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Terms Of Service

In the technology world this week, there has been quite a brouhaha over FaceBooks new Terms of Service.

Usually my web development and green building do not overlap, but I could not help but reflect on it when answering some requests from you, the wonderful people who ask me for more information on Green Modern Kits, Green Cottage Kits, and Green Cabin Kits.

You may wonder why I make you email first instead of a 'call now' phone number.
This is because I will need to keep track of you so I don't let any of your special questions get lost as I follow up with the factory or architects for answers. By keeping an electronic record, I will know you are getting the attention you need.

So, once you email that you would like information, I am able to respond to your requests with a lot of information you might otherwise forget if I just phoned you. This way you have it on record to ponder and hem and haw over as well!

Now here's a little story several of my farming friends have told me:
(Grateful thanks to The A's, The B's and the fabulous and always verbose George G. for this story that resonates in my heart... : ) )
A new neighbor moved into a rural community. He headed to the hardware store, where people gather. The new person sidled up to the counter and said, "So, what are people like 'round here?"

The old man behind the counter scratched his head and slowly replied,
"Well, what were people like where you came from?"
The new neighbor did not hesitate: "Oh they were terrible! The dogs and children ran loose, and they were always asking you do something!"
The hardware store man showed empathy. "Yeah, I know what you mean. They're like that here, too, and the best thing you can do is keep to yourself and ignore them!"
The new neighbor was grateful. "Thanks for letting me know. I don't know if we'll be staying here long, anyway."

The next day, another new neighbor found the hardware store.
"So, what are people like around here?"
The old man asked, "Well, what were your old neighbors like?"
The new neighbor reminisced: "Oh they were great, we still keep in touch! We had lots of potlucks, there were always lots of children playing, we started a community parade and through our spaghetti suppers raised money for a fire station!"
The old man grinned. "Well, I think you'll find the people here just fine."
Here, we have worked very hard to create an amazing team of top notch green building architectural firms and industrial designers, a national, environmentally-friendly SIP manufacturer who is giving big volume discounts for our house kits so we can offer you an affordable price, and many, many people, whom you may never meet, who work hard every day to create something so you can consider us an option in your life choices.

Since our founding, each day I read and respond to every request for information.
I have met the most AMAZING people through this experience.
I have heard about your quests for land, your urban infill lots, your family's place you want to preserve from development...
You are all a joy, and thank you for sharing your stories with me.

Our first emails to each other are the beginning of a relationship.
Unlike the shirt you purchase from XYZ store online, we are not just a press of the button and the sliding of a credit card.
This is a process.
It is the beginning of our story, and journey together.

Today, after all this time, I received my first rude request for information. Rude Person, I appreciate your interest, but I will not expose you to our nice, talented people I have worked so hard to find. Rude Person, if you speak to us that way, how will you treat your contractor? Their subs?

It is in all of our best interests to, with our customers, create a team that communicates well so that your house kit is a pleasant, successful project.

So I am adding a clause to our FAQ / Terms of Service.

(Smiles gently)
'Cause Rude Person, you wouldn't want us any-hoo.




At 3/16/09, 2:29 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is fantastic! btw, I forwarded it to Bob Sutton at Stanford who does research on companies who refuse to work with "cranky people" - he uses a less nice word :-) He'll love it.

At 3/29/10, 10:50 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have that book! Wish I could get my workplace to implement such a no "cranky people" rule. I hope your casa ti is something that will work for my family... I look forward to being in touch with you. Yous ound like good people!


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