Never Take a Short Cut that Compromises Quality: Life Lessons Learned Along the Way
My “Chris” the mother, was a wonderful example of principle. She owned the local ice cream parlor, Jersey Junction, and though she passed away years ago, the place maintains her indelible print.
How did I become friends with Chris? I was one of the local chubby kids who regularly feasted on her ice cream and spent endless amounts of time listening to her “lessons”. My favorite by far occurred on the day she raised ice cream cone prices from 10 cents to 15 cents. It must have been my first experience with a price increase and I wasn’t happy given the allowance I had at the time (it was generous, but I loved eating!). When I simply asked her why the increase occurred, Chris did a tight pivot away from what she was scooping for me, looked me sternly in the eye and said: “Harvey, the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price has been forgotten!” That is verbatim, and pronounced by her without any reflection or hesitation. It has also stuck with me forever.
While I have wondered why it stuck with me for nearly 50 years, there is really no mystery. She often made me repeat it! Seriously, pop quizzes whenever I saw her for over a decade. Over time though, it resonated. We aren’t talking about price here (nor an hourly rate!) what we are talking about is maintaining a high standard of product and/or service quality for people with whom we do business. Whether we are working for free or for a premium, we can never take a short cut that compromises the quality of what we provide. A great lesson and a wonderful memory.
While this experience was mine alone, the value it represents is a centerpiece of our practice group. I am proud to have a partner like David Saperstein who is one of our fine examples. His piece today on our statute of repose for legal malpractice claims is featured here.
As always, I hope this is meaningful to you and welcome your comments.