"A Tale of Two Companies" (July) is a picture of the transition of our society from rural to urban. Mrs. Fields's rural values say, "Treat your neighbor right, and you will keep a customer." Mr. Liederman's urban values say, "Mug your neighbor before he mugs you." The major difference is that in a rural society you get to know almost everyone you deal with, while in a city you can live in the apartment next door to someone for years and never know his or her name. In one, everyone is a potential friend; in the other, everyone is a potential enemy. That explains why David's Cookies are designed for manufacture by chimpanzees, and Liederman's major preoccupation with preventing employee theft, as well. It also explains Mrs. Fields's concern for human values and her "airhead" slogans.
I've already made my decision. After many sad experiences, my company has a strict rule forbidding New York City suppliers. When we do find a supplier with Mrs. Fields's attitudes toward her employees and her customers, we build long-term relationships.