A few days ago, the receptionist at work came into my office to tell me that someone was on the phone for me. She quickly added that he said: “…he asked me to call him, but he isn’t picking up – perhaps there is someone else I can talk to.” She also added that he had called several times, and that it didn’t sound like a cold call. Even though I had someone in my office, I told her to put the call through. I mentioned to my coworker that the interruption was going to be short. When the guy started his sales pitch, I let him get as far as identifying his company and then I broke in to tell him that 1) I didn’t appreciate the way he treated our receptionist. 2) I don’t do business with liars, and 3) His company was now on my black list. After my meeting was over, I tweeted:
Later that evening, after reading several flat-out-lie political tweets from a consultant whom I follow on Twitter and who I had once considered doing business with, I added a similar, albeit more general tweet to my timeline:
How is it that intelligent, successful people can overlook the fact that I might know, or can easily determine that they are lying to me? Maybe they aren’t that intelligent. Maybe they are counting on the fact that I am not intelligent, or that I am too lazy to do the fact-checking called for these days . Maybe they are just so arrogant that they think they can leverage their position of self-appointed intellectual authority to bully me. I’m not sure how they rationalize their behavior, and I don’t really care, because nothing can rationalize lying.
We have been inundated with articles, blog posts, and advertising for everything from seminars to webinars to white-papers on the importance of brand and reputation management, yet people still feel comfortable lying in public. I expect political candidates to lie. I expect the various aligned talking heads to lie. I expect the non-news channels across the spectrum to lie. I do not expect business partners to lie, and the ones that do lie to me will find it nearly impossible to remain or become a business partner in the future.
I should say that I am not calling out names here because the worst thing you can do with a liar is get into an argument with him. I will add that I am not talking about anyone that I am currently doing or have recently done business with. I am talking about a couple of business partner wanna-be’s who just scratched their chances with me.
I try very hard to gather the facts before I write a blog post. I have given the blog posts that come close to being technical to others to read, just to make sure I’m not misrepresenting the facts. If someone leaves a comment suggesting that I am wrong, I research their thoughts and I reply. If I am right, I try to explain my thoughts better. If I am wrong, I thank the person for correcting me. I replied to a comment the other day that seemed to be from someone who had only read about a third of my post, and I tried not to be snarky about it. Unlike some of the people who do get a bit snarky with their comments, I don’t hide behind an anonymous user ID. I also don’t delete negative comments unless I am confident that they are spam.
Even if I thought I could get you to buy something from me, or vote for the candidate of my choice, I would not want to risk losing any respect that you have for me. I’m not quite sure what to think about people who are willing to take that risk.