Can’t TRUST This!

June 17, 2009

Trust is earned.  You can’t just go handing it out all willy nilly like a bowl of dinner mints.  Trust has to mean something.  It has to make sense.  Otherwise, it’s just comedy.

I don’t know where (or why) my mind started down this path…I was probably cracking a joke (#1) and came to the conclusion — nah can’t trust that lol.  And now I have this offbeat list…all for fun.  Feel free to add to it, question my motives, or second that emotion :).

CAN’T TRUST THIS (Da na na na)!

  1. A dentist with cavities
  2. A blind gynecologist
  3. Dick Chaney
  4. A bank president with a 520 personal credit score
  5. A pre-opened parachute
  6. Cheesecake with zero transfat
  7. Whoopings that hurt the parent more than the child (and I’m a parent)
  8. “You’re going to feel a tiny prick”…before blood work
  9. Pharmaceuticals that address 1 symptom, but “may cause heart attack, stroke, nausea, migraines, stomach ulcers, in-grown toenails, and death — only in rare cases.”
  10. Single friends who tell married friends, “I wouldn’t put up with that…you oughtta leave him/her.”
  11. Cops who pull over ambulances with patients
  12. Hotel wake-up calls before a big meeting
  13. A politician with a criminal record
  14. Drinking water recycled from waste water
  15. Management that passes my knowledge/work off as their own
  16. A sharp shooter with one glass eye
  17. A vet who’s allergic to dander
  18. Financial counselors facing foreclosure
  19. Mortgage loans with “no hidden fees”
  20. The scale in my bathroom lol
  21. A chef/cook with dirty fingernails
  22. Fast talking car salesmen with wet armpits
  23. E-purchasers from Nigeria using PayPal
  24. Buffet bars without adequate glass shields
  25. 1-ply tissue
  26. {your turn}

In light of all the racial discussions and reflections in the media these days, I thought about one of my own racial episodes from my days in corporate America.

As my SOM states, my background is technology. So, I’m serving as Technical Lead (Internet/Intranet) for an international chemical manufacturer, and my CTO asks me to represent the company, in his stead, at an E-Business Symposium at the Renaissance Waverly. This posh meeting (penthouse level, of course) would be attended by directors, chief technology officers, SVPs, CEOs — it was really an honor to be selected for this opportunity.

I arrive in my best corporate duds, portfolio in tow, fragrant with humble confidence. When I reached the penthouse suite, the pretty blonde receptionist, dressed in a modest skirt and blouse, was busy assisting the gentleman who arrived before me. With his information packet and name badge in hand, she kindly directed him to the private boardroom where the symposium would take place.

I took a moment to leisurely walk around the lovely suite, surrounded by walls of windows that perfectly framed the downtown skyline, perusing business cards and brochures on the tables.

As she returned, her bubbly personality leaped at me – “May I help you?”, she said. “Yes, Hi, I’m here for the E-Business Symposium.” “OhhhKayyy…please have a seat and I’ll be right with you.”

I sat on the champagne chaise lounge, trying wholeheartedly not to show my nervousness in the company of all these big wigs. The last thing I wanted to do was embarrass my company and African-American women everywhere lol. Handing me a clipboard with pen attached, “OhhKayyy…here we go…just fill this out and bring it back when you’re done.” And she was off to her desk.

When I finally looked down at the clipboard, I had to catch my jaw from dropping, for fear of bruising it on the floor. I couldn’t believe my eyes, nor stop the loud ringing in my ears. I couldn’t say this out loud….so I thought it with all my might………..”OH NO she didn’t…Give me an application for KITCHEN HELP!!!”

Gathering my senses and emotions, I walked back to her desk and explained my presence, AGAIN! What part of E-Business Symposium did she not understand. Perhaps the color of my skin, blinded her to my professional attire, and busted her eardrums….translating E-Business Symposium to kitchen help.

The Symposium was great, made some excellent biz contacts….But more importantly, I made sure I offered direct eye contact and expressed verbal gratitude [both were sorely lacking at the table] to the Hispanics and African-Americans who so graciously served us all that day……..

It’s the most effective and aggressive form of customer relationship building for any revenue-generating organization — anticipate the needs of the customer, and proactively satisfy them. More often than not, the monetary returns from this approach positively affect the company’s bottom line. However, is there any customer need that warrants the question, “is our organization really the one to fill it?”

Even Goliath’s like Wal-Mart reject (and/or have tried to reject) the notion of being all things to all people. Just try buying a hand gun, or the latest edition of Maxim magazine at Wal-Mart. It’s a short road leading to a dead end.

Speaking of dead ends, this question of customer need “fillability” escapes many colleges and universities across the country. Now, as you walk across the stage with degree in hand, women can also carry the physical and emotional scars of abortion — amicably provided on the school’s dime. Sure, part of a student’s tuition may include a health fee, but the bulk of abortion costs (usually 80%-90% expenses covered or allowable charges up to $250 maximum per occurrence) are covered by the school’s student health insurance.

But don’t run out and boycott these schools just yet. You may find the alternatives (schools who don’t cover abortions) are slim to none, as this “benefit” is rampant. Since when did “normal pregnancy” become a “sickness”?

The rationale employed by these colleges and universities is clear. Just as a gunshot wound or appendicitis could preclude one from finishing a semester, likewise an unwanted pregnancy could hurt school revenue with an increase in withdrawal applications. The notion of insuring people to protect one’s bottom line is not a new concept, though. Different, yet similar to the relationship between universities and students is the purchase of insurance policies by slave owners. Notwithstanding the overarching intent in both cases is to protect one’s investment, it’s very interesting how slave owners used insurance to protect life, while colleges and universities are using insurance to destroy life. And with white women accounting for over half of the abortions in this country, never have I seen a scenario where the perceived value of a slave outweighs the value of an unborn white child.

As an African-American woman, the same outrage applies doubly to our historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) who provide elective abortion coverage for students. With staggering numbers of African-American males in prison alone, how insane is it for our institutions of higher learning to promote such a “benefit”? What is tuition revenue, compared to giving life a chance to change the world? It is embarrassing how we are financing the destruction of our future Kings.

How much anticipation of customer need is enough? How much is too much? Do colleges and universities have the right to choose which needs they fill, which benefits they offer? Yes they do. Should they offer abortions with their degrees? If a student suffers permanent damage (e.g. cannot have children) due to multiple school-financed abortions, could she sue the school or the underwriters? If schools cover the costs of abortions, should a limit be imposed on how many times a student can use the benefit? Should parents who dish out big bucks for tuition have a say? Two words…caveat emptor.

These are my 2¢ plus a penny…what are your thoughts?