.