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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The impenetrable secretary

I was saving that title for another entry, but decided to use it here for lack of anything better.

Everyday we get phone calls at the office from people trying to sell my boss their business. A lot of the calls are from legitimate corporations such as SBC and AT+T.

Other calls come from what I call the investment trade. But, not the Wall Street type. More like the snake pit type. Their modus operandi is to ask for my boss by his first name. When I ask who's calling, they reply with their first name like they're old friends. When I ask what it's regarding, they usually hang up. This happens at least once a day.

Today a different kind of call came in. The guy first said his full name, the city he was calling from, and the company he was with. He asked to speak to Mr. Smith (not my boss's real name). I was taken off guard so I asked him to repeat his information. He was calling from Hollywood, California, on behalf of an entertainment company that I never heard of. I'm leaving out his name and the name of the company, just in case he and it are legitimate. For all I know, he may have been the owner of the company.

He wanted to talk to my boss about investing in his movie. When I asked what made him think my boss would want to invest in a movie, he replied that he heard Mr. Smith was a sophisticated and savvy investor. Who told you that, I asked. I could tell he was debating with himself on how to answer. But, after a short pause, he said he got the name off a list of potential investors. Ah. What list, I asked. He then explained that he bought the list from Dun and Bradstreet. I took his name and number with no promises for a return call.

I remember the day when being listed with Dun and Bradstreet was something prestigious to strive for. Apparently, those days are now gone.

Back to the title of this entry. Part of my job is to protect my boss from the swarthier side of life. I'm good at it.

Posted by Marie at November 16, 2004 8:55 PM