I Got The Call

ATM.jpeg

I got the call!


But not the one that I always wanted, which is to serve at the very highest echelons of government or/and industry for those values and things which I so hold dear. 


No, instead I got the call that my professor in college warned me about. 


He said:

“You will get a call one day from someone asking for a lot of cash–no questions asked! At that time, you will know who you’re real friends are.”


So I actually got this call (for real) and in the middle of my work day.


This person who contacts me is considered quite affluent and with an extensive network, and I know him/her for only a relatively short time


Person:

“You know you’re like family to me Andy…I need $2,000–in cash–by 7 pm. I’ll pay you back $500 on Friday and the rest by Monday.”


Me (Stunned):

“What–is this a joke or something?”


Person:

{Repeats again the request}


Me:

“OMG. What’s wrong–is everyone okay? Are you in any trouble?”


Person:

Uh, everyone’s fine…don’t ask me any questions–there’s no time for this now.”


Me {Reaching for some humor in this bizarre situation}:

“Oh, only $2,000–I thought maybe you needed $2 million–that’s no problem, of course.”


Person:

“Please don’t make jokes now Andy–this isn’t funny!”


Me {Trying once again to get some more–any–information}:

“Can you just explain to me what’s going on–I really want to understand, so I can help you.”


Person:

“Do you have the cash or not?”


Me: 

“To be frank no. I don’t keep any cash around. {Inquiring to learn more…} Could you take a check or something else?”


Person:

“No. Listen, can you go to the ATM now?”


Me {frustrated by the abruptness, lack of sensical communication, and pushiness, as well as more than a little suspicious at how this is all going down}:

“Well the ATMs have a cash limit. Also, I would really need to check with my {lovely} wife first,”


Person {seeing they weren’t getting what they wanted when they wanted it}:

“Okay, well if you can’t help, I’ll just call someone else–thanks {hanging up on me}!” 


WOW!


Despite having trusted this person and feeling very hurt by all this, I still called the person back later that evening to follow up and because I truly cared, and they were still not any more forthcoming with me, and in fact, were quite attacking that they were sorry to have called me.


But I wasn’t sorry…my college professor was right on, thank G-d–I do know who my friends are!


Whether its a lunch date, LinkedIn/Facebook contact, or social invitation, be discerning about the motives of people–outside of any sane and normal context–that are seeking to “friend” you. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

I’m Telling You They’re Really New

Swim Fins

So I ordered a pair of swim fins to replace a pair that recently ripped in the pool. 


I went online and ordered a brand NEW pair. 


A few days later, the fins arrive in an envelope (no box). 


Already sort of terrified at what I will find in this strange bag, I slowly open it up, and find a completely disgusting dirty, scuffed, USED pair of fins with no tags or packaging


Ew…I am so grossed out and contact the vendor right away to return these, but instead of customer service, I got a boat load of b.s. and chutzpah.


They made a million excuses, tried to make me feel bad, and basically refused to provide for a return, saying that the product is not really used, that it just got dirty in the mail and on the trucks and all, and I just have to clean them off a little!


When I question them about why there was no box or packaging, they say, “Oh that, well we take it out of the box, so we can ship it more cheaply for you


I said, “What right do you have to take it out of the packaging when I ordered it new–maybe I want the packaging or need to give the item as a gift?”


Then they go on to give me an ear-full about about the high cost of shipping and that I should thank them for removing the packaging to the keep costs down (but the problem is that they were trying to keep costs down in more ways than one here). 


They continue to berate me as well about how I should be more understanding as to the dirt and scuff marks, since it’s no big deal, because when I put it in the pool, the water and the chlorine will wash it off and kill all the germs anyway!


After patiently taking this abuse for a while, I went online and saw that others had the same experience with this merchant–getting sent used goods in the mail that had been advertised and paid for as new.  


Now I had had it up to HERE, and I promptly did my duty and went online to give them an appropriate customer review to help others from getting cheated like this in the future. 


Guess what happens next? 


They email me to tell me that they took note of my feedback and not that they are sorry about what happened and want to fix it, but that “We will never ship to you again.” 


My wife explodes laughing…mwahahahahaha–like who would ever want to go back and do more business with these crooks. 


People are absolutely crazy out there.


Caveat emptor (buyer beware) a million times.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

2 Jobs Are Better Than 1

2 For 1

So this is a funny story that my friend reminded me (honestly, I had almost completely forgotten about it)…


We were in college (business school) looking for our first real corporate jobs for the Summer. 


With G-d’s blessing, I ended up with 2 nice offers.


But my good friend didn’t have a job.


So I offered one to him.


I was still a kid…what did I know!


I told one company that I accepted and the other company that I had a friend that was interested (of course, I would vouch for him). 


So on day 1 of the Summer job, my friend shows up there in the World Trade Center on the 99th floor (yeah, this is before 9/11 took the whole place down).


The corporate folks talked about it for 5 minutes and said he could stay.


Voila now we both had summer jobs!


Honestly, I can’t believe we ever had the chutzpah, but in those days people helped each other out more. 


2 4 1 and 1 4 All. 


And that’s how we both got started in the NY business world. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Head Of Peace Now Is A Moron

Jerk

I don’t often go about calling people names.


It’s not diplomatic or politically correct, of course. 


But I want to make an exception on this special occasion.


And that is when this week, the head of Peace Now, Yariv Oppenheimer, actually had the audacity to criticize terror victim, Yonatan Azriaev, in Israel.


The victim was savagely stabbed by a terrorist, yet the victim managed to pull the knife from his own neck and trust it into his attacker, killing him.


What an unbelievable act of courage, strength, and heroism!


But to the leader of Peace Now, he blames the victim and calls this an extra-judicial execution, instead of a completely appropriate act of self-defense against a terrorist on a murderous rampage.


All I can say is the guy is a complete moron (yes, I said it) and shame on the self-hating, anti-Semitic, Peace Now members who are indirectly supporting terrorism, instead of defending their brothers and sisters. 


Let’s hope and pray for a genuine peace with security for the Holy Land.


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Funnier In Yiddish

Yiddish
Yiddish is a language with words derived primarily from German, Hebrew, and Aramaic.



When someone wants to know if you speak Yiddish, sometimes, they just say, “Do you speak Jewish?” 



Many of the Yiddish words are popular and have become commonplace in our communications now-a-day. 



One of my friends used to say, “Jokes are always funnier in Yiddish.”



And sure enough, there is something about Yiddish words, pronunciations, and nuances that make getting a point across very potent and at the same time, quite humorous. 



Take the words on this eduational Yiddish poster–it’s like the Yiddish words just sound like and makes perfect sense for what it is (see how many you recognize):



– Bagel – Bagel 



– Chazar – Pig



– Chootspah (chutzpah) – Gall 



– Gonif – Thief



– Imglick – Luck



– Klutz – Clumsy



– Kvitch (kvetch)- Complainer



– Macher – Big shot



– Mishugina (mashugana) – Crazy



– Noodnik – Annoying



– Pipik – Belly Button



– Shlep – Lug 



– Shmootz – Dirt



– Shnops (schnapps) – Liquor



– Shvigger – Mother-in-law



– Trafe – Unkosher



– Tsooris – Problems



– Yenta – Talker



– Zoftig – Fat



There is one more word not on the list here that is probably recongizable and that is a “shmuck,” which refers to a contemptable person, but literally refers to a man’s private parts–ah, maybe that’s why it’s not on the picture poster. 😉



(Source photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Have Some Chutzpah

Have Some Chutzpah

Nobody likes to get or feel rejected–whether asking someone on a date, applying for a job, coming up with a new idea…you don’t want to get shot down…you want to be appreciated for who are you and what you “bring to the table.”

I used to have a teacher who used to tell his students “nobody appreciates how great you are like your mother does.”

In other words, don’t get overconfident and think your so smart, so good-looking, or so otherwise great–just because you received unconditional love from your parents–who tell you everything you do is so amazing and you are G-d’s greatest gift to mankind–doesn’t mean it’s really true.

So get real about yourself!

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (7 January 2013) had an article about something called “Rejection Therapy”–where for 100 days, this guy–Jia Jiang–“makes at least one preposterous demand everyday” that get him “strange looks, rude comments, and outright dismissal.”

He posts videos of this to his site entresting.com or “Hope from nope.”

Jiang is trying to learn a little chutzpah and determination in the face of rejection–especially for landing some venture capital funding for a social networking app he wants to build.

To teach himself to get out there, try his best, be willing to fall off the horse and get right back up again, Jiang now purposely seeks to get rejected every day–thinking that “Everybody has failures periodically. The people who are generally successful are the ones who bounce right back.”

So he asks random people for crazy things…like a policeman, if he can sit in his/her squad car–just to see what happens and if he gets rejected whether he can brush it off–and generally be strong in the face of (repeated) failure and some accompanying adversity.

It’s a crazy experiment, but one that is getting Jiang noticed–maybe you’ve got to be a little crazy to stand out from the crowd.
In the end, it’s not about rejection, but about trying your best and being willing to take some bruises and bumps along the way to your goals.

The path to success is littered with wounded and even dead bodies–to succeed you’ve got to have some chutzpah–plus a dose of resilience and perseverance–to get out there and try, try again. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)