Thursday, June 19, 2014

The art of Disinformation...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

The other night I was talking with a fellow Team Leader at work...we had experienced some severe weather in the state with a possible tornado touchdown near Hale, MI.

Jokingly I said "I'm a Yale man myself..."

He looked at me and said "If you went to Yale, what the Hell are you doing working in here?!?"

"No no, I was born at Yale Community YALE, MI." 

"Oh," he said "oh that makes more sense..."

This got me to thinking...I know, shocking right? Lol

About the art of disinformation. Not lying "per se", but presenting facts in a certain way. Saying or not saying something that leads the listener to make assumptions.

As an example, before I started dating Momma Bear...I dated a bit. At the time I was driving Semi's for Perry Drugs. An honorable, if less than exciting or profitable sounding venture.

So should I meet a young lady in a bar and she asked me what I did for a living I would say that I was an 
"Interstate Pharmaceutical transportation Engineer" for Perry Drugs.

"Oh my..." She might answer, hearing "Pharmaceutical" and "engineer" in the same sentence. "Tell me about that."

"Well," I'd continue "I get a company vehicle, because I travel all throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. When I have to be out overnight the company puts me up in a hotel room, and pays for my dinner. I check routing, visit stores, interact with vendors from multiple companies. I check and verify the security of the drug shipments on the route I'm on any given's time consuming but very rewarding."

Now technically all that is true...but it certainly gives a different impression.

"Wow, where did you go to school?" She'd ask.

This one was a little dodgier...
"Ever hear of M.I.T. ?"

"Oh yes..." She'd say breathlessly.

Here I give a slight nod of the head, along with a minimalist shrug and raising of the palms as if to say "There you have it..."

"Cool..." She might answer...come on, this was almost 30 years was,! Lol

Again, I never said I went to M.I.T....I merely asked if she'd ever heard of it.

Now before you all jump on my head for being a player and a Cad...I never kept up the charade longer than a few minutes...gently teasing them about being perhaps a little too trusting(gullible).

There was a time though when I used the art to confound an idiot, and send him sputtering out of my life forever.

After graduating High School I went to work for Gell's Sporting Goods full time...the military wouldn't take me, so why not?

After a couple years I was promoted to Assistant Manager myself after one of ours quit and Steve returned to Manage the Livonia Store.

I almost never had problems with customers, even belligerent ones seldom fazed me...but there was this one guy.

Let me preface this story thus:
I am a hunting/shooting/reloading nut. Rifle, pistol, shotgun, bow and name it! Have been since the age of 12 or so. Read every magazine/book/article about the subject I could lay my hands on. I memorized ballistics charts and reloading manuals like other kids did batting averages. At 15 I was the youngest person Gell's ever hired to work the gun counter, I was of course too young to do the paperwork but I did everything else. The depth and breadth of my knowledge of the subjects was attested to in that if the older guys didn't know the answer to a question...they asked me.

One day two fellows came in to look at reloading equipment, an obvious "newbie", accompanied by an
"expert" read as "know-it-all".

I'd seen this before...

Newbie wants to "try it out" for a minimal outlay of cash.
The Expert trying to impress the newbie with his vast and superior knowledge tries to oversell his "friend" things he neither needs, nor is likely to use or use properly. Reloading is definitely an area where a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

As they walk up, the expert jumps in an starts to run the show...telling me what he wants, how he wants it, and so forth. The newbie is obviously uncomfortable.
So when the expert was done, I politely asked the newbie himself a couple points of clarification. With his answers in hand I began assembling for him a "beginners" beginners kit. One that would give him an introduction, at minimal cost and maximum safety.

Every step of the way, the expert had a comment, nothing was right, nothing was good every comment I stopped, explained my decision...gave the pro's and con's of going a different way...and each time the newbie trusted my judgment.

Finally the expert says to the newbie in exasperation:
"Don't you hate these fucking smart ass kids that's think they know every fucking thing!?!"

"Excuse me?" I said, not sure I'd just heard what I thought I just heard.

"You heard me..." He said.

"Sir if your recommendations are any indication...they show your knowledge to not only be limited, but dangerous for a beginner."

"Fuck you" he snarled.

"Sir, if you're not happy with the level of service being provided the door is located at the front of the store. If you can't find it on your own, I'd be happy to show it to you."

"You can't talk to me like that you fucking asshole, where's your Manager?"

"I AM my Manager sir..."

"Then I want to talk to the owner!"

"My Dad won't give a shit what you have to say..."

"Fuck this!" He sputtered "I'm outta here!!" 
And out he stomped, leaving me alone with the newbie.

"I'm sorry about my buddy." He said apologetically.
"As you can tell he's a bit of an asshole..."

"My apologies to you, I shouldn't have let him get under my skin...but that last comment was just too much!"
"You've got a good safe kit here, I started with one just like it when I was 14. It will do what you want with a maximum amount of safety. And if you decide you like it and want to upgrade, you're out a minimum amount of money"

"One question though..." He asked leaning in conspiratorially "Is your Dad really the owner?"

I leaned in as well "I never said he was. I said 'my dad won't give a shit what you have to say' which is true. 
I never implied my Dad owned the store...he made that assumption."

He got a big smile on his face and stuck out his hand.
"Rick" he said.
I shook his proffered hand.

"Your secret's safe with me...damn I wish I was as fast on my feet as you are!"
He gathered up his booty and walked off chuckling.

A month later Rick was back, enjoyed it so much he wanted a "real" set-up...asked for me by name.
Became a loyal customer, right up until they closed the doors due to the owners retiring and their kids not wanting anything to do with the family business.

Never saw Rick's buddy again...not that I missed him!

Be Well Folks!!!

Beastly Bear


  1. Good one. Got me, I was thinking you just lied about your dad.

  2. That is so funny! HA HA HA You sound like a fun guy to be around...and completely unpredictable! Love it. ♥

    1. Thanks Kathy...I think Momma Bear would wish for a little more predictability! Lol
      I think I'm fun, but then again I'm biased! :-)

  3. I'm sooooo not good at lying or misinformation...I stutter and get all flustered and nervous. My emotions are all over my face. People tell me to never play poker. lol

  4. To those of you that don't know Joe personally, you bet he is fun to be around! But you better be on your game when you are around, because he will call your ass out if you are not! I have known Joe for almost 30 years (oh my God Joe, when did I get that old? I mean I knew you were, but how did that happen to ME?) and I cannot tell you how many times he has given me "the look". The look means "lights are on but nobody's home today". Joking with him can be mental calisthenics, he is quick! Always enjoy his humor!

    1. Oh Jenny Benny, you are always too kind! If it's any consolation, you'll always be young and lovely to me! Lol
      Just glad you still enjoy hanging out with an "old" guy like me...

  5. You're one clever and witty person. I totally admire people who do something I couldn't do myself. I'm like JoJo, not good with lies or word play. I only watch those in the movies.


    1. Welcome Sonnia! Good to see you here!
      Thank you for your kind words. It seems I'm the bear everybody pokes, this has honed my response time to lightening speed. My buddy Damon at work just shakes his head and says "Will they never learn....?" Lol

  6. Omg Joe, I do this aaallll the time! I learned this "art" from my dad, and, in certain situations, much like this one, it comes in so handy. I don't think it's lying at all because in fact, you are not. You can always count on people to do what people do - jump to conclusions! Great post.

    1. That they do, and with very little leading...