A Day in the Life of a Customer; Tired of Woke Companies

Like many of you, I both attend and lead many a presentation. Some are sales-focused, some are just project updates; some are intended to be educational.

One of the more disturbing things I’ve noticed throughout my career has been how political points creep into such presentations.

Sometimes it’s formal –

this is the company-mandated slide on diversity hiring.”

Sometimes it’s more subtle –

Here are some interesting statistics about our business: so many sites, so many employees, so many solar panels

– and so forth.

I’ll share two recent ones. One of my vendors now includes a slide showing a picture of their newest and proudest location, with a wind turbine in the background, and solar panels all across the warehouse roof. Why?

Because this commitment is very important to our management.

Another one just added a slide showing how using their service will now produce less carbon dioxide than if we used their typical competitors’ service.

I used to just say, “we can skip this slide and get on with it, we’re on a tight schedule.” I believe politics generally don’t belong in the workplace, especially in a sales call. If one party brings it up, the other is usually wise to shut it down before any damage is done, and move on.

But no longer. I now believe it’s important to call this out for what it is, before dismissing it.

If they boast about their solar panels and wind turbines, I comment that

we just want our vendors to be as efficient as possible so they can remain competitive; telling me that you’re intentionally using the most inefficient energy sources – yes, intentionally – doesn’t increase my confidence in your company’s judgment.”

If they boast about cutting their carbon dioxide production, I say

“so you’ve decided to track a harmless gas based on ridiculous political pseudoscience rather than track real pollution?”

The politics of sanity in America have always been tied to gentlemanly behavior, respectful seriousness, an effort to be tolerant and inoffensive in the workplace.

And what has this got us?

The termites of the left have taken this as carte blanche to infest the business world with their socialist poppycock, knowing that they would rarely, if ever, be challenged on it.

See, it isn’t just what’s been in the news with the biggest of companies over the past few years – corporate giants donating millions to Black Lives Matter and similar leftist groups, and appointing vice presidents of DEI and ESG who get veto power on advertising so they can shove wokeness at you in their print and television commercials. It’s more than that.

They now insert the politics of racial quotas, sexual deviancy, inefficient energy and the entire cult of global warming hysteria into their public websites, their annual stockholder reports, both their internal and external slide deck templates.

Whatever the subject matter may be – sales, purchasing, personnel, engineering, it doesn’t matter – the intersectionality crowd has slid these themes into their corporate communications standards. There must be a slide boasting of their commitment to an all-electric car fleet for their salesmen, a solar farm to power their manufacturing, a ridiculous windmill to charge their delivery trucks.

None of this is good for their business. As their customers, we want them to be cost-efficient, accurate, productive, inventive. We want our vendors to do their jobs well. And we know that such success can only be made more and more difficult if they’re having to do it by hiring the wrong person because of the applicants’ age or gender – or by powering their facility with something as iffy as wind or solar instead of by something dependable like coal or nuclear – or by designing your commercials to appeal to a pop culture political point rather than to sell your product to the market.

And if your vendor – your partner, your supplier, hopefully your friend as well – is going down such a destructive path, destructive, by the way, to their own business as well as to yours, then isn’t it your duty to call them out on it?

Obviously how you handle this will vary, case by case. But I have come to the conclusion that I serve my employer better by discouraging such destructive programs in our vendors, and by encouraging them instead to do what is right for their company and their clients.

Be productive. Be honorable. Be honest. If you have money to spend, then spend it on R&D, on LEAN process improvements, on reshoring projects. If you have the opportunity to hire employees, then hire the best regardless of color, age and origin, not the worst just because of their color, age and origin. If you have the opportunity to reconsider the energy that powers your operation, then use the most dependable, most consistent sources, not Chinese tech that’s rendered useless on cloudy days and snowy winters.

But perhaps most of all, if you’re a business – trying to participate in the economy of a free market nation like the United States – don’t advocate the kind of destructive policies that the country’s enemies are advocating. Don’t fund their activist organizations and pose for photo ops with the rebels who would slit your business’ throat in a second if given the opportunity.

Back in 2020, when communist agitators shut down dozens of big city downtowns, virtually burning down city blocks, permanently destroying retail centers all across the country, many of us thought that American businesses would learn their lesson. Sadly, far too many were blind to the fact that their own generosity and tolerance were the enablers of this ongoing epidemic of destruction.

That’s my choice, anyway. As long as I’m working for an American company, I will discourage our vendors from being led down the primrose path of the Left.

How to handle such things will obviously vary from occasion to occasion, depending on one’s role in the company, one’s relationship with these vendors or customers, and so forth.

But there is truth and there is falsehood. And sitting still and remaining silent, while such destructive lies as Carbon Dioxide fearmongering are being spread with impunity, amounts to a tacit endorsement of the slow death of Western Civilization.

Copyright 2024 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based international transportation and trade compliance professional and consultant.  A onetime Milwaukee County Republican Party chairman, he has been writing a regular column for Illinois Review since 2009.  His book on vote fraud (The Tales of Little Pavel) and his political satires on the current administration (Evening Soup with Basement Joe, Volumes IIIand III), are available in either eBook or paperback, only on Amazon.

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