Leeches and Freeloaders

Can you spot the outplacement consultant?

Can you spot the outplacement consultant?

There’s a rip-off artist who passes himself off as an outplacement consultant. Some years back he contacted me and told me he wanted me to be his co-facilitator for a management workshop. He started dropping names saying most of his clients are multi-millionaires, the who’s who of Asia and there’s tons of money to be made, that my working with him would be mutually beneficial. Actually he wanted me to teach him how to conduct ice-breakers. I was a young man then and gullible and shared everything with him, and he never got back to me.

Then there’s another fraudster who would tell me about the shitloads of work he has lined up all over Cambodia and China and how he would definitely engage my services. “We could do stuff together; be partners, you know, make some money together.” So far, it’s been hot air. And I hear the same spiel every time he comes back to Singapore and phones me to say “hi.” In the end, I concluded that he just wanted my CV on his website to boost his own image, to show the world that he has a whole coterie of subject matter experts or associates just to assure his clients that he is not another one-man band.

I’ve gone pass being naïve. But today at 57, I am amazed at how people still dangle carrots at me and how they throw crumbs and bones at me.

I have helped many people in my life but seldom am I the recipient of others’ generosity and largesse.

If anything, people are out there to steal your lunch. You are a change management expert, others claim to be as well. You are an organization development expert, others are too. You are a trainer extraordinaire, well, others have certificates to say they are trainers too. You write a book, they claim to be authors too. Wannabes and posers proliferate. You see, those whom you think are your friends are often the same ones who do you in. It’s not always your enemies who push you over the edge, I’ve since realized. Often the murder weapon is yielded by someone you least suspect.

Am I bitter about it?

You bet, but I’m a lot wiser now. And I don’t keep it in my heart.

I help myself. I try never to rely on others. Nobody will help me. Everyone’s looking out for himself. I won’t rely on others to get me assignments. They will only dangle carrots and throw crumbs and bones at me. And if I really have no choice but have to depend on others, I make sure I pay back. It may take a while, and I may have to pay back in kind, but I never forget a kind deed. That’s my personal philosophy.

I’m not like those leeches in my life.

This entry was posted in Unforgiven. Bookmark the permalink.