Category Archives: Business

Personal Privacy – Lost at Sea

If you are a regular reader of this BLOG, you may have read some of this before, if not, please pay attention.

Our Consultancy enjoys a Security and Privacy Practice, so we tend to speak with some of the brightest and most knowledgeable in the industry, including individuals from the Government.


What we are increasingly hearing is absolutely terrifying, as most of the public are allowing a total invasion of their privacy and personal data with absolutely NO thought as to the consequences.

Our Confidential Information is no longer Confidential, and YOU are at FAULT.

How many times have you filled in something on-line because it was easy?? ….SO easy, that you did NOT read the waiver, and agreed with everything.
Yes, you AGREED to have the recipient of the form SHARE all your confidential information, and you have absolutely no idea who has received it, or what they are doing with it.

So, when you filled in the form to look for the best CREDIT card, your information was shopped to a dozen companies, and shared with numerous credit agencies.

When you went online to improve your credit score, your information was sold.

When you filled in the form on-line with all your CONFIDENTIAL information for a company to find you the most competitive MORTGAGE rates, your information was shopped to a dozen companies.

When you filled in an on-line form for the best life insurance, all your CONFIDENTIAL information was shopped to a dozen companies without your knowledge.

When you fill in on-line surveys, your information is SOLD….yes, you are providing free information for their analytics department to sell. YOU are the product.

When you decided you needed to be fast tracked through the airport, and gave your CONFIDENTIAL information, retina scan and fingerprints, this information is shared INTERNATIONALLY, ever heard of INTERPOL??

Certain credit card companies insist on having your fingerprint, claiming it is to protect YOU, it is NOT. They are amassing ALL your personal data.

Every time you add someone on Facebook, Linkedin, and ‘LIKE” something, that information is sold, but worse, companies like the former Cambridge Analytica and others are able to use it to analyze your life style and friends, because you thought it would be cool to add your education, date of birth, family members and other personal information.
Unfortunately, if CSIS or the FBI think you or one of your friends or family are a criminal, ALL your contacts are reviewed due to guilt by association.
NONE of whom consented to this invasion of their privacy.

When you fill in a CREDIT card application, you are asked for the names of relatives who do not live with you, as well as friends.
Guess what!! If you become a DEAD BEAT, their credit scores drop through association. Yup. Not a joke.
Once again, if you put the name of someone on your form without their approval, you just damaged THEIR credit without their knowledge.

Then we get to my real favourite……DNA tests…….are you KIDDING me?? You have to be INSANE to provide this.

The Government has been itching to gather the DNA of the entire population for years, and you are PAYING for it??
Now, let me mention, once again, that ALL YOUR RELATIVES have their DNA exposed WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT by you doing this. Your uncles, children, their unborn children, shall I continue…..Seriously???

Increasingly there are CCTV cameras throughout cities, roads, highways, stores…….your EVERY movement is recorded. Face recognition is everywhere, now there is software to record your GAIT. … yes, the way you walk combined with your face….if you have a limp, favour a foot, carry your head slightly sideways…..

Voice recognition software is increasingly being used as an identifier..

Using your DEBIT card for EVERYTHING??? Once again, if you ever encounter financial difficulties, you can be SHUT DOWN in 2 seconds with NO ACCESS to cash. Your lifestyle can be TOTALLY monitored through your charges, from date and time, location, to choice of product, and stores.

Have you ever heard of the government doing lifestyle audits?? You have just provided all the information they seek….

Please do not insult my intelligence and say you have nothing to hide. Losing your identity is NOT about having something to hide, it is about companies and the Government knowing how much money you earn, how much you have, what are your assets, (see above) and where they are, who your friends and family are, and whether or not they are criminals. Please do not tell me how your life is an ‘OPEN BOOK’ , when confronted with some of this information, the most ‘OPEN’ books I know turn beet red and stop talking.

When is the last time you cleaned your “COOKIES” never??? Well, hurry up and do it, and make it a regular event.

The latest in the endless ways to remove any vestige of privacy, is airports and check-ins wanting to use Facial Recognition, presumably to make things ‘easier’…..
Then there is the famous ‘BODY SCAN” where they use X-Ray technology to take a total body photograph, which means every bump, ounce of fat, is exposed for the world to see, and if you think for a moment that they will delete it, think again.

There is a certain Insurance Company which now insists that policy holders wear a FitBit.

There is another Insurance Company pushing black box technology to ‘help you drive safely’ , seriously???

Purchase ‘Credit Monitoring” for a mere $10 per month, supplied by, yes, you got it, the very same Credit Bureau who LOST EVERYONE’s CONFIDENTIAL DATA, with their so called ability to scan the DARK WEB, which, anyone in IT knows is a TOTAL FRAUD, as there is no way to scan the dark web, which is the point of it in the first place. ..and bragging that the software cost $1 million is the joke of the century for those of us in the industry……anything only costing $1 million is USELESS. Just the cost of TESTING will be more than that…..just saying…..

A major Hotel chain was just hacked and lost the identities of 500 MILLION CLIENTS.

22 Million identities were just lost in the US holding SECURITY CLEARANCE.

Burglar alarm companies are pushing a new system whereby you can alarm your home, open your front door, turn on your furnace, etc. from your phone……..are you mad???

Personal assistants are always ON, monitoring EVERY word spoken in your home….and you think you have privacy???

SOOO, just to summarize, you use one of these utterly INSANE burglar alarm systems, you have a personal assistant in your home which can unlock your front door and turn off the alarm, what is to stop someone recording your voice, turning off your alarm in your absence and emptying your house??? ……Using YOUR voice to do it from a phishing phone call and recording you…….hellooo…..

Similarly your bank account, which you have on your phone, which can be opened with facial recognition……..hello…….a good photograph will do……probably on your Facebook page.

Thieves are approaching people’s homes to clone the key fobs of people who have automatic keys to unlock and start the car…….theft is up 16%

EVERY TIME you agree to one of the above services, you are eroding your and everyone else’s privacy.

Your sexual preferences, religious beliefs, political views are being watched and sold along with ALL your PERSONAL DATA.

STOP saying yes.       START paying attention to this erosion, and say NO.

RESPECT!!!!

YUK! YUK! YUK!!!

Dear Reader,

this BLOG was composed BEFORE COVID, and never posted. As infections are skyrocketing, and the behaviour we see boggles the mind, I decided to make several changes and post this as a wake up call….NO, I am NOT suggesting my readers are guilty of this behaviour, what i am doing is hoping that along the way I may actually save someone’s life.

Feel free to share this with individuals who exhibit this behaviour.

The utter lack of self respect, self awareness, and respect for others, exhibited by some people is beyond dispicable.

We are certainly not all brought up the same way, but a little consideration of others goes a long way.

This week, I had the unfortunate opportunity to witness some seriously disgusting social behaviour.

Taking a shower, washing your hair, brushing your teeth, washing hands, and nails, and wearing clean clothes to visit the Doctor. I sat in a waiting room for 2 hours with a mask on my face, and from what I could ascertain, of the 50 people coming and going, only 2, yes, 2 of us had showered, washed their hair, and were wearing clean clothes, shoes, etc.

Likewise, showering, shaving, washing your hair, using deodorant, brushing your teeth, putting on clean clothes when you are going out to dinner with others. Your lack of cleanliness
Does not add to anyone’s appetite, or wish to share anything with you, quite the contrary. UGH!

Coughing openly in a crowded room. Several boxes of facial tissues were free and available. Next time, perhaps take a few instead of
Sharing your illness with the rest of us….COVID equals DEATH. HELLOOOO

Coughing into your hand, then offering it to me to shake it. Seriously??? YUK! YUK! YUK!!

Leaving behind your used, gross, discarded tissues on the table in a restaurant expecting the server to remove it.
Do you not have pockets??

A little decency would be nice.

YES, we noticed.

Clipping your nails in a public place, letting them drop on the floor…. SOO disgusting… Is it really too much trouble to remove your self to the washroom next time??

Using the toilet and not flushing, then just to add to the image, not washing your filthy hands as you exit the washroom, touching EVERYTHING
Along the way….

Walking on the sidewalk with your mobile phone glued to your face, forcing everyone to step aside for you. Whatever you are looking at
Will still be there once you reach your destination.
It is just NOT that important.

Complaining endlessly about not being invited to social gatherings, but never, ever, initiating anything yourself, or, even better,
Putting your hand in YOUR pocket and paying for the others. Perhaps for once, try picking up the telephone, initiating and PAYING
For those who have been financing you forever.

Insisting on splitting the bill evenly in a restaurant, when you have been ordering numerous cocktails, bottles of wine, and extra courses, when others have NOT…. Some of us do not drink and drive. Why should we pay for you to get drunk?? ….why should we pay for you to eat a fat lobster, an entree, a desert, when we eat a salad with a coffee?? You KNOW who I am talking about…….

Being invited to a surprise Birthday party, arriving with a lovely gift, only to be told that you are expected to contribute to a group gift, and to add insult to injury, you are given an envelope and told the minimum amount…on top of paying for a meal with wine which is equally divided amongst the number of people at the table…..

Perhaps telling people in advance would be appropriate??
Some of us were NOT brought up to bring envelopes of money, in fact I have never heard of this practice before, and found it extremely offensive….and furthermore, I DID NOT DRINK ONE DROP OF THE WINE that I was obliged to pay for…..

Hosting a party for a 25th Wedding Anniversary, receiving expensive gifts and never, ever acknowledging them …..

Returning phone calls, promptly, regardless of the reason you THINK the person has called you.
Can you read their mind??

Why on earth would they return YOUR call in your moment of need, if you have always ignored theirs???

Another charmer invited my sweetie for a birthday lunch, proceeded to order like a mad fiend, drink cocktails and wine, act like a bigshot in the restaurant, so that everyone saw him, ordered a bottle of wine even though we BOTH protested we were not drinking, then STUCK US WITH THE BILL…….

Is there something not clear about the words…..WE DO NOT WANT ALCOHOL that you don’t understand???

Clearly not enough times, as you have since been purged from my list of friends, ….. NOW do you get it???

Panhandlers who have sad stories to tell but have been on the same corner for years, wearing expensive clothes, smoking $15 packages
Of cigarettes and drinking $2.50 soft drinks, who then become aggressive when you refuse to give them your hard earned cash. Some are extremely aggressive towards women, and will actually threaten them if they do not give them money……one actually chased my secretary up Peel Street……terrified…….

The pan handler who has spent years in front of Ogilvy’s married a woman he met in Florida during the winter, and she drives him to “work” in a brand new SUV…..

The same panhandlers who disappear the day after Christmas and go to Florida for the winter, then reappear at the end of March, with a fabulous tan…..

WHY are YOU giving them money?? …are YOU going to Florida for 3 months every winter???

People on Social Media who are always insisting that you ‘SHARE’ their posts, but never, ever ‘like’ anything that you post.

It would be nice, just for once, for you to acknowledge the rest of us…you are just NOT that special……

Did you ever consider that many of us totally disagree with your views??

Going to an event, such as a Birthday party, and being TOLD that we are expected to contribute generously to YOUR charity of the week?? Seriously??

People ramming their feel good ‘charity of the week’ down your throat, and trying to guilt you into contributing.
IF and when I decide to contribute to something, it will be what I chose, NOT you. Just STOP. It is your GUILT, not mine.

Endlessly posting pictures of your child or grandchild covered in food. It is NOT cute. One is enough, 20 is RUDE. NO, it is really not cute.

Once again, THANK YOU to all who anonymously contribute to this BLOG. Some of your comments are hysterical……and much appreciated in a
World gone mad.

A Life in Lockdown

Take someone who is used to travelling up to 6 months of the year, meeting people all day long, then lock them inside their home for a year and what do you get???

A wicked case of Covid35….aaaaagh!!! my skinny jeans look at me aghast!!! To think I used to fit in them all!! They are horrified at my appearance, and shrink in horror….
(as if they weren’t tight enough)…!!!!

I consider myself extraordinarily fortunate. There is a very sweet, gentle, loving puppy who has offered her services to entertain, and is rarely more than a few feet away, providing endless kisses and love. If she could purr, she would.
Add to that an equally lovely life partner, and divine company is always close by.

Cooking is NOT my thing, Luckily having spent most of my life with one foot within the Asian community, I have learned to craft fast, healthy, tasty meals, 10 minutes from refrigerator to table.
Butternut squash Thai coconut soup, Tom Yum Seafood, Ratatouille, Mushroom Chicken, and occasionally, disgustingly rich Italian something, dripping in cheese, OK, so NOT Asian, just decadent.
A life partner who can actually follow a recipe…..(totally NOT my thing) and whips up decadent, wonderful meals.

Working from home is lovely, no traffic, no icy roads, no parking issues, but not being able to meet clients face to face and walk around is just NOT the same. Body language, facial expressions, micro expressions, eye contact, totally missing. Watching people interact with others, simply impossible.

Being doubled over in laughter, non-existent. Learning from extremely bright, extraordinarily creative executives……totally lacking.

Lots of time for contemplation and certain realizations. I see acquaintances adding Facebook friends as though those numbers actually matter. In fact, I find myself doing the exact opposite.
I have probably deleted over 40% of the people who were there…were they friends?? Acquaintances??? Taking advantage?? Or the big question…..do they actually make you laugh???

With death hovering outside the door every time you go out to do an errand due to all the selfish mask less people about, the concept of social distancing totally nonexistent, the concept of being locked in your house amplifies the desire to speak with friends who make you laugh, make you feel good, support you. People who are TRUE friends.

One such friend is in London, years have gone by, yet she answers the phone and I hear her voice booming down the line, and am instantly smiling. We speak easily for over an hour each call, endless laughter, sooo many subjects…..everything from Theatre, politics, Restaurants, food, endless……I hang up the phone, and am anxiously awaiting the next time we speak.

People complain about feeling isolated, but how many have reached out to those living alone and given them a smile?? A feeling of being less alone. A phone call is not expensive, but can have a huge impact on someone’s life. I do something utterly absurd with one friend, I send her pictures of Chelsey’s elegant toes, her bouncing, her eating poached salmon….with ridiculous subtitles. She knows we are always thinking about her, and are available instantly should she need us…..

Another British girlfriend rang up the other day, apologetic and embarrassed about her silence. But she knew she was safe, not being judged, as she described her horrific year. I told her off for not reaching out sooner. Made her promise she would call more often when she was upset.

Spend your time being kind. There is SO much evil and nastiness out there. From internet trolls to people who hate themselves and take it out on others.


Make sure you shower, wear clean, nice clothes, feel good about yourself. Read, educate yourself with all the extra time. Eat well…(well, maybe not TOO well)


Make someone laugh and feel needed.

The days won’t feel so dark.

Living Through a Pandemic

As an observer of life, I find it fascinating that sometimes those making the loudest pronouncements and taking up the most space intellectually are actually the ones living the saddest lives.

In life, one makes certain key decisions as how one chooses to live their lives, and I made mine very early on, and followed my dream, mostly in silence. People I know would lose sight of me for weeks or months on end, my excuse for my absences was that I was working. That was certainly partly the case, and working in several cities simultaneously is a challenge, now, did I meet ‘x’ in Toronto or Chicago?? Yikes!!!

I have endured endless nasty gossip from women with too little to do with their sad little lives other than gossiping ruthlessly about people they know little or nothing about. The more I have heard of the gossip, the further away I ran…..

Living life well is the best revenge ,doing it on your own dime, even better…

One of the extraordinary gifts I have enjoyed is making amazing friends who are scattered around the world. As we are locked down in our homes we are seeing empty streets with a proliferation of wild animals wandering aimlessly about…..air less polluted, and quiet….

Taking the time to call some of these individuals has been wonderful, no one is in a hurry to go anywhere beyond the kitchen, and the ability to spend an hour on the phone with no disturbances has been brilliant!!!, but even better, the laughter has been incredible !!!

But there have been some less attractive observations, which is seeing certain people showing their true colours.

From cyberbullying on Facebook, to acting out like spoiled, pathetic children, showing a distinct lack of class or consideration for others. The refusal to wear a mask in public, and bragging about their unwillingness only shows their ignorance and selfishness, and willingness to put the lives of others at risk.

There are those who interrupt others and do not let them speak, behaving as though they are all knowing and all seeing. Sit back and think about it. They are showing who they REALLY are. The man who claims to be from an upper class British family, putting on airs and a fake English accent ,screaming people down when he does not agree with them, and throwing temper tantrums like a bratty 2 year old. No one from a decent family would EVER behave in such a disgraceful fashion…..
Then, to continue the thought, if he is from such an amazing background ,why is it that he has returned to Britain twice in the last 30 years, and stayed in horrid B & B’s instead of with relatives having homes in Knightsbridge, Holland Park or Mayfair????
Last thought on this dreadful person, is realizing that over the years I am unable to remember ever sharing a really good laugh. That is sad.

Quiet observation of several individuals who make the most pronouncements has shown that, for the most part, they do NOT live particularly well, have not travelled, and in fact, are extremely limited in enjoying a cross section of friends and acquaintances.

Many have expressed feelings of isolation, however, the last time I checked, the telephone actually works in more than one direction. So, they are miffed because WE don’t call them, but when is the last time that THEY actually reached out??? When did they make you laugh or give you any type of pleasure to result to you smiling uncontrollably??

So, who are your friends?? More importantly, who do you still wish to keep as friends?? Unless one is extremely insecure and needs to feel that there is always an entourage, are they really friends or simply taking up your time and space, and worse, risking your life to satisfy their insecurities???

The ability to sit back and look from the outside in gives one extraordinary clarity.

Highly recommended during these uncertain times…

Being safe and careful is far more important than having selfish, uncaring people around you. It is your LIFE.

Do these individuals bring you laughter?? Joy??

Having too much time on one’s hands allows for introspection, contemplation and evaluation …..one must be able to look at oneself coldly at the same time as evaluating others. A frightening thought, but certainly the opportunity for a serious awakening.

To my amazing friend in London who suggested some of the changes to this BLOG, thank you for MANY years of joy and laughter, have an incredible birthday and wishes for many, many more.

Dying for Fashion

In the midst of a pandemic, whatever notion of common sense there may have been, has certainly disappeared.

During the last week, there have been endless riots and protests in the US, where we have witnessed tens of thousands of people, in numerous cities, all jammed together, most of whom were NOT wearing masks.

NO, I am not in any way saying that I condone the actions of the police in the senseless killing of an unarmed black man, but the response of putting one’s own life at risk, as well as that of one’s family is senseless, and frankly unconscionable.

Stay at home legislation is slowly being lifted, and let me say loudly, I DO NOT AGREE, as unfortunately it has sent a message to the stupid and unthinking that all is OK. NO, it is NOT.

The pandemic is still here. It is mutating and spreading.

Some schools, not in Quebec, reopened, and already they are experiencing huge numbers of new COVID cases. Each child in those schools is potentially spreading the virus and bringing it home to spread.

I went to 2 stores the other day, and drive past several others. What I witnessed was excessive numbers of clients waiting in lines outside, the majority NOT wearing masks or doing any semblance of social distancing.
The other thing I witnessed was people in filthy clothes and shoes, women carrying filthy, disgusting handbags overflowing with dirty Kleenex and other things, greasy, dirty hair, and semi-nudity.
Yes. Due to the heat wave we experienced last week, women were out in flip flops and other open toe sandals, wearing teeny tiny tops with spaghetti straps and exposed mid-riffs ( vulgar in public at any time) and mostly unattractive and inappropriate, and the shortest of shorts and mini skirts which left little to the imagination.

And the point is??!!!

IF microdroplets can linger in the air of a room with poor circulation for up to 14 MINUTES, these individuals are seriously exposing themselves and their families to the coronavirus as they carry it home on their already dirty exposed bodies.

The lack of personal hygiene was already at issue, but the lack of clothing is insanity.

The need to be ‘cute’ is defying logic at a time when you are putting yourself at risk. Is it really worth dying for??
Those same women were not wearing masks, not social distancing, and clearly not all out in the company of family members. Many were shopping with friends.

I would like to say, ‘what were they thinking’?? but clearly being out and being ‘cute’ was more important than their lives. So, intelligent thought was sorely lacking, along with their clothes.

Earlier in the week when I did my outing to the grocery store, I actually saw some individuals sporting masks, but along with that, a few also wearing a sense of humour. One fellow was wearing an extremely funky colourful shirt, the sleeves had been partly cut off, and the missing fabric used to manufacture a matching mask!!
A few older couples were wearing crazy matching masks.
If they can do it, WHAT is the problem??

If the Asian and Medical communities have PROVEN that wearing masks reduces the risk of transmission, why on earth refuse to wear one??

If you are such a fashion victim, then just wear one that matches your outfit!! Not so hard.

So, in the name of saving our own lives as well as those we love, let’s get back to basics, shall we??

SOCIAL DISTANCING

Actually a safe distance from others is 10 feet, 6 is the absolute minimum.

PERSONAL HYGIENE

We are endlessly being told to wash those hands, but what about the rest?? If ever there was a moment in time to be squeaky clean, this is it. Just because you have been locked up for 2 months wearing your comfy pyjamas, it is no excuse for not bathing, and certainly no excuse to venture out of the house in said dirty, comfy pyjamas. Bathe, wash your hair, shave your face, wash your clothes, sanitize your shoes, put on decent clothes. We can see AND smell you.

While you are at it, you should be cleaning all the following articles religiously…….

Sheets
Towels
Sponges
Washcloths
Toothbrushes
Dishcloths
Clothes
Door knobs
Light switches
Faucets
Re-usable shopping bags
Handbags
Shoes
Counters
Shower – bathtub
Car doors
Steering wheels
Mail box
Door bell

When you arrive home, remove your shoes and sanitize them immediately.

In Japan it is considered polite to remove one’s shoes before entering a private home. If ever there was a time to adhere to this practice, now is the time.

For years I have been imploring people to not walk into my home with their filthy shoes, and NOT to bring their filthy slippers to wear in my house.
NO FOOTWEAR means NO FOOTWEAR. Period.

Are you starting to understand??

MASKS

Wear one. It is a sign of respect for oneself and others. Period.

FACIAL HAIR

Remove it all. UGH.
Facial hair is dirty at the best of times, shave it off. It is easier to wash your face before putting that mask on.!

LONG NAILS

Ugly and gross at the best of times. NEVER clean. Cut them off, and wash, wash, wash those hands.

EYE GLASSES

Clean them a LOT.
Don’t touch them when you are out in public.
Your eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of the body.

HAIR

Wash it more than usual. It carries germs.

MOBILE PHONES & TABLETS

Clean, clean, clean

PUBLIC TOILETS

To be avoided at all costs.

When a toilet flushes, it unleashes millions of microdroplets into the air, which land on EVERYTHING.
The person who used it before you touched door handles, toilet paper dispenser, toilet paper, flusher, seat, faucets, everything. If they were infected, you just touched everything they did.

Perhaps I am a bit extreme, but I carry a mini Lysol spray, wipes, gloves and masks with me anytime I go out, and I use them excessively. If nature is screaming at you and you have no choice but to use a public toilet, wash your hands immediately, then bathe yourself, your clothes and shoes the second you get home. Do NOT wait.

HANDBAGS

If you must carry one, sanitize it every time you come home.
They sell alcohol wipes, spray and Lysol. Use it.

This virus does not care how cute or how fashionable you are. Wear closed shoes, and cover your body if you are going to public places.

WASH……..WASH……WASH

Stay alive

It is your life.

And then the World Stood Still

This is an extraordinary moment in time which will forever be etched in the memories of the entire population of the world. It is inconceivable that in the space of one week over 6 BILLION people across the planet simultaneously locked themselves in their homes with but a slight warning from some so-called world leaders.

The world came to a silent and abrupt halt.

Bustling streets around the world normally filled with people became instantly empty, videos taken by the brave, and by drones flying overhead bear witness to the odd seagull seeking lunch at his favourite restaurant and questioning the absence of food and humans.

‘But WHERE are my French Fries.???.” he asks quizzically…unused to the void of humans and potential food…..

It is extraordinary to see scenes of major international cities such as New York,, Paris, London, Rome, Milan devoid of human presence, and the silent return of wildlife, wandering around world monuments with no fear of human threat…..

We are fortunate that some internationally renown medical specialists stepped up to calmly explain a pandemic in simplistic terms to try to calm an otherwise terrified world.
This is the time when we truly see both the good and the bad of humanity. The medical and emergency professionals risking their own lives every moment of every day to try and save lives, at the same time as some truly arrogant politicians behaving in unconscionable ways trying to deflect and blame others for the crisis. Deaths spiraling out of control due to lies and gross incompetence, others stepping up ,speaking in measured, calm, logical words to try to explain something unexplainable.

We have heard of 6 degrees of separation, but unfortunately it is more like 10 feet of separation, as studies have proven that micro droplets travel much farther than previously believed.

As a long time student of human behaviour, I must admit to being speechless at some of the arrogant, selfish, ignorant behaviour I see around me. Neighbours with children who are clearly home from school for a reason, totally defying the rules of self isolation and separation. Some of them out socializing every day, large groups of children playing outside, their parents at home, not thinking of the risks they are putting on their children and themselves. One person can infect 1000.

People in shops and on the street unwilling to distance themselves from others, and when confronted, becoming belligerent and publicly insulting those who politely request that they step back….

This is NOT a joke.

This virus does not see age, race ,colour, socio-economic situation ……it is ruthless and will attack and kill anyone and everyone it encounters.

My small contribution is my ability to collect and collate information from around the world, and to distribute it first to my Doctor friends around the world and to my friends and acquaintances…If by providing information I can save and protect lives, then I have been successful….

So, PLEASE..don’t be selfish,

STAY HOME.

If you go out, COVER your mouth and nose.

Stay 10 feet away from others.

WASH your hands a LOT.

Wash your shoes and purchases when you arrive home.

Reach out to your friends by telephone, NOT by text and email….it is NOT the same.

SLEEP, READ, catch up on projects, and mostly

STAY ALIVE.

Where is the Joy??

In the middle of November every year, the madness of Christmas shopping and cocktail parties explodes and the panic sets in…

There are those who look forward to the swirl of activity, as well as those who look at it all with trepidation and the Fear of Missing Out……How many invitations?? Having just the ‘right’ outfits, fitting in, taking the requisite number of selfies in posh stores, restaurants, parties, to feel included, and to show the world just how fabulous they are..

But in the midst of all this swarm of activity, the big question looms large…..where is the JOY?? Laughter?? Inclusiveness???

When is the last time you went to a party and actually laughed until you cried??

Those who are regular readers of this BLOG know that I love to be on the periphery, standing in a corner quietly surveying the room. Watching those who preen and posture, those who wait to enter so that they can make a entrance, ensuring their fake fabulousness can be observed and witnessed by all. Their pretention and arrogance not understood by the social climbers, who race over to shake their special hands, air kiss their spectacular cheeks, and breathe in the air they breathe, hoping it will be photographed and saved for posterity. Bragging rights ensured the the next event, selfies for their next post.
The extraordinary games of one upmanship, bragging of their most recent trip or party.

Watch those milling around the room, using their phones as an excuse to disengage and move on to more suitable prey.

First impressions screaming out, ‘LOOK AT ME’ when, in reality, often the person who underdresses and sits quietly is really the one to watch. Did you EVER
See Steve Jobs in a suit strutting around? Bill Gates in a suit that actually fits? Likewise Warren Buffet, driving his old clunker and still living in his old home. If you did not know who they were, you would never think they were remotely successful. …. And you would be WRONG.

It is fascinating for me to watch individuals interacting at an event where you know virtually everyone in the room, watch them sizing up and appraising, deciding whether or not someone is of ‘VALUE’ to them, see the change in their eyes, posture, as they move in for the ‘kill’ …
But, do you REALLY know who they are when they are outside of your immediate social circle?? How they really live their lives? Their values?? Honesty??

Other than the false narrative exhibited by many, how many people actually stand back and LOOK??? Appearances can be extremely deceiving, and most importantly the self aggrandizing chatter.

I used to be friends with someone who brags endlessly about her huge international business, latest world travels, latest $4000 handbag, latest fabulous restaurant, exquisite flat, private jets, latest car…..it is ALL a lie. The tiny flat is rented, the car is leased, the business in a tiny rental, the credit cards through the roof, always one sale away from bankruptcy. Walk into a posh shop with her, and the fabulousness rhetoric begins……go to a restaurant, party, and her fabulousness is sounded from every corner, people crowd to be part of her, to wash in her glory, to salivate at her stories, but, nothing is real.

The low class east end social climber who literally threw herself at wealthy men, married or not, and ultimately married reasonably well. Who has to have her name in the papers, be photographed at the most recent social event, but ask anyone who knew her when she was single, and they actually shudder at hearing her name. One actually blanched with discomfort. Someone who was brought up to never speak ill of anyone. Yet he admitted he was incapable of saying anything whatsoever kind about her, she was such a total embarassment to be around. Yes, he IS the one with the money and family pedigree. His reaction was physical.

The holiday season is supposed to be about re-connecting with the people in your life, making new friends and celebrating, but for some it is only about networking to sell their latest product to some unsuspecting target. To fill their photo libraries with new selfies in posh locations, to show the world how important they are, how successful.

But NEVER, how nice.

Did I vere off topic??

Actually, no, not at all.

Over the last few years I have been purging a lifetime of belongings, having 2 large offices in 2 different cities, and a large home, all full, all mine.Yes, TRIPLE everything.
There are hundreds of photos, business cards, invitations, diaries, and they have ALL been part of the purge. It is utterly exhausting.

Unfortunately some mementos of friends who left this earth way too soon, but their memory brings a smile and sadness. Others are gone from this world or from my life. Shredding hundreds of business cards, photos and invitations was cathartic…..

This process forced me to look further, and question certain relationships which led me to distancing myself from unpleasant people. Mostly those who are
USERS. I realized some were after my address book, be it business or social…….and when I refused to share, I was no longer of interest.

People who are not kind, not generous, not inviting, never sharing. No gentility.

This exercise crossed socio-economic boundaries, social groups, business groups, everything.

I realized that many of them brought me no joy, no smile, no laughter, no fond memories, just, well…….nothing.
So why did I allow them to take my time and energy??

If you walk away from an encounter with someone who is supposed to be your friend and increasingly feel angry, it is time to STOP.

Life is about surrounding yourself with laughter, joy, being with people who actually make YOU feel good about yourself, it is not always about them. People who celebrate life.

When is the last time you truly were with people simply having a great time, laughing and sharing joy???

Have an amazing New Year!!!

Just when you thought you had heard Everything

A long term client – friend responded to my last BLOG, with a personal anecdote…literally, on the same day as she read the BLOG.

She is a Senior level Manager, in an R & D Firm, and offered a consultant a 3 month extension to his one year contract which was about to end. He not only refused, but countered that he only accepts contracts of minimum one year.

She was speechless, then recovered and asked that had she initially offered a 15 month contract, would that that have been acceptable. He responded that, yes, it would.
Then she inquired, but you will not accept an additional 3 months to your one year contract?? An emphatic NO.

Guess which Consultant is now unemployed!!!
Absolutely defies logic.

As you have no doubt noticed, no one is ever identified by name or establishment, those who recognize themselves inevitably respond within a couple of hours of reading the BLOG, usually accompanied by much laughter….

There is an older, aspiring pseudo socialite in Westmount, who, for some unfathomable reason, considers herself above most mere mortals. What it is she thinks is her claim to this lofty position utterly escapes me. Her big daily task is ensuring that she is home on time to prepare her husband’s sandwich at lunchtime.

SANDWICH!!!??? Seriously???

To me a sandwich is what you eat when you are utterly bereft of ideas, or simply want instant gratification. You can make something absolutely wonderful to eat in 10 minutes, from Asian noodles, Tasty Italian Pasta, incredible salads, Chinese stir fry….the list is endless….

A SANDWICH?? Ugh. Ugh.. ugh.

Over the years I have been incapable of establishing just what it is she supposes elevates her to the lofty social position she aspires to.
As you undoubtedly know, I am a student of human behaviour, I watch, listen, question, question some more, then probably some more.
Some may perceive it as cynical, actually, it is not. It is actually catching people out in lies and untruths, which, in my business, is extremely important.

If over 60% of the resumes on LInkedin are falsified, then one must allow oneself to extrapolate social behaviour…….

This same individual, when learning that someone she had seriously snubbed for years, deeming them socially inferior, was actually super successful and mega connected, she actually said, OUT LOUD, that she may have to actually consider speaking to them.
Yes, she said it OUT LOUD……

Buy why would anyone actually wish to befriend her?? She is boring beyond belief, a housewife, not particularly well travelled or well read, and incredibly cheap. Please spare your attacks on the fact I said she is a housewife. I am simply establishing that she does not work, and is not out in the world.

Then there are those who constantly carry on about their honesty and ethics, cheating on their wives endlessly. Guess you are not so honest……

Of course, one of my favourites, the individual who is introduced to someone repeatedly, only to react as though it was the first time, acts thoroughly bored, and moves on to the next person who is hopefully more important. After 20 introductions to the same person, to actually learn that the person they have been actively ignoring, was much more successful than themself, and certainly more interesting than them…..
Oh my!! How the body language changed, the instant eye contact, the physical proximity……such utter hypocrisy.

Are you kidding me??! People share this information, with much glee……

Another senior executive brought in to clean up a mess, was dealing with a consulting firm with delusions of grandeur. Nearly $2 million of invoicing , yet he could not actually ascertain what exactly they had actually delivered. He insisted upon receiving detailed time sheets for all the consultants, with time attribution to the projects on which they were billing.
One month passed, then another, lots of calls, emails, requests, and then the drama started. Finally they admitted that they were UNABLE to provide detailed timesheets.

Yes, a consulting firm. Billing hourly.
You are reading correctly.

Let me explain the problem to you.
They were actually double and triple billing their consultants.
Have the consultant sit in the chair at one client site, so he is physically in place, and visible, and actually perform work ON THE CLIENT’S COMPUTERS for other clients. YUP. Happens all the time.
There are certain unscrupulous consulting firms who invoice like this regularly. This time, they were caught.

Guess which firm lost a couple of million dollars of mandates??

They delivered very very little for the invoices they produced. No one was watching.
As soon as someone who keeps absolutely meticulous records was brought in and audited them, it was the end of them at this client.

Another Vice President of a large, publicly traded corporation does not understand why one of his Directors steadfastly refuses to meet with a couple of the vendors he has recommended. Every possible excuse, obfuscation, months go by, still no attempt at scheduling a meeting.

Unfortunately, it is the elephant in the room.

The suppliers know the reason, but can’t say it out loud.

If you return to a previous BLOG which describes why many absolutely extraordinary Sales Executives have either retired very early or no longer work in the IT industry, you will have the answer.
In a word, GRAFT.

A certain Engineering firm is constantly in the papers for this problem, yet there is never any mention of this issue within the IT industry, and it is absolutely enormous. No wants to discuss it, and it is getting worse and more grotesque than ever .The sums exchanging hands are astronomical, and it is cross industry.

My telephone rings, and I am recounted endless anecdotes, unfortunately it is increasingly difficult to be amusing about this, so hopefully we will stick to informative.

Then, one must ask, exactly WHY is it that some of the most awful people constantly refer to themselves as AUTHENTIC?
They actually believe they are nice. Just using the words does not a nice person make. As ever, actions speak louder than words.

Why is it that some grown women spend their entire lives spewing vitriol and trying to ruin the lives of others, who are more successful, and about which they actually know absolutely NOTHING.
The arrogance is astounding. If anyone looked at their daughters askew, life would not be worth living, they would loudly proclaim their horror of the perceived actions, yet think nothing of behaving like schoolyard bullies. Wasn’t this behaviour supposed to stop at 15??

…and cyberbullying, well it is even worse, insulting utter strangers. To me this is inconceivable.

I recently ran into an acquaintance on the street who had just lost his spouse. They had been together for 15 years.
Within one week his employer fired him for inappropriate behaviour at work, but worse, send him a LEGAL notice to avoid walking on the street in front of her shop.
Admittedly he is somewhat of a drama queen, but he had been employed by her for over 7 years, so if he was so awful, why didn’t she remove him years ago??

He was in tears on the street and his hands were trembling uncontrollably as he recounted his horror of receiving this threatening legal document.
I suggested that when dealing with someone so utterly heartless, that he have his lawyer respond in kind.

She could have suggested that he take a couple of months off to deal with his grief, but firing outright, then threatening him??

She had the arrogance and the audacity to put in writing that he is prohibited from walking on the street in front of her store.
Something is seriously WRONG with this picture.
I for one, will never either shop or recommend her business to anyone.

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.

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………