There are two kinds of people in this world…

The movie Scent of a Woman is filled with brilliant dialogue.  In one scene, Al Pacino’s character, Lt. Colonel Frank Slade, is imparting a lifetime of wisdom and lessons to the young Charlie.  The Colonel states:  There are two kinds of people in this world.  Those who stand up and face the music, and those who run for cover.

I think of that line quite often, because it’s dead-on true.  Rarely a week goes by when the line does not come to life in some experience.

Bergino.  I started the company in the spring of 2001.  We’re a small business, fighting in this world as all small businesses do.  Perhaps you can relate.  Perhaps you’re in similar shoes.

At the moment, we’re in a bit of a struggle with a run for cover guy. There’s this large, corporate mail-order catalog/internet retailer.  They’ve been around for about 15 years.  You’ve probably heard of them. For now, let’s keep their name hush hush.

They owe us about $2,000.  Obviously, not a king’s ransom, but for a small business such as ours, more than a princely sum.  They sold all of the items they ordered from us.  They don’t dispute they owe us the money.  In fact, they acknowledge it.  They just refuse to pay.  Nothing more to the story.  Sorry, pal, you’re not getting paid.  The President of this corporation is a run for cover guy.  He’s a small-town slicker.

At the moment, we have the Attorney General of Missouri and the Federal Trade Commission looking into their operation.  Stay tuned.  As time goes on, we’ll keep you updated and let you know exactly who they are.  You can then make your own determination as to whether or not you’d purchase items from them.

For every run for cover operator, there’s a stand up guy.  Well, not exactly.  From 48 years of lifetime experience, I’d say the ratio is about 10-1 against.  So, when you finally run into a stand up guy, it’s a pleasure.  And it was my pleasure to run into a stand up gal.

A small retailer owes us about $450.  The money was due in late 2007.  Just about the same time as the money owed us from Run for Cover in the Ozarks. But, on a snowy, grey February afternoon, a faxed letter appeared out of the blue from our stand up gal…

X has an outstanding balance with your company that is overdue.  I am writing you today to assure you that we have every intention of paying this off and doing more business with you.  As the economy has suffered, so have we.  Being caught at the end of the holiday season with less than we thought we would.  We are also in a resort area (east coast resort) and the first quarter does not afford us the ability to chip away at the balances as quickly as we would like.

But, we have been in business for fifteen years now, have seen a few ups and downs, and will weather this storm too with your help.  Please be patient with us, we are not running away — we will gladly speak with you — but may not be able to send a check right away.  And please do not turn our account over to a collection agency, it will not get the balance paid any sooner.  With patience on your part you will at least get the full amount.

So today I am writing to reassure you that all outstanding balances will be paid in full and that due to your patience we expect to be back to business as usual by mid summer, in spite of the slowing economy.

There are two kinds of people in this world…

That’s one who stands up and faces the music.  To our small retailer, thank you.

And, to our run for cover Goliath, you can run, but you can’t hide.

Those were the words of the great boxer, Joe Louis.  There was this other stand up fighter, too.  Known simply as David.  Later became King.  Everyone knows the story.  But a little known tidbit…

You know what David had in his slingshot when he faced Goliath?  A Bergino baseball.


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