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Thread: Loyalty: At What cost?

  1. #1

    Default Loyalty: At What cost?

    A recent snafu involving an established vendor and customer allegations have given me pause to think about issues brought to mind. Newly released information certainly seems to bolster the occasional cries of greed and graft. But in my opinion, these are smaller issues compared to something else at play here. Loyalty The battle has not been between just the vendor and certain customers, but has drawn in the uninvolved and those loyal to the vendor.

    The question is this: <font color="black">What should loyalty afford?</font> In other words, loyalty is at the nexus between two people, in the setting of an event, transaction or interaction. From one, it demands responsibility. From the other, it demands faith. Seems simple enough, but why do things sometimes go so wrong? What is it that can make one act seemingly irresponsibly? Can one's faith become blinding? How does this fragile balance sometimes implode, sucking in those at the sidelines and flinging them into one camp or the other? I don't have the answers but I would propose that it might have to do with two things. First, a mismatch in values and second, the nature of highly edited "he said, she said" accounts provided with insufficient context.

    On the first point, when both parties value the same things in roughly the same order, the faith given by one is justified by the responsible actions of the other and the reverse is also true. Decisions are made and actions are understood as being true to the nature of the relationship. For example: <font color="blue">Truth, Honesty, Service, Quality, Commitment, Communication, Value (for the money)/Reasonable profit</font> is one possible ordering of some basic values. One can see where a conflict may occur if one party values Truth above all and the other values Profit. In the case playing out in front of us right now, it seems to be a clash between Commitment and Profit. At least on the surface.

    As for the second potential reason for this breakdown, the nature of the communications have been to serve the ends of those posting it, on both sides. Again, the mismatch in value priorities flavors the selection and presentation of the snippets that have been posted. The result of this is that there is no common ground for reconciling the two arguments because each side is trying to make the point as to why their particular value has been violated. Each talks but neither can step out of their camp into an area that is neither theirs nor the other's and thus raise the possibility of resolution.

    But let's get back to the issue of loyalty. We see it at many levels here on CPF. And that's a good thing. From the most basic and essential "man-to-man" variety to the hearty rah-rahs for our favorite modders. In my opinion, loyalty is one of the great and precious commodities we have here on CPF. It is highly valued in and of itself, cherished by those upon whom it is lavished and rabidly professed by the faithful. It is also, rarely, abused. I would offer that since "loyalty" is a commodity, albeit a precious one, it is an essential responsibility of all parties to always insure that it is justified. Otherwise, what does loyalty become but mere sides-taking?

    For those who have earned loyalty, it is our responsibility to understand and make clear the terms under which that loyalty was earned. This is the equivalent of saying "I know why you have placed your faith in me and I can accept the responsibility as we've agreed to it." Loyalty must be acknowledged. For those who have offered loyalty, it is our responsibility to always be sure that our faith is well placed. This is the equivalent of saying "This is the reason why I have placed my faith in you and these are the terms under which you will continue to merit this faith." Loyalty must be continually examined.

    As recipients of loyalty, we must not only welcome the scrutiny that comes with this responsibility, we must invite it. As providers of loyalty, we must be faithful but we must be ever vigilant in our faith. Only under these conditions will loyalty on CPF continue to be worth its weight in photons and gold.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    Default Re: Loyalty: At What cost?

    Odd.. I do not see large quantity true loyalty here. Lots of consumerism. One must truely know someone else to foster loyalty. This so impersonal and disconnected. Fickle at best. Many like moth to next brightest candle. What ever candle come before easily forgotten and devalued.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Loyalty: At What cost?

    Loyalty has a flip side too, for one can 'abuse' that loyalty. One can also betray it.

    Personally I don't think the point is about loyalty, rather I think it is about trust. I'm not going to be 'loyal' to one vendor or another, or a specific modder; I will buy items from wherever it makes sense (because I want good prices, cutting edge products, etc.)... but I will trust or distrust a vendor or modder/seller (i.e. Botach is a classic example).

    Here on CPF I will tend to trust those who appear trustworthy, because of the overall track record of this forum, of the kind of people involved with it. I've had 99% of my transactions/experiences be absolutely stellar... and that's a fantastic record. And the thing about trust is that it correlates to actions/behavior, so one's trust in a person or company can legitimately change over time.

    Trust depends on the honor of both the parties involved -- so long as both parties are honorable, and consistently remain so, then trust should be present. If one party begins to act in a dishonorable fashion, then the trust is broken (and ought to be).

    Blind trust is as bad as blind loyalty, both should be placed within the framework, the context of actions. In otherwords, one must assess if trust and loyalty is actually deserved, and if so to what extent.

    Now when it comes to loyalty, I am certainly loyal to the unwritten ideals of CPF as I understand them… stuff like treat each other in an excellent fashion, always try to freely share info about our common interest, be consistently fair, be charitable with each other (in regards to trying to understand others POV), be honest, ethical, and considerate, etc.

    I respect all of those ideals, and I am happy that CPF seems to function so well on them.

    Of course the distinction I'm making between your idea of loyalty and my idea of trust may just be schematics.

    But I do agree, a thing like trust or loyalty is priceless… once broken it is indeed very, very hard to mend.

    I can make a pretty good guess about what recent issue caused you to bring up this topic. If I'm right, then I believe there's a lot more to it than meets then eye, and based on what I know and what I can guess I'm pretty disgusted. In every box you're bound to have 1 or 2 bad apples, just seem to be the nature of society.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Loyalty: At What cost?

    The situation that has motivated this discussion of loyalty, is no doubt the activity involved in the Announcement forum by Sasha, which is accompanied by the words "please keep this discussion WITHIN THIS THREAD ONLY!!!!" While names haven't been named, and the subject has been skirted, it's not possible that the thread will continue to isolate itself for any reasonable period of time.

    I'm going to close the thread to any further comment. However, I do believe the subject of loyalty is worthwhile. So, rather than simply closing it, I'll also sticky it for a couple of days, in order to keep the worthwhile information readily visible. Enough has been posted already, for a well rounded view of the subject of "loyalty".

    I appreciate the well presented words, but it's not the time or place.

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