Category Archives: Listening

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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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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Happy New Year!!

Life is a constant game of checks and balances, as well as perceptions, which vary depending on our life experience.

This BLOG is a RANT, and as such can be perceived by some as negative, feeding back into the endless debate over whether the glass is half full or half empty.

I have suggested to those who are offended, mostly because they see themselves in my comments, that they are welcome to abstain from reading it, as THEIR negativity is not welcome.

There are many followers however who view it as a sanity check – their own – in a world gone mad.

In my daily life I speak to and meet an extraordinary cross section of the population, every colour, shape, size and walk of life. From Billionaires to shop clerks and everything in between. In business I meet extremely well educated individuals from every corner of the globe, and in doing so, I find myself in every corner of the city as well meeting with people, so it is NOT the view from an armchair, but of living life.
You might try it sometime.

If there is one thing that I have learned, it is that EVERYONE has something to share.

From the Doorman who speaks 5 languages fluently, is dressed in designer clothes straight from the pages of GQ, is worth millions, and holidays in St Bart’s and Japan.
The coffee stall owner in a London Street Market who is now worth millions, but arrived penniless.
The Philippino Engineer whose father risked his life so his children could come to Canada for an education and a better life.

The list is endless. The difference is that I actually SPEAK with people, hear their stories, look into their hearts and their eyes.

Try meeting some of them, they are all extraordinary in their own way.

Happy New Year!!

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Christmas Returns

The mad panic to shop for Christmas is now over, now come the Boxing Day Sales and the millions of returns.

Shop-keepers are ‘braced’ for the annual onslaught, having hired extra staff and security guards.

WHY???

I simply do NOT understand how hard it is to actually purchase appropriate gifts for Christmas or anything else. If people paid even a modicum of attention to the likes and dislikes of their family and friends, this would become a thing of the past. The only true excuse for a return is the wrong size or colour. But then again, why on earth would you buy a RED sweater for someone who absolutely DESPISES red??   Wool for someone with allergies who only wears cashmere, …chocolates with nuts for someone with a NUT allergy……..

From the time I was a child, people have given me totally inappropriate and unwanted gifts and expected me to not only say ‘Thank You” but also actually mean it.

I guess the look on my face was a dead giveaway!!!  I will never be a poker player!!… particularly when you are holding a DOLL in your hands which you are about to go outside to smash into smithereens.

You bought me a DOLL!?!?!

REALLY???

You bought me a frilly DRESS?!??!

You MUST be joking…..

You bought me a RED WOOL Sweater??

Great………I hate RED, and am violently allergic to wool.

You gave me chocolates with NUTS???

Seriously??!!??

How HARD is it to actually listen?? Is the gift about the recipient of the ego of the donor?? At times, it is unclear.

I know that I am not the only one who feels this way, otherwise the shops would not have to hire extra staff, security guards, and impose rules about returns.

If you actually CARE about someone, try LISTENING to them. Pay attention to their likes and dislikes.

Please do NOT be condescending and use the old tired adage, “ it is the thought that counts” as it is truly offensive. If there was actually any thought, the gift would not be in process of being returned.

Several of my friends have told me over the years that I am the ONLY one who ever gives them gifts they actually want and enjoy, and, guess what, they end up returning nearly ALL the gifts they receive from everyone else.

Years ago, I was the President of a professional organization where we hosted high caliber speakers on a monthly basis for our luncheons and conferences. I took the time to ring up either the wife or secretary of all our speakers and actually ASKED what they would enjoy within a certain price point. Apparently I was the only one to ever do that. The CIO of a large railway who was an extraordinary speaker became a regular fixture at our events. His wife kept a list for me of items he wanted for his sailboat, and he was absolutely thrilled. One day while visiting his office, he opened several huge drawers in his secretary’s filing cabinet and showed me box after box of cheap pen sets, framed lithographs, and cheap oil paintings as well as other utter nonsense he had been given, non of which was of interest. It would be checked for nametags and given to charity.

Thousands and thousands of dollars of unwanted gifts, because NO ONE actually thought to inquire as to what he might actually like.

Just how many cheap pen sets do you think he wanted?? How totally unoriginal.

As CIO of a large corporation, if there was one thing he did NOT need, it was cheap pens.

He is but one of several executives who told me the same thing. One other senior executive would place everything on a couple of desks and invite the staff to help themselves. He kept nothing. There was never anything remotely of interest.

For myself, I have NEVER played with dolls, continue to absolutely HATE dresses, as well as the colour red.

So, as you stand in line totally frustrated by the time you are wasting with your returns, try spending the same amount of time to contemplate gifts that will please the recipient in the future.

It is really NOT that hard, and is certainly appreciated.

And maybe, just maybe sometime in the future, returns will be a thing of the past.

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