A few months ago, someone in our community got into trouble and their actions were fodder for public gossip. The bad press made those of us who did business with them question their future in this community. The offenders were adamant that their problem would have no affect on our interactions. We stood by them and we defended them. Mistakes were made but it wasn’t our place to judge them. They were and are good people. We watched silently as they lost customers. As we had expected, the fallout was enormous despite their optimism that it would be minor. Suddenly, they informed the remaining clients about a change of location. There was no notice of the move posted at their facility, but I didn’t think about that at the time. They opened at the new site and suddenly the business had a new name. I tried calling them to ask a question only to find their number disconnected with no forwarding number listed. They are starting over with half of their old membership and campaigning for new clients. I felt confident remaining with them when they were going to ride out the consequences of their misdeeds. You don’t walk away from friends when they fall down. Now, I feel dirty. I feel like a participant in a ruse. How do they think the people who left them over their original misdeeds will feel when they accidentally enter the new business? This has gone from betrayal of trust to deliberate deceit. I am more upset about their reactions than their original actions. I guess that makes me naive. Or just stupid.