If You Give A Moose A Muffin

So one of my colleagues told me an interesting saying:

If you give a moose a muffin, they will never go away. 


What a funny image and thing to say. 


But I get the idea that if you keep giving freebies and treats to people, they will just keep coming back for more. 


Everyone needs to be taught self-sufficiency to the extent possible. 


These days where everyone is some sort of specialists and “subject matter expert,” there are very few people who are really self-sufficient and can survive on their own. 


Instead, we have a society of people that are mutually dependent (codependent)–and most would starve or freeze to death if they didn’t have someone else supplying the “muffins.”


This all reminds me of a funny story when I was a kid, where a crazy lady friend of my parents came over to their house when my parents were sitting shiva (in mourning after the loss of one of my grandparents).  


This crazy lady actually laid down on their living room couch so the other people coming to pay their respects couldn’t, and then she wouldn’t leave–hint after hint, she just laid there sprawled on their couch. 


Finally, my dad got up from his mourning, fed her some food, and actually gave her some money–literally to leave–which she finally did and not to be mean, but really as a relief to everyone. 


In this case, my dad gave the moose a muffin to go away and it worked, thank G-d. 


But as is with moose’s, I am pretty sure she came back another day for more muffins. 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to OpenClipart-Vectors)

Why Can’t People Be Genuine

Why all the phonies, users, shysters, and scammers out there?


It starts perhaps with that big, warm smile.


Maybe a handshake and hug. 


Perhaps, you even get a kiss or two (it’s cultural, I think, LOL).


Colleagues, friends, you’re just like family.


Sometimes it’s real and you truly found something valuable in your life.


There are good people of soul and conscience out there. 


But other times it’s an act, a sham, deception, you’re the fool. 


The other person wants something–cash, control, connections.

Oh by the way, can I ask you for just a “little” favor?

You wouldn’t mind if…?

Just do XYZ for me, I got your back. 

I see you know so and so, would you introduce me?

I have a great investment opportunity for you, let me tell you all about it.

Sure it’s okay and actually wonderful in a real relationship for people to be there for each other and help each others…“that’s what [real] friends are for!”


The problem is where the friendship is only about the ask for the benefit of the other and no care for you as a person. 


Then the smile isn’t a genuine collegial or friendship one of happiness and outreach. but rather it’s upside down to get you to do something legit or illegit for the person pressing their lips up and out into that smile you already know is all about the ask. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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)

Friends or Foes

Two-faced

People are amazing creatures–they can be sincere and trustworthy or phoney and users.  How do you tell them apart?

I learned in enterprise architecture and information architecture that information is power and currency–i.e. that those who have it rule and those who know how to get it–are the kingpins.

They may get information legitimately through research, study, reading, review, and working with others or they may cozy up to others illegitimately, to more to the point–find out “what’s going on?” what have they heard. or “what’s the real scoop?”

In some cases, it is merely benign networking and that is a healthy thing–or as they say, “it’s not what you know, but who you know.”

But in other cases, some people may take it too far, and literally prey on others when they are vulnerable, trusting, or simply let their guard down.

We spend a lot of our waking hours in the office , and therefore people’s social needs manifest in work friendships, confiding in others, going out for a coffee, lunch, drinks, etc.

However, at work, people are also competitive and can be ruthless in getting what they want, making themselves look good, badmouthing others, going for that “gotcha”, and even stealing other people’s ideas and hard work–now where did they leave that notebook?

So when you tell an associate something–are they trustworthy with your feelings, experiences, information tidbits or will they take what you share and use it for their own ends?

There are a lot of good, decent people out there, but unfortunately, not all of people are.

Is their face for real or a poker face?  Are they playing on your side or playing you?  Will they come to your aid at the moment of truth or use the opportunity to thrust the blade through your back.

My father used to joke about some people being two-faced, and then why would they choose that (ugly) one that they have on. 🙂

I always learned talk is cheap and actions speak volumes. So when someone asks about your latest project, your kids, or ailing parents–is it from someone who genuinely gives a hoot or from someone who’d like to get you off guard, even for that split second.

In the military, this would be related to psychological operations (PsyOps)–getting into the other’s person’s head, figuring out what makes them tick, and then using that to extract intelligence or inflict mental and emotional “blows.”

In law enforcement, perhaps the equivalent would be the old “good cop, bad cop” routine–where one person offers you some cold water or a cigarette and tells you everything will be alright, while the other person slams the table, yells, threatens, and says “your going to be going away for a long time.”

There are lots of ways to get into a person’s head, under their skin, and get to that valuable information–without going to the levels of physical, “torture” techniques, some of which have since been generally outlawed such as waterboarding.

So which people that you deal with are good, genuine, helpful, and have integrity, and which are selfish, nasty, and cruel?

It is definitely a challenge day-in and day-out to tell who is who–and you shouldn’t let the bad apples out there, ruin your trust in all people–you just have to make sure to look beyond the veneer–to see if the other person is more friend or foe.

(Source Photo: herewith attribution to BlueRidgeKitties)