06 December 2011
"One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised." ~ Chinua Achebe
Let me preface this with stating that I am a former chef-restaurateur (though always a chef).
Had that thought mulling around my mind today. Being active on Yelp (http://www.yelp.com/) I've known all along that one day that someone would take offense to a negative review and contact me. And today was the day. The reason that I mention this is because the person that contacted me (marketing person doing damage control) offered to have me come back to the restaurant and eat for free.
So integrity was on my mind. I knew full well that this person was only interested in damage control. In fact I was a bit offended that a marketing person reached out and not the actual chef and/or owner. Purely an attempt to "fix" things. But my thoughts on accepting a free meal would not have been swayed had the latter occurred.
Integrity means to stand behind one's words and convictions no matter the consequences, as quoted above. I could have accepted this person's offer, had a free meal, and still stood by my review. But that would have lessened my integrity. How? Because I was willing to accept money/food for my opinion. Even if I wrote another damaging review of the restaurant I would no longer have the same integrity because I had accepted what was essentially an attempt at a bribe.
I politely informed the person that I appreciated the attempt at damage control, but because of my integrity I had to refuse this person's offer. For Sartre it is "values derive their meaning from an original projection of myself which stands as my choice of myself in the world." I chose to be genuine, to maintain my integrity.