Monday, April 12, 2010

Sometimes you just have to experience it to believe it....

Thought the above title would be a good conversation starter for today.  To wit:

I just answered my home phone (I work at home but use a different phone for business, so I know that when the home telephone line rings, it's not a business call).  Said "hello" two or three times and then finally the call engaged on the other end.  Dead giveaway--it's some sort of call center.  A man with a very thick but indeterminate accent asked to speak with me, then identified himself as "Jim."  "Jim" was calling from the "verification center" claiming that an error had been made in my checking account, and, after reciting my correct name and address, he then asked me for the account and routing numbers for my bank account.  I know, I know, and I knew it then, too, so I couldn't resist the opportunity to tweak this guy a bit.  I told him that if he'd be good enough to provide me with his phone number I 'd be happy to call him back once I spoke with my financial institution.  He then protested that I shouldn't need to call him back as we were already in contact, then I asked for his supervisor and he hung up.

The saddest part of that whole exchange is that for everyone like me who sees through this sort of scam, there are a lot of unsuspecting folks who are elderly or otherwise susceptible who WILL believe this is on the up-and-up and WILL give out their bank account numbers.  And I live in a state where we allegedly have a no-call list prohibiting calls from anyone with whom I don't have a current business relationship....

The other thing I wanted to mention that I observed (on television) but didn't experience directly was Tiger Woods and his return to the golf scene last week at the Masters in Augusta, GA.  The week started with lots of mea culpas on his part about what a bad, bad boy he'd been, but by the time Tiger finished his final round yesterday, gone were the lighter expressions, the glad-handing with spectators (sorry, they're PATRONS at Augusta National), the signing of autographs, etc.  They were replaced with him claiming that people were making too much of his pledge to conduct himself better on the golf course (and more importantly, on television), as he let fly with a good many expletive-laced outbursts after bad shots or bad luck.  I played with a group of other hackers on Saturday and I guarantee you that between the four of us we didn't have as many profanities uttered as Tiger did YESTERDAY.

Best to edit yourself, or it will be virtually impossible to recognize you, the high achieving athlete from the other you, whom we've all come to know a bit too much about in the past few months.

Finally, a shout-out to my favorite business author, Tom Peters.  Read him at tompeters.com, as well as his new book, "The Little BIG Things," which I just finished last week.  It's a typically great and inspirational book if you work in the business world and really believe that things could be made better by how we and our employers approach......well, everything!  I guarantee you'll pick up at least a dozen things you can use!

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