Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The "Boo" Meter

Some actions, questions or comments just require the perfect tone of "Boo!" My dear friend and financial advisor Cindy Fuzie taught me this. You don't like something, just say "boo." So for your entertainment, here are some boo-worthy moments.

Asking me the obvious. This one just seemed kind of off-the-wall to me. A gal asked me if Daughter of the Caribbean, which is clearly a pleasure book, was a non-fiction business book. What about a beautiful cover of a young girl, strolling on a Jamaican beach looks like a business book? When I pointed out what seemed like it should be pretty obvious, she relented that she would read it on the airplane. I was completely lost. The branding on the book is sublime, but it just goes to show that in marketing some hurdles (as is my dog ate my brain) just can’t be overcome. For asking what is probably the most absurd question of the year (if not decade), major-league “boo.”

“Yes, Drill Sergeant!” I always give people the benefit of the doubt, but sometimes people don’t pay attention to how they phrase things in the email. Let me say this up front, e-mail is a dangerous media to communicate in. It lacks tone and inflexion. So even the simplest request without the word “please” inserted can come off sounding like a commander chastising the troops. Problem is when the commander is really a private – and they’re pushing the lines of polite requests from a company that doesn’t actually work FOR them. Be very careful when you’re actually asking for a f-a-v-o-r to not come off sounding like General Patton on a rampage. For “commanding” versus requesting – that gets a mammoth-sized “boo.”

Time to put on your big-girl pants. When the parties over, it’s over. Recent company events took place that severed certain relationships (yes, you know what I’m talking about). While in the beginning I was tolerant of answering what I considered tedious and ridiculous questions about how to do simple tasks, I decided what should be plainly obvious by now -- I am not your consultant or anything else for that matter. I am busily running 3L. Someone who supposedly owns a business should know the answers to the types of questions I've been asked. First, I understand my business. So, when a recent question came from said source, I immediately told my brilliant operations manager to ignore it. I mean what are we? Ask Jeeves? Uh, no! Asking someone you burned a few times over for common-sense information deserves a whopping “boo.”

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