Cultural Prejudice: When even the real doesn’t seem real

Had a very close call yesterday: I almost ignored a Wall Street Journal request for interview!

Like most everyone you know, I get spammed daily. One of the tradecraft hazards of being in the risk mitigation field is the dichotomy of second guessing. I will not claim to solve the issue in this post, merely to raise some interesting questions based on a Tuesday interview experience.

Email spam: the backstory

One of the funniest things about techies is when they forget the origin of borrowed words. What most people call spam has its origin in a now legendary Monty Python skit:

Brad Templeton has traced down spam’s etymological journey from the skit to to unwanted email.

The real SPAM®, Hormel’s spiced luncheon meat, got its name from “Kenneth Daigneau, the actor brother of Hormel Vice President Ralph Daigneau.”

Yesterday’s Actual email

Here’s the real subject line from the actual WSJ staffer that I almost ignored:

{Urgent: Request for interview with Wall Street Journal}

Image: Scorpiankh on PhotoBucket

Honest injun, my first thought was “yeah, and Bill Gates personally wants to send me fifteen bucks, just click here.” So that points to where we are in our market dominance curve, eh? So I follow my own advice, log into mail2web because it strips content to bare bones so no code can execute and wow! it really is from a WSJ staffer, really requesting a phone interview.

I dialed up and spoke with a delightful woman, a small business assistant editor, putting together a story on “how many vets want help starting/growing businesses.” As many have experienced and many more have read about, the “invisible” leverage of huge technology firms hit my company squarely in the face when we launched. Instead of having

  • graphic artists
  • data visualizers
  • animators
  • copywriters
  • editors
  • custom coders
  • project integrators

just a “cost code away” (down the hall, a short walk away or a phone call across the country), now it’s time spent researching, vetting and managing those talent holders, time not available to either develop the organization’s core advantages and industry relationships through client work, or building market awareness that we even exist and have a thrice-proven, powerful advantage to offer in the enterprise risk management space.

Thanks for the opportunity to refresh the learning curve Sarah! I look forward to reading the article.

Until next time,

Carpe Diem!

Matt

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