Suture Express, a specialty surgical supplier offering wound closure products provides an example of living in a self-made storm. In the book, “Living in the Storm”, I wrote about the importance of creating joy and inspiration for yourself, and how it is often influenced by creating joy and inspiration for others. I addressed issues of honesty, integrity, and being apologetic when you have done wrong. I have since found a good example of how lies and trying to cover up mistakes causes more difficulty than benefit. My example is one which was set by Suture Express, and I hope that it is used as a good lesson.
Suture Express Apologetic Under Distress
Suture Express CFO, Brian Forsythe learned a difficult and avoidable lesson of breaking trust and giving a self-serving and money-induced apology instead of a timely and meaningful one. Apology for doing wrong is extremely important, but when it is for the wrong reason and postponed until necessitated by greed, it can cause a backlash … a very ugly backlash.
Suture Express Before the Lie
Brian Forsythe came to me as his friend, and as an accomplished web programmer, when Suture Express was in need of a moderately complex ecommerce website that would allow them to offer different prices for each customer. He outlined Suture Express’ needs and I provided an extremely low quotation of $35,000 for the work. Suture Express CEO, Ed Kuklenski purportedly had a friend who claimed would do it for under $5,000 so they contracted with that company to do the job. According to Brian Forsythe, after they spent $150,000 on the website that was to have cost $5,000, they knew Suture Express’ Ed Kuklenski had made a mistake. All of the sudden, my $35,000 fixed quotation was starting to seem like a good bargain … but not good enough just yet.
About a year later, when they found the Suture Express website failing miserably and receiving complaints from customers, they remembered to contact me in order to fix it. I was approached to produce a plan for fixing the existing problems and to provide marketing consultation to increase the website traffic and improve their branding. I spent valuable time working with the Suture Express executive team, and primarily Brian Forsythe, to develop a good plan to improve their marketing and technology. It appeared that I would finally get to help my friend, Brian, to build Suture Express’ business online.
Suture Express Lies
When Suture Express’ CFO, Brian Forsythe contracted with my company to fix the failing website, it all looked good at first. He signed a contract, and said the check was sent, so we moved forward with our work accordingly. Time passed, and the check from Suture Express never arrived. It was a lie, and Forsythe later admitted to his lie. This incident was described at greater length in a widely circulated article titled “Suture Express CFO Brian Forsythe Screws Wrong SEO“. A lie from a top executive of Suture Express is bad, but it was made even worse with an induced apology and an unreasonable bid to hide the truth of their misdealing.
Suture Express CFO Bids to Hide Truth
Less than a week ago, Brian Forsythe called me on the telephone and asked if I would meet with him. I said I would, and he asked if I could meet right away. In fact, he asked if I could meet that evening, only a few hours away. I told him I would, and so he drove to my town and we met over beers … for nine hours, until after three in the morning. We talked about a lot of things (obviously). He was profoundly apologetic, and asked me what Suture Express could do to make things right with me. We talked about business strategy for Suture Express, and things which had transpired. He told me that he would very much like to work with me to build their online presence and to make good for his lies and deceit.
Brian was very convincing in his apology, but yet, it had come swiftly on the tail of business consultants Suture Express had hired seeking to improve the value of Suture Express. It was made even more obvious by the influx of web traffic to my previous blog article about Suture Express from investment firms and law firms. It began to look pretty obvious how desperate Forsythe was in his apology when he made an offer to pay for the removal of the article. It is quite visible to the public, and all of the sudden Suture Express’ reputation mattered. He clearly wanted it to be gone, but he offered to pay only a fraction of what Suture Express was previously to pay for fixing the work of Ed Kuklenski. Then, to make it worse, they sent me a draft of a contract that they would like for me to present to them which stated that any derogatory statements from me would allow them to receive $150,000 from me per incident. Apparently that is where they valued a negative statement from me. They actually want to claim $150,000 for any instance of me telling the disparaging truth about what happened. At the same time, they wanted to pay me a fraction of what it was to have cost them to avoid the negative statement of truth about Suture Express in the first place … yes, and actually receive beneficial reputation management and valuable branding services. So if my truth hurts them by $150,000, but they want to pay me only $10,000 to hide my truth, it seems to me that Suture Express is trying to profit from negative attention with this proposed contract.
Suture Express Reputation Needs Help
Suture Express is clearly aware that their reputation matters. Otherwise Chief Financial Officer Brian Forsythe would not have come to me with his urgent plea. At the same time, it should be considered why Suture Express never found enough cause to apologize to me for the lies during the period of over a year before the article was published, nor for months after the article was reviewed and addressed by some of their staff. I never even heard from them after Suture Express employees and former contractors came forward to share their disgust of the treatment I had received.
It seems like a good lesson for taking timely action when doing wrong to others. In the case of Suture Express, it was only under scrutiny of others and with no reason beyond serving their own purpose, that they finally came to me with urgency to renounce the truth I had told about them. The apologies and near-convincingly sincere plea to work with Suture Express toward a resolution came only when there was enough financial loss or gain in the balance that they could no longer hold back their shame and just had to make apology. If you think this is pretty dirty, I agree with you. Apology forced by greed and that only serves the person giving the apology is not very genuine.
It gets much worse, and it is still unfolding in the active “Suture Express CFO Brian Forsythe Screws Wrong SEO” blog post.
The lesson to be heard is that giving apology should never be postponed until it only serves you. Give your apology sincerely and promptly if you want it to matter. Otherwise, it will cost you a lot more grief, and in business it will likely cost you a lot more money, too.
Suture Express CFO Brian Forsythe Screws Wrong SEO
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