Category Archives: Impressions

IT’S FREE!!!!

Most of the people I know are of above average intellect, and are more successful than the average, yet, nontheless, are drawn to aggressive advertising and often exhibit a level of naivety which is extraordinary.

Just to be clear, NOTHING is FREE.

YOU are the product.

My biggest bug a boo is DNA testing. It is being touted as super cool to find out about your family history. The Government and Insurance Companies have been trying to find a way to obtain this information forever …Information is POWER.

Yet, here you are, thinking just how COOL you are giving away your DNA, to these organizations, touting the COOLNESS of knowing your family tree.
Little tidbits are sent along, always requesting more information, please send along the name of your maternal grandfather, children, uncles, cousins…

Let me be VERY CLEAR, you have just GIVEN away your familial DNA without the express consent of ANY current and future family member.

If, for example, there are genetic illnesses in your family, such as Alzheimer’s, MS, Cancer, etc, and you are helping build a family tree, with NO ONE’s
Consent, have you not considered that members of your family could find themselves being hit with huge health and life insurance bills unknowlingly??

Some Insurance Companies are now insisting on DNA screening, others, the wearing of Fitbits, others, placing Black Boxes in your car to monitor
Your driving habits. By virtue of accepting to use one, you are also sharing your GPS being captured, so that they see EVERYWHERE you go.

“send us your Insurance application and we will look for the best rates for free’ !! are you really that guillable?? They have just shopped ALL your
Confidential information to 30 companies….WITH your consent…..

Do you STILL think it is free???

Let me repeat, YOU are the Product.

“Let us monitor your credit score””……..another one which makes my skin crawl…..

Wonder why you are being inundated with pre-approved credit card applications, financial service companies and car salesmen???

Your CONFIDENTIAL information has been SOLD, and you approved it.

“”TRY our matress for free””…

YUK ! YUK !!! YUKKK!!!

Does that mean if you do not keep it, the next poor sucker gets a used matress??

It is NOT free…… it is USED…..

“”Use OUR App to find the best Real Estate Agent in your neighbourhood””….
It is NOT free, the agents are paying to have their names there…..
SOO……are they the best, or only the ones who have paid???

“””Use OUR App to find the best Home Repair Specialist!!

See above….moreover, you have just GIVEN away your home address, and budget for home repairs….
When salesmen start knocking on your door offering their services, DO NOT be surprised…….

You GAVE away your information……

Do I have your attention yet??!!

Let me repeat, YOU are the PRODUCT!!

Looking for a mortgage??? Let US find you the best rates, just fill in OUR online application…. Listing ALL your assets and liabilities….. to a company
Offering to shop and find you the best rates…..guess what, ALL your confidential financial information is NO LONGER CONFIDENTIAL, they have
Shopped it to 30 companies who are now in possession of it. They are SELLING IT, ALL OF IT.

Just an additional thought, in that application, you listed all your possessions of value such as art and jewellery, and you GAVE THAT INFORMATION WAY.
Helloooo!!!

People are giving the government permission to take a facial scan for facial recognition, IRIS scans, fingerprints and now DNA….and you still do not think
You are being surveilled??

Does this not sound vaguely familiar…..???

The Government knows where you bank, and how you spend your money, and can close you down in an instant…..should they think you are cheating…..

YOU are the PRODUCT.

Start exercising your power and just say NO.

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Musings and Observations of Seriously BAD Behaviour

Bringing a seriously cheap bottle of wine to an event in someone’s home, digging in their closed cupboards to retrieve a fine vintage wine, slinking into a corner, opening the bottle and consuming it by yourself.

Yes, you did see this posted recently in the BLOG entitled ‘On being Selfish’, however, the outpouring of people calling and writing about this issue was extraordinary. Some of your examples absolutely hysterical, but at the same time, so very sad, as so many people are treating their hosts in such a greedy and callous manner.

You are absolutely welcome to share this BLOG, with the hopes that maybe one person recognizes their disgusting behaviour and changes it.

Arriving at the home of an extremely generous hostess empty handed, grazing your way through the most expensive food and drink, then having the audacity to ask the servers to prepare a plate for you to bring home.

Sneaking food home from a cocktail party. I have seen people filling endless napkins with huge Tiger Shrimp and other delectables, one rude wag actually would go into a corner and slip food into a large baggie, then go back for more. This event was NOT billed as TAKE OUT, it was in a private home, nor was it a fundraiser where the guests were expected to pay for a ticket.

Being invited to dinner then spending the entire evening texting on your phone, and not participating. If you didn’t want to come, next time, stay home.

Imposing your children on others They are simply NOT that cute or that special, and we do NOT want to hear about them or see their pictures.

Going to any Birthday Party empty handed, even if someone is hosting it for you.

Going to a Cocktail, Dinner , or Anniversary party empty handed.

Not sending a Thank You note. (see above)

Not sending flowers, or a gift to the hostess. (see above)

Aggressively asking someone for their assistance, then abruptly telling them that they are no longer required, as you have found another solution.

Telling everyone over a period of several months about your impending nuptials, claiming it will be ‘high society’, ( if YOU have to say it, then clearly it is NOT….) cheating with everything that walks on your soon to be wife, bragging endlessly to your male friends about your conquests, …some of whom told some of us…….

Sending invitations to your wedding to only some of the people to which you have been ranting endlessly over the past few months, filling the church with the guests who arrived all dressed up for this ‘fabulous’ occasion, having first sent expensive gifts to the home of the couple…..After the ceremony, the couple walked down the aisle, got into a few cars, including a couple of Rolls Royces driven by friends, and driving off into the sunset.
The guests naively thinking the wedding party was simply going to take pictures, found themselves standing around the church until they were rudely ushered out, and the church door loudly locked behind them.
Well over 100 people found themselves asking just WHAT exactly had happened, unfed, left behind, and utterly horrified. After a whle, some just wandered off, others went to a couple of restaurants for dinner, in complete and utter horror.

The wedding party, meanwhile, went to a private club for a very small, intimate dinner.

To say that my phone rang for weeks over this one, is an understatement.
NO ONE, let me repeat, NO ONE, had ever heard of, much less experienced anything as classless as this before, nor since.

Insisting on wearing your boots, shoes or whatever else footwear into a shoe free home. If you are told repeatedly NOT to wear shoes in the house, that is NOT an invitation to bring slippers or other footwear. NO shoes means NO shoes. It is the height of bad manners. If wearing your filthy footwear is more important than respecting the wishes of the hostess, please do us all a favour, and STAY home.

Going into a shop, having a shop clerk running around finding things for you to try on for over an hour, then leaving everything in a heap on the floor as if it was trash, and walking out without as much as a Thank You, or, making a purchase. That person is on commission, you just treated them worse than your personal servant, you stole an hour of their time for which they were not compensated, and worse, all the garments now look used and must be tidied and hung up.

Going to a soiree in a high end fashion store, drinking copious quantities of alcohol, eating everything in sight, taking endless selfies with both expensive merchandise and guests who are utterly unaware they are being photographed, and not purchasing a thing.
YES….they DID see you, and YES, they are talking about it…….guess how I found out about it!!!!!

Telling someone , “ we MUST do lunch repeatedly, I miss you SO MUCH….” Then never calling……

Walking up to a celebrity at a Fund Raiser, interrupting them, foisting your business card into their hand, and loudly exclaiming so that half the room hear you speaking…….”I would LOVE to get together with you for lunch……You MUST call me…….”…..pretending to be their best friend, when they DO NOT HAVE the SLIGHTEST CLUE who you are, nor, are they remotely interested in finding out. Their horrified facial expression just told it all……and YES, we saw it all……..

Turning upn at a fancy ball in a low cut, flouncy chiffon dress and carrying on like you are the Belle of the Ball. PLEASE take a serious look at yourself in the mirror. PLEASE repeat. …. Maybe, once more, just to be sure……

You are NOT a 16 year old, 100 pound anorexic model, nor are you a rock star. Exposing it ALL is just plain VULGAR.

Going to the aforementioned Ball, walking up to total strangers, interrupting their conversation mid sentence, and ingratiating yourself into their group. They do NOT know who you are, and after your incredibly rude pushy behaviour, have no interest whatsoever in finding out who you are.

Paying a PR to organize a reception in your Store – Art Gallery…..then spending the evening fussing over the shiny new faces you have never seen before and totally ignoring those individuals who have been paying your bills for years….. You DO realize that we have an abundance of choices of where to shop, do you not???

Fussing over the pretentious millenial who has 10 handbags spread all over the counter which she is photographing, and totally ignoring the quiet discreet individual who is actually dressed in high end designer clothes…..if someone is wearing a huge diamond ring, a large Vuitton purse, Hermes shoes, scarf and belt, they can probably afford to buy something else……..do you REALLY think the 20 year old has the cash?? Attitude is NOT cash.

Posting rude, beligerent comments on the Facebook pages of strangers just because you do not agree with them. You DO realize that you can be found, do you not???

…..and then there are the Drama Queens……..why is it that some people just will NOT stop posting and carrying on endlessly whenever there is some incident in their lives?? Are we supposed to run to your side to support you in your milisecond of need?? Give you money?? Take you out for dinner to console you??? Pity you??? … For a few, the feelings towards them has now run to utter disgust. Reposting endlessly on the anniversary of your mother’s death, her birthday, your dead friend, sending emails and sharing them with your friends to share so that your ‘sorrow’ is amplified a thousand times?? Stressing how we MUST all get together to support poor, sad you??

Seriously???!!!

What about the rest of us ??? We have ALL experienced loss, some of us have lived through absolutely horrific life events, yet, nary a call.
But then, we were elegant, quiet, discreet. We did not tell anyone, We did not post and repost and amplify, tweet or whine.

Walking into a grocery store with large reusable bags, filling them in the trolley, then arriving at the cash and paying for just a few items.
This new, absolutely INSANE trend of forcing us to bring our own bags in order to shop has generated a level of theft which has exploded.
People, we are ALL PAYING for this.
Some of us have brought it to the attention of store managers, but it is now so extreme that it is an epidemic. PLEASE do something …the cost of YOUR groceries will double if you do not.

Making a big deal about inviting someone to lunch to celebrate their birthday. Ordering cocktails and endless dishes that ‘you MUST try,” making absolutely sure that EVERYONE in the restaurant hears and sees you carrying on, then sticking the birthday boy with the total bill for several hundred dollars, who, just to be totally clear, ordered ONE plate of food and NO alcohol.

Truly, real life is more outrageous than make believe………

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WORDS MATTER!

I want to thank the people who contribute directly and indirectly to this BLOG. There are a great many people out there scratching their heads at the behaviour they witness and experience at the hands of others, with the knowledge that whatever they say will not be attributed, hence they are free to varbalise knowing there will not be any adverse reprecussions.

Sometimes words drop out of the mouths of otherwise intelligent people leaving one to question if they have any concept whatsoever of just how seriously offensive they were…

Being told …..I’m too busy to talk to you right now, I am eating my lunch
Really…….will it go somewhere if you do not eat it this very second???

I need to go and sell to this important client, only to learn that they have never met this person before, and who purchases absolutely NOTHING. Furthermore, based upon their dress and comportement, it is unlikely they ever will……..

I am waiting for an important client, so you will have to leave……only to learn that the ‘important’ client never turned up.

I have to put this merchandise away right now, you will have to wait.
SOOO, the merchandise is more important than a potential customer??? Is it going to make a purchase???!!!

I am on the phone (with a friend judging by the utter drivel coming out of your mouth) …you will just have to wait……

Send me an email, I am too busy to talk to you right now…..
OK, but we are already ON THE PHONE, why not spend the additional minute and have the discussion???!!

Send me an email and tell me why you want to speak with me. …..REALLY???

Do you know who I am??!! (Why is it people who are SOOO arrogant as to ask this question are always the least important) ??!!

SOO, just a few thoughts……

If you repeatedly tell people they are NOT important clients, they never will become one.

If you claim to always be too important or too busy, at some point people WILL stop calling you and give you all the free time in the world.

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On Being selfish

We have all met them, it could be a friend, family member, work associate, but it is ALWAYS about them. Their image, their birthday, their finances, their needs. But what happened to the rest of us??

Manners are considered to be the social grease. Perhaps not the most elegant choice of words, however, having good manners at the very base, is having consideration for others. 

Not doing to others what one does not wish to have done to oneself.

Selfishness rears its ugly head in a myriad of ways, it can be cloaked in jealousy, arrogance, or just the total lack of empathy or consideration of others.

From those who post endlessly on Facebook, and want us to ‘like’ and ‘share’ their beliefs, events, and successes, but would never consider doing the same for others.

Those who only promote or help those who they think can advance their own cause. 

Those who argue their beliefs but are utterly unwilling to allow that others may have a totally different opinion. Our life experiences are all different,  the best part about meeting and conversing with people is that one can actually learn, and sometimes from the most unlikely people. 

Not responding to an RSVP in a timely and considerate way, waiting until the last  possible moment in case something better turns up, but ignoring the fact that the person extending the invitation has to plan and purchase food and drink accordingly, as well as planning for the number of wait staff if it is a large event.

Turning up at an event with an unexpected guest or guests, and not warning the host prior to your arrival, forcing them to scramble trying to set extra places at the table, and figure out just HOW to extend the allocated food to feed the extra mouths, given the meal was planned for a lesser number of guests.

Not sharing information in a business setting in order to appear more important than they are. This works for a while, but inevitably backfires, as once people catch on, they will actually cease inviting the hoarder to meetings. 

Not considering that other people actually have feelings, and your words are harsh and hurtful.

Always turining up at a Dinner Table or Cocktail party empty handed, regardless the event. Have you ever considered just how much work it is to entertain, and just how much it costs??

Expecting fabulous gifts for your birthday, wedding, Christmas……and receiving amazing thoughtful gifts, but never reciprocating?? Regardless of whether it is your family or best friend, it is simply arrogant and rude.  Just like you love the excitement of unwrapping an amazing gift or gifts, so do they.

Please do not insult our intelligence by stating that you did not have time or that money is tight, but then sit and talk about all the posh restaurants and bars you have visited, the new shoes and purse, trip, car… you just purchased, the fun events you have been to, as you chow down on our food and drink. You knew about the event well in advance and had ample time to arrange something. If you are really that clueless about what to purchase for someone, PICK UP THE PHONE and ask someone.

I had one friend who actually was generous, however her constant borrowing of money and complaining about being broke at the same time as showing off another $4000 handbag or another trip to Europe simply became too much. Just making a feeble attempt to pay back SOMETHING would have been an amazing gesture, but it never came. 

People wanting your professional advice in business, yet always telling you that they can’t provide any assistance for whatever reason  when you need something in return…..hellooo??

People in Vintage and Antique stores selling you something and exclaiming how fabulous it is until you have paid for it, but if, heaven forbid, you wish to sell it at a later date telling you that it is worthless after they have insulted it for 5 minutes….

Can you really hear yourself??  And WHY on earth would I EVER buy from you again??   

We live in interesting times. 

A little consideration and generosity goes a long way.

We DO remember.

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What to do when the head hunter calls….

We have been in a market expansion for a number of years, and millennial’s have been extraordinarily fortunate to have never lived through a major market meltdown, never lived through high double digit interest rates or massive layoffs.

This has brought a level of arrogance which most employers find extraordinary. Candidates are approached for positions and their responses are often arrogant beyond belief, Granted, many are being approached by a panoply of individuals, however, being rude or simply not returning phone calls is NOT the answer. We are ALL being approached, regardless of our level or title, often by rude, low level clerks in agencies who have absolutely no clue about our industry. Yes, being called by an idiotic 19 year old with 3 weeks of work experience is not ideal by any stretch of the imagination, but we are not all created equally. Some of us actually have more industry experience than you have, so being flippant, condescending and downright rude, is not appreciated.

When the market ultimately crashes and thousands lose their cushy jobs with free food and sleep rooms, we will remember those who were mind numbingly rude. Yes, we actually do keep notes, and we actually are known to share.

If you are asked to something by a Senior Head Hunter, from changes on your resume to providing documents, do it immediately. If you are asked a second or third time, you are simply proving that your career advancement is not that important to you. If you say you will call on a particular day, do it, or follow up with a note or call to apologize, and schedule your next call. Life throws us all situations where we are not able to deliver on a promise, but calling to apologize immediately is the best response.

Do NOT tell the Head Hunter you are too busy or worse, too important. They may have the opportunity of a life time, and you just convinced them that you are not the ideal candidate.
The last individual who told me that missed out on an amazing opportunity. The candidate who took the position was promoted after several months and is earning over twice the salary, not to mention extraordinary benefits, than one of the individuals who told me he was a ‘very busy, important man”…..yup, he is still at his old employer earning a fraction of the lucky candidate. Guess he is not so important after all. NO, he will never be called again.

Do NOT tell Senior Head Hunters you know better than them, you would be surprised at the mandates we receive. Some executive somewhere is paying us to find the best. To presume that you know better, is to essentially say that the Senior Executive who gave us the mandate is stupid. Do you really want to do that???

Our Consultancy is actually just that, a High End IT Consultancy, we all have over 25 years of actual IT experience. Some more technical than others. Never did we plan on doing Search, but after being lied to and scammed by several agencies in the past, we ascertained that there HAD to be a better way, our clients agreed. We started in Search with more mandates than we could ever possibly fill.

Just because you feel some sense of importance having received several calls for new positions, do NOT become arrogant. People speak, even competitors. High End Head Hunters also speak with their clients and will give names of individuals to ‘KEEP OFF’.

Our database literally has hundreds of names marked with the notation , KEEP OFF’.

People who were rude, chauvinistic, arrogant, do not return phone calls, did not deliver on promises, have bad references, were fired repeatedly, have fake degrees, fake job titles, have resumes on Linkedin which bear NO resemblance to the 5 we currently have on file, or are on the take.
It is easy to be arrogant when the market is booming, but it always crashes, and many of the rudest people are the ones who call back like they are your ‘NEW BEST FRIEND’ …do you really think we are remotely interested in helping them??? If they are rude to us, just how rude are they within the companies where they work??

If a Senior Head Hunter gives you advice on anything from dressing, etiquette, hygiene, comportment, listen to them. A Senior Executive is paying for their expertise, and you are NOT the only person out there.

For those of us who have survived numerous recessions and even depressions, our clients come to us for a reason, and they are paying for our expertise. We actually do understand the mandate and are seeking the brightest, best out there, and manners figure very loudly into that equation. And YES, we are paying attention. If your behaviour is rude or arrogant, how can we possibly trust you to work within the client environment??
Taking yourself too seriously will have us running to find someone with a sense of humour and humility.
Yes, I absolutely used the word humility. Don’t have any, don’t call us.

Wake up people.
You are just NOT THAT SPECIAL.

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Views on Aging

Life comes with an automatic death sentence. No matter how rich or famous, successful or not, death is an absolute. Life is to be lived and embraced. It is an opportunity to live, travel, taste, see, and experience all the amazing sights in this world, to meet extraordinary people in extraordinary places. I have been extremely fortunate in my life, and have met some unbelievably incredible people from every part of the globe. How you view life and appreciate the time you have goes very much along the lines of whether the glass is half full or half empty.

In both my Professional and Personal life, I meet an inordinate number of people from every corner of the globe, and love the fact that everyone has stories to share. It is an amazing way to learn. Similarly, I am absolutely mesmerized at meeting individuals in their 20’s who are obsessing about their retirement, and have not considered the option of living their lives on a daily basis, at the same time as meeting others who embrace life in the fullest, and will not stop moving forward. From the 80 year old who decided and succeeded in becoming an artist, and has had a couple of solo exhibits in art galleries, travels extensively, including a jaunt to Hong Kong to meet up with an old friend.
How do you have an intelligent conversation with a 20 something who refuses to learn another language, has been nowhere, done nothing with their life, has no hobbies to speak of, no accomplishments, no enthusiasm, no curiosity, and tells you that once they retire they might actually consider doing something?? With that TOTAL lack of drive, it is questionable whether they will actually survive long enough to retire, being old and boring at 20.

Some people are born whiners, others develop into whiners to elicit attention, every little incident intensified as though it was a major crisis of epic proportions, yet others experience horrific experiences in their lives and quietly, stoically, push on silently.

Since last fall, I have once again had to face my friends dying monthly, some months, more than one. Some young, some old. It is very difficult to say goodbye to so many people. But at the same time, I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to have known them and shared some small part of their lives. Some funerals, like people, are dismal and depressing, others joyful, a celebration of a life well lived. What is it that defines your view on living?? Are you joyous? Engaging? Entertaining? …or one of those people, who, as in some of the cartoon characters, are walking through life with a gray cloud over your head.
What is it about some people who are such whiners, negative, depressing, demanding, exhausting, who experience no joy, yet they have faced no hardships, when others who have lived through so much worse endure silently.

Facebook and social media present an incredible window on social behaviour. I am truly blown away by some of the things posted by certain individuals, and the depths to which they will sink to garner attention. There are so many toxic people bringing darkness instead of joy. I prefer to purge the darkness and embrace the light, if that means fewer friends, but joyful friends who bring laughter, then I am more than prepared to live with that. I would rather live with laughter and joy than darkness. It is sunny outside, I will go soak up the sunshine alone, breathe in its heat and joy, and banish those to darkness, and celebrate my extraordinary luck in having shared my life with extraordinary people, many gone too soon.

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A Reality Check

Poor fragile snowflakes endlessly complaining that they are being harshly targeted and derided, their fragile egos suffering, unfortunately much of the criticism is absolutely real.

We recently contracted the services of a company, and were told, in no uncertain terms, that we not only had to leave a substantial deposit but that we had to pay IN FULL at least one week prior to someone coming to do the work. WHAT??!!??

After demanding a proper explanation, as we had never experienced this before, the Manager was brought into the office to explain the reasoning behind this. We have both owned homes for a very long time, in my case, I totally restored, not renovated, every inch of a 100 year old house in Westmount. Never, had I been told to pay first.

The Manager was extremely polite and explained the progression of their business practices, and how the business world has changed, just within his short career, and he is, admittedly, a millennial himself.

No longer the ability to do business with a handshake,
No longer having clients respect the contracts they sign.

It is every man for himself.

He explained that most of his friends live lives that grotesquely exceed their incomes. Big fancy homes, pools, fancy cars, posh vacations, ALL on credit. Many have 5-6 credit cards, ALL maxed out, yet they continue to live well above their means, and zero cash in their pockets, no consideration whatsoever what will happen if their lose their jobs, or how they will ever repay their escalating debts. As many have not lived through a recession, they live like it can’t ever happen to them.

When he first started working in this company, he found himself doing phone collections as he is even tempered, and bilingual. He was utterly shocked at the names and addresses of those he had to chase. Over the next couple of years, the volume multiplied exponentially, prompting him to seriously review his own behaviour towards credit, as well as participating in creating new policies and procedures for his employer. He discovered that their cost of collections was rapidly exceeding the profit margins on some of their contracts. Obviously, like everything else, there are some millennials who are hardworking and fiscally responsible, and I certainly know many of them. They are living well within their means, not eating in posh restaurants, wearing flashy designer clothes, instead they are concentrating on their careers and their futures over the immediate 10 second gratification of a selfie!! Their view is long term, with certain goals to be met along the way.

However, walk down any main street, look into fancy restaurants, high end designer shops, art galleries, and see people more focused on the phones in their hands than their surroundings. Image, for them, is everything, and it is managed practically down to the nanosecond. As discussed in previous blogs, one has to wonder as to how long term friendships can possibly be made, as everything is superficial and only about the instant image. How many ‘friendships’ will endure the endless hardships and mishaps that come with life?? From job loss, health issues, family problems…….financial problems…….who will remain??

What started as a polite explanation of their business practices evolved into a 40 minute discussion of millennials and their extraordinary sense of entitlement. Feeling that it is acceptable not paying others for their time and services, at the same time as over valuing their own contributions.

In our business, we unfortunately encounter this arrogance on a daily basis, the extraordinary lack of courtesy and respect. Like every industry, there are individuals and companies who have made it difficult through their bad behaviour, however, new trends like ghosting employers, brings bad behaviour to a new level, never before seen. Not responding to phone calls or emails, they have not yet learned that people running business actually do speak to one another, and names of offenders are shared, sometimes even between competitors.

Call someone with over 20 years of experience, you usually get a call back within a short period of time, if some time elapses, one usually receives an apology for the delay. Call the President of a Fortune 500 company, they usually call back within an hour. Call someone with under 10 years of experience, expect utter silence, or total condescension and incredible arrogance… I frankly have a hard time with some of the things I have heard over the phone…….from strangers, who have no clue who they are speaking to, but feel that they are superior,and untouchable. My contact lists are exploding with notes against people’s names describing their rudeness, and whatever the industry, the behaviour is a constant. Having friends and acquaintances in every possible industry imaginable, it is a common theme.

SO, return calls, return emails, be gracious, you never know who is watching, or more importantly, what you could be missing. Some of the people I have called have missed out on opportunities where they could DOUBLE their salaries and work for extraordinary companies. They will never know. I will NEVER contact them again, EVER. From shops to galleries, restaurants, their names are increasingly on lists, and increasingly, they are being shared. There is never an excuse for seriously bad behaviour.

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Whatever Happened to Discretion??

There was a time when people of a certain class were proud to keep their private lives out of the public eye. Your name was in the newspaper at birth, marriage and at death, and every effort was made to keep it out for the balance of their lives.

Today, with Social Media, you are considered a loser if you don’t have thousands or even millions of followers on Facebook , Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin filled with endless selfies, delivered almost every millisecond to ensure maximum exposure.

Bragging has become the lexicon for success and visibility. Life is measured and appraised by following the so-called ‘influencers’ on Instagram, snapping images of every facet of their lives, ostensibly to deliver instantaneous views, the rhetoric defining their lives, questionable, as to whether all this actually delivers quantifiable results beyond ego enhancement.

It is a pernicious, dangerous path, for when life and one’s popularity are measured in micro-moments, how can you develop real, honest, and not simply imagined friends??

Is it a real life or a fictitious, staged existence for a fickle, imagined audience, living vicariously through the imagined lives of the various individuals they follow?? Poses in luxurious surroundings, shows of extravagance, beautiful possessions, often staged in shops or in borrowed clothes and homes of friends or acquaintances for long enough to take a selfie.
These same people, dropped equally fast when someone new and more fabulous emerges into view.

Whatever happened to NOT bragging about one’s wealth, popularity or success?? About being gracious, discreet, elegant, kind??

Some people have hundreds of birthday greetings with gushing adoration from their followers, yet spend the actual day totally alone.

Certain individuals have their PR Maven’s on speed-dial racing to ring up newspapers or posting endlessly on Social Media the staged fabulousness of their clients, be it their so-called social lives or business successes.
Appearances at cocktails, balls, gallery openings, conferences, meticulously posted with the requisite photograph to promote their fabulousness. But what do they truly have to offer beyond their staged, fake lives?? Are they educated?? Travelled?? Sophisticated?? Elegant?? Interesting?? Well Spoken?? Have they actually done ANYTHING beyond actually showing up?? Can one actually have an interesting conversation about something other than themselves??

It is extremely unfortunate that in today’s world, being on Social Media is no longer a choice but a necessity, driven by the impression that with no media presence either you or your company do not exist. That most of the most extraordinary websites are for companies that barely exist, and many of the truly successful ones, barely have a social presence. They actually provide a product or service which is in demand within their industry, and do not wish to be inundated with spam.

People do business with people. People make friends with people. People DO NOT do business with Social Media. Some people actually value discretion.

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Perceptions…

Why is it that some people are attracted to someone and will sing their praises regardless of being shown something totally contrary to their beliefs, and someone else will absolutely despise the object of their praises??

There are a variety of reasons which can contribute to this, including, but not limited to the following:

SITUATIONAL

Someone you know and respect introduces you to someone and exclaims how fabulous, kind, generous, considerate and otherwise wonderful they are, and how you would be well suited to befriend them.

RELIGIOUS

Many people join religious groups, willingly, or unwillingly, due to societal or parental pressure, and make the incumbent feel non-worthy if they are not part of the group, or even totally shunned by their community.

POLITICAL

See religious

HAVING A BAD DAY

If you are feeling sad or unwell, being told how you MUST like someone may actually anger you and change your feelings towards the innocent person, as you would rather be elsewhere, and not forced into a fake smile and an unwanted conversation. The unfortunate object of your feelings being totally innocent.

REFERRED BY SOMEONE YOU RESPECT

With flowery but not so subtle pressure to adhere to the group. Ergo, we all think this person is, fill in the blanks, wonderful, special, generous, one of us…..or in the case of a business referral, it could be their friend, boss, mentor, foe, or simply an honest referral out of generosity.

PRAISED BY SOMEONE YOU DESPISE

How many times have you been in a business or social situation where someone is presented to the group as a ‘person of value’ by someone you do not respect?? Society dictates that you smile graciously and extend your hand in friendship and acceptance, and try to put your personal feelings behind you. Unfortunately many people believe that their ‘first impressions’ are accurate, and they are NOT. Just because you do not like the person making the introduction does not mean the object of their introduction bears any resemblance to them and is not actually wonderful.

PHYSICAL

Illogical physical revulsion to someone for no apparent reason.

SOCIETAL

Some individuals adhere to strict societal rules and norms and are afraid to venture outside the limits of who and what they are told to approve. This is extremely unfortunate, as they miss out on the immense joy of meeting people from all walks of life and extraordinary experiences.

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE

Like it or not, our makeup drives a physical revulsion or in the case of extreme good looks, acceptance. But just because someone is either very pleasant or unpleasant on the eyes does not make them less of a person. Are you able to step back and look into the soul of someone and establish who they really are simply based upon appearance?? Usually the unattractive one is the most interesting, as they have had to work harder at being accepted.

LIFE EXPERIENCES

We all have totally different life experiences which guide us in many of the choices we make, willingly or unwillingly. If you come from a fairly socially isolated community, your views on other races or nationalities, as well as socio-economic vagaries , will be inaccurate based upon sheer ignorance. Someone who has travelled extensively will be much more open minded and accepting of others than someone who has neither travelled nor integrated within other communities.

SOCIO-ECONOMIC

Some people do not venture outside of whatever they perceive to be their socio-economic group, as they consider people who are poorer to be somehow inferior. How many interviews have you heard of arrogant music or movie stars speaking about how they can only socialize with their peers as ‘no one understands them’. They have forgotten where they come from, usually poor. The extremely wealthy often only socialize with other very wealthy people, as they are afraid that everyone else is out to profit from them, the joke is, we regularly hear of poseurs giving themselves titles and English accents and being invited as ‘entertaining guests’, one was recently exposed on television……and yes, it was hysterical.
But there are also social climbers who are so intent on climbing that invisible ladder that they will insult and snub anyone they do not deem important enough, and this is VERY dangerous. Often the most wealthy people are the least obvious, and believe me, they are paying attention, and they DO NOT CARE. They know who they are.

But life plays funny tricks and judgement is often totally flawed. How many times have I heard some social climber discuss how they need to associate with ‘people like us’, yet the reality is that they are pretentious frauds, their actual childhoods totally contrary to the glorious image they are trying to convey.
How many people have built huge empires only to lose them, and turn around and build something more successful than ever before?? So, if you meet them on the way down, are they losers, or is it simply bad timing?? And who is really the loser?? The poseur or the person who fell on hard times??

Due to the nature of our business as well as intensive travel, I have learned over the years NOT to judge anything on first impressions, as they are wildly inaccurate. The well dressed, well coiffed individual with the ‘right’ car, ‘right address’, may be hugely in debt, but the person in the older clothes, driving a 10 year old car, living in a smaller house in a modest neighbourhood may be incredibly wealthy. Think Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway. Billionaire. Old car, bad clothes, small, modest house.

For years we have been told endlessly that ‘clothes make the man/woman” but too flashy often denotes insecurity and poverty. If you are truly successful, you do not require your clothes to make a statement for you.

MORAL JUDGEMENT

People are often judged by their jobs, like it or not. Taxi driver, janitor, …. How many lawyers have put themselves through law school working as strippers or waitresses?? At the time, they are judged by those who ‘hold their noses in moral judgement’ and are treated as prostitutes, whether or not they are actually performing the service. But, who is more honest?? The woman who only sleeps with fabulously wealthy men in order to secure her financial future or the stripper?? ( if you think you may be reading between the lines, think of a highly publicized US stripper…..just saying!!!)) sorry, I actually vote for the stripper.

UNPLEASANT COUNTENANCE

Someone is introduced to you with a snarl on their face. Are they actually unpleasant or just being forced into an unwanted situation??

BIG COSMOPOLITAN CITIES

Yes, I actually have to include this. People who travel extensively and live in large cosmopolitan cities tend to be more open minded and inclusive than those from small isolated towns where everyone is the same and have known each other since they were born….

SOMETHING TO GAIN

Unfortunately, some individuals show many different faces, and this issue is huge. The premise being their innate kindness and generosity which is given only to those they consider to be of ‘value’, anyone they judge to be socially inferior or competition to whatever their cause, are dispensed with in an utterly ruthless fashion. Do NOT attempt to explain this phenomenon to the recipient of their largess, as not only will it fall on very deaf ears, but you will come off as the ‘bad guy. How could this marvelous person ever do something nasty?? They are so…..add adjective….. but to others, they are NOT.

SO, what is the point of all this??

Depending on our life experiences, narrow or open mindedness, our perceptions can be skewered.
Are you having a bad day?? Good day?
Feeling unwell?
Happy?
Sad?
Take a step backwards in your head, appraise the situation , your feelings, logical or not, and evaluate.

If I perceive that any of the above are a likelihood, I actually do something unique. I REFERENCE my subject, and as women are extremely harsh on one another, I try to do a cross section, men and women, and people who have no reason but to give their honest opinion.
The responses have been unexpected and extraordinary. Some wildly entertaining, some horrifying.

Remember, FIRST IMPRESSIONS are wrong…….

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WHO are you??

Perception is everything, or is it??
Do you really know who someone truly is??

Some people are awesome at self-promotion, to the extent that they will engage the services of a PR to develop their ‘brand’ or public personae, and it is amazing just who pays for it. There are innumerable socialites and business people who pay for the proper introductions, and invitations to sparkly events so they can meet the ‘right’ people.

Different people may perceive the same person in totally different ways, one may be excited to be their ‘friend’ , in newspeak, ‘honoured’ to be their acquaintance, when another may see them as a total fraud. Who is right??
Obviously, there is context, as well as personal experience and judgement.
Add to that, the fact that some view the world through pink lenses, and always believe what they are told. So, if they were introduced to someone and told the individual is super successful, the new associate will obviously identify with them in a positive manner.
Issues include context, social, business, timing, physical chemistry, jealousy, as well as something as simple as having a good or bad day. Some people are gullible, and are totally swayed by those who are able self promoters, they truly WANT to believe. The art of self-aggrandizement, particularly today with the volume and nature of social media, as well as many people feeling socially inferior, are apt to grasp on to the person who appears to have a large, fabulous life, as they hope that, by extension, they will be a part of it.
The question which must be asked is, how much is real?? Are you a follower, a believer or a doubter??
Admittedly, I am a doubter, If something or someone appears too good to be true, and I have never either heard of them, or been under a totally different perception, I tend to investigate to establish whether my perceptions and at times physical reaction to someone is accurate.
I know for a fact that I am the epitome of the wrong first impression, most women who judge me and know nothing about me are virtually ALWAYS wrong, and I mean TOTALLY wrong, not just a little, and this is the basis point for this discussion.

The younger generation are obsessed with following movie stars and bloggers and their perceived ‘fabulous lives’, but how much is true?? We know that you can actually BUY friends and ‘clicks’ today, so, do they really have 1 million followers, or is it really 50,000 and a lot of buying power??
If you are trying to associate with someone simply because you believe them to be successful, shouldn’t you ask the question as to why they would actually want to associate with YOU??? What is it they are seeking? Friends?? Sycophants?? Or is it more of the façade……? Do they feel so insecure that they need to have someone with them at all times??

Actions speak louder than words, so follow the actions and not the rhetoric. The reality may be far from what you perceive……….

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