It’s Not Your Mother’s Fault

Some business and personal practices require the individual to come up with stunningly stupid approaches. These aren’t genetic or hereditary. They are not your mother’s fault. She knew better, so get off the therapist’s couch and take accountability for your own mess.

One of the people in my mentoring program, a specialist in sales skills, informed me today that when she suggested to a client that salespeople take more effective notes in meetings with prospects, the legal beagles stepped in to determine “the legal risk in permitting note taking in meetings.” (No offense here intended for beagles, fine and intelligent dogs.)

There is no right to privacy in a public place where privacy is not a normal condition, e.g., standing in line at an airport. Yet two people took great offense at a picture I posted of a woman eating a sandwich (showing the lack of amenities in coach class travel), a woman they don’t know, merely eating a sandwich, and claimed I was engaged in “bullying.”

A woman approached me after a speech and told me that she was happy with my treatment of women, since she counted (she COUNTED), and determined that I used equal numbers of male and female pronouns. Another woman, minutes later, told me I was biased because I tended to laugh when answering women’s questions, but I didn’t laugh as much answering men’s questions. Both these women ought to have a sandwich while waiting for a plane.

A woman at the phone company, sounding like a zombie on Prozac, asked me in a monotone if the number I was calling her on was the number that was not working for outside calls. (I did NOT laugh at this question in responding to her.)

A publisher for whom I’ve written a recent book—bear in mind I’ve written 46—asked if I’d be willing to write an article for a magazine to promote the book. When I agreed, they had a ghostwriter contact me so that he could make sure the article was written well. (Now there’s a man I did laugh at as I told him to take a hike.)

There are people on the web ostensibly trying to become professional consultants and speakers who are both posting and downloading intellectual property that is protected by copyright so that it can be stolen. What kind of pea brain do you possess to believe you can be a responsible professional by stealing others’ works to save $16 on your way to a successful, ethical career?

Trust me, this idiocy is not their mother’s fault.

© Alan Weiss 2012. All rights reserved. (Ha, Ha!)

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14 Responses to It’s Not Your Mother’s Fault

  1. Noah says:

    The sandwich one is the best. I’ve seen the light in first class and it shines bright!

    But before that – that was me! Scarfing down whatever I could so I didn’t eat my own foot.

  2. Anna Filina says:

    The woman counted your pronouns because women are good at making lists and putting meaningless numbers in contrast. I know, I myself have yet to overcome this obsession.

  3. John Martin says:

    I think ‘Alans sandwich’ is going to be around for a long time yet.

  4. David Thomson says:

    Alan,
    Are you still going on about sandwiches?

    It’s interesting to see how you like to distort and create your own fictional narrative.

    “Alan’s Sandwich” would be more accurate if it was termed “Alan’s Voyeurism”. My comments were concerned with the fact that you took a photo of a woman without her knowledge and posted it to your blog, all without her knowledge, and then ALSO wrote comments that denigrated her.

    You wrote “While waiting in the priority line to board, I noticed this woman behind me absolutely wolfing down a ginormous breakfast sandwich. I was looking when she boarded later to see if she had a sign, “Will fly for food.”

    There was absolutely no mention of a “lack of amenities”.

    Suggesting that a woman “will fly for food”? Come on Alan, I thought your humour was better than this. I hope you don’t mind that I am around to remind you of what you actually wrote…. not what you wished you had written.

    And by the way, airports are not considered public places. The public are admitted to certain areas, under certain conditions and regulations. You had passed through a security checkpoint. I expect a Mensa member could work out that difference.

    This reminds me, I’ve got a story for your blog post:
    I know of quite a well-known consultant who says that in debate, ad hominem attacks are used simply because people can’t intellectually debate their point. This consultant also has a blog and uses SEO, SEM and content marketing to drive traffic to their site (to be a person of interest), then when one does read their blog and make a comment that they find disagreeable, the consultant will retort with “no one invited you here”. They trot out their resume, call you names and say you’re not as successful as them (even when they have no evidence either way).

    Hilarious. I mean you can’t make this stuff up!! They should lighten up and get a life.

    I’m sure your readers will see the value in adding this story to your list! But, sorry, I can’t be certain that it’s not their mothers fault.

    But keep up the good work Alan, as I am still gaining many valuable insights. In fact, in the past week I have learnt a great deal about narcissism, hypocrisy, sycophants and ego. Did you know that Narcissists tend to be contrarian? Interesting stuff isn’t it?

    Stay well and don’t let the naysayers get you down ;-)
    … oh, and throw that sandwich baggage off the train.

  5. Alan Weiss says:

    And yet you keep coming back, pounding your agenda home in the case of someone photographed who couldn’t care less. If I’m all those things you claim in your verbose ad hominem attack, then don’t visit.

    Other people raised this issue again, because the rational amongst us react that way to fanaticism and wowserism. No one gets me down. Public figures have “naysayers,” especially those who need to shoot at those above them. And please, try to clean up your grammar and punctuation. That wasn’t my résumé, that was just my appreciation of the language.

    • David Thomson says:

      Ad hominem attack? I hope you didn’t think I was writing about you! No far from it. I was writing about someone else. If you saw aspects of yourself in what I wrote then that is something you really need to look at.

      As you have a Ph.D. in psychology you would understand the concept of transference, wouldn’t you?

      I have been coming here since your blog started, and as I have a wealth of discretionary time, I will continue to return. I have the mental capacity to overlook your shortcomings and find what is valuable to me. In fact, I am thinking of signing up for “Alan’s Forum’s” as I hear that this is where all the action is.

      Alan, I also get that your “intent” was to poke fun at USAir. Your execution of it in your original blog post was sadly lacking. In fact, all you did by posting a picture was make your point even more obscure. You know that it has been said that the key to humour is…. ti … ti.. ti… being funny.

      But then again, maybe you are looking to create a new sub-genre of comedy…. that of the ”Existential Humourist” (as an aside, that is a great brand for you Alan, “Existential Humourist”. I’ll let you have that one for free).

      I find it funny that you have an appreciation of the language yet claim that you owned a Bentley “coop”, not a Bentley coupé (it is a European brand after all)…. but then again, after your post with the ducklings I began to wonder if you are housing chickens in your car, so I could be wrong ;-)

      You did say that I was “the kind of person who reads a book, ignores the content, and complains that there are three typos.” I thought that you might overlook an errant accent or two. I seem to recall a saying about a pot and a kettle.

      • Rene' Vidal says:

        David – they are other visitors like myself who appreciate good content. What are you trying to accomplish here? This is Alan’s playing field. If you’re looking for examples of Alan’s humility, you’ll find concrete realities throughout his books. We’d ask you about the success of your blog and your track record but decided not to go there. Pleas step it up or step off – as they say in New York.

      • Wow David.

        This is Alan’s house, and you come in with muddy shoes on?

        Seriously though… you don’t have to agree with Alan (although when I disagree I find it costs me money).

  6. John Martin says:

    I don’t get it David, you originally expressed an opinion to a blog post which, although not all of us agreed with it, is fair enough, but now it’s just regressed into a personal and pointless taunt.
    You state you have the mental capacity to overlook his shortcomings, yet have just displayed an act of petulant playground behaviour.
    No one has to agree with everything Alan says, or does, but this, as he has written several times, has just ended rational debate.
    I’m not writing this in some form of defence for Alan – God knows he’s that last person who needs other to speak up for him – but I am asking that, for the rest of us who visit this blog and take a great deal of value from it, please stop. The comments have now gone beyond the edge of pointlessness.

  7. Alan Weiss says:

    David, the worst crime is to be boring. I’d follow Rene’s advice. You won’t be accepted into AlansForums.com because we’re a community of professionals trying to support each other, not wise-asses deciding our agenda is so urgent that we pontificate to others about “bullying” where none exists. And this is our last exchange here, if you submit anything else in this vein we’ll pull it, not because of debate or argument, but because you’re so damned tedious and self-absorbed.

  8. Rene' Vidal says:

    Apologies for previous typos though no one’s cowering in a corner nor is expected to – thank goodness in this forum. Alan alluded to intellectual fire power as his greatest strength in a recent interview. I don’t know Alan personally but from what I’ve learned professionally, I’d say personal discipline is his greatest (professional) strength. The discipline and discretion it takes to apply that intellect. (You see, one can disagree without being disagreeable.) At the end of the day, the scorecard (results) is what matters, so who cares about this or that. Don’t be fooled by hucksters selling “the one thing.”

    Finally, everyone does well when they draw the personal-professional line, and for the person who brags on being the ‘same person’ all of the time – lethargy would be an upgrade. Gotta run, have many clients to serve, and hence many masks to prepare.

  9. Tim Wilson says:

    David,

    Who are you? What have you done? Why do you feel that you have right to question what Alan puts on his blog? Why are you wasting our time by posting to a person’s blog you obviously disagree with? What do you hope to gain from attempting to engage in your pointless digs?

    If you truly believe that you’re on the same level of Alan Weiss then prove it. Tell us what you have written and why we should follow your advice. If you have information that is as pertinent to solo consulting then present your findings. If you can’t then you’re worse than one hand clapping in the wind, you’re nothing more than a jealous little boy who wants to be in the company of the grow-ups.

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