Thursday, April 19, 2007

Watch Out For The Opportunistic Bastards

Hopefully that title caught your attention. Today's entry is about arming yourself with knowledge; because knowledge is power; to avoid the sick scam artists that are constantly coming up with new ways to liberate you from your money (or worse). Let me start by making it crystal clear that this is not a rant. This is information is to help prevent bad things from happening to good people like you.

Sunday I went into the office on my day off in order to be prepared, as a few senior staff members just turned in their resignation, and as leaders it is our job to service our remaining teammates and customers by avoiding drama and providing solutions and leadership even in times of apparant turmoil. On the way out to go enjoy my day, I passed a scruffy looking character pushing a stolen grocery cart full of cans. As I came to the realization that my struggles with staffing (in a well-paid position) were petty compared to what this man must go through- I stuck my hand in my pocket and was about to offer him a few dollars. That was- until his cell phone rang and he changed his facial expression into business mode and went into a directive tone as though he was leading an employee or customer through a business transaction. How the fuck does a homeless guy foot a cell phone bill? He doesn't.

Hence the name of today's blog. I beleive in charity- big time. The last time I donated to charity was today. However, in hoping to create a better world and pay forward any opportunity for those less fortunate than ourselves, we must learn to spot and avoid the opportunistic bastards.

The worst example in popular press recently comes from New Orleans. Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, when thousands of decent citizens found themselves as squatters in the Superdome, police came to the aid of those trapped in flooded communities, only to be shot at by snipers. Amidst all this chaos, a website was started as an outreach source to children affected by Hurricane Katrina. Great idea, but who was behind the website? Pedophiles looking to lure children into their homes and sexually abuse them.

As a police officer of 30 years, my father routinely investigated 'discounted construction outfits' for the elderly, where thousands of dollars were taken up front, and no work ever done. I hope to God those people reach this blog today, or someday soon- that they may receive their day of reckoning and change their behaviour and attitude.

Good citizen, I hope that today you are even more motivated to help others (knowing there are opportunistic bastards preying on the naive), but do your homework.
  • get a tax receipt to know the cause is official
  • ask for a website or a reference
  • offer to get involved behind the scenes with the cause rather than just opening your wallet- your time is more valuable anyways.

There are 2 things NOT to do with this information.

  1. Keep it to yourself. Instead, share this, and prevent the exploitation of others.
  2. Do not become jaded and stop giving. There will always be assholes in the world. Swearing off charities because one asshole is raping the cause just makes you a different kind of asshole.

So get out there my friends- give and you will get back. Help others, and when you see an opportunistic bastard, report them to the police or you are as guilty as they are through your inaction.

What better day than today to make the world a better place?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, the world is full of bloodsuckers. I am tired of people who buy debt from another organization and hold my telephone hostage, waste minutes, and have already been told twice that I am needing work to pay. I wish the government would look to stonewall these people who look to cash in on people who are not deadbeats, but looking for work. There must be a way!