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Editorial Comment: Agreeing to Disagree

April 9, 2001
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Each month, just before I compose this column, I have to sit and think about the message I want to convey. Fortunately, some months are easier than others. I had a really nice piece of literary genius prepared for this issue, quite the nugget of wisdom actually, but something else captured my attention and I decided to hold onto it.

Recently, there was a rather heated and lengthy debate regarding the IICRC on the ICS bulletin board. It all started with an "Open Letter to the Industry" written by the Carpet Cleaners Institute of the Northwest's (CCINW) president, Bryan O'Haleck. If there is one topic that has always initiated verbal sparring, it's the IICRC. We won't even discuss the debates based HWE vs. non-HWE cleaning methods!

Like many organizations, the IICRC has had its fair share of jabs and embraces. What became apparent throughout the subsequent discussion was the level of passion involved in the responses, both positive and negative.

It didn't matter whether you held one, many or no IICRC certifications; swung a wand, or used a pad or bonnet to clean carpets. Throughout the discussion, participants on either side of the fence came together on a few objectives: Do the best job possible, do it for a fair price and keep your customers happy.

We've all seen the Special Assignment-type reports on our local news stations, and network programs like Dateline NBC where the bait-and-switchers are exposed for what they are. In just about every trade - jewelers, mechanics, etc. - you can always count on the dishonest folks receiving more exposure than those that try to eke out an honest day's pay.

Call me naive, an optimist or a dreamer, but my vision is simple: Dialogue, interaction and agreeing to disagree will eventually lead to the unified success of our industry, period. Finger pointing, name-calling, and other less tactful methods eventually reveal the underlying current of discord. It's when we expose these raw feelings, painful as they may be, we will move forward.

I'm sure I will take a hit for saying too much or for not saying enough. Good, I've got you thinking. Now tell me how you feel and we'll go from there.

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