Psst … Anonymous Calls Are Revealing

Periodically throughout my career I’ve been pestered with anonymous phone calls or letters spreading dirt about certain companies or individuals. (E-mails usually reveal the sender, so they almost never come in that format.) Rarely have I bothered to follow up on these leads that almost certainly come from business competitors or people with a personal ax to grind.

For one thing, the mudslinging often deals with unverifiable generalities, i.e., “so-and-so cheats his customers.” Yet even when the accusation can be substantiated, it usually concerns something not relevant to the mission of our trade publications. I remember one phone call years ago telling me lurid details of an industry VIP’s divorce proceedings, including a court docket number so I could follow up. No doubt this story would’ve titillated many readers, but in that our trade publications don’t compete against the National Enquirer or look to it for inspiration, I took a pass.

At other times anonymous sources have pointed me toward business-related litigation against companies in our industry. Well, lawsuits are ubiquitous in the business world. In that anyone can sue anyone for anything, and that being sued casts suspicion whether deserved or not, our corporate parent, BNP Media Co., has established a policy for its publications of not reporting on litigation until it is resolved via settlement or judgment. This sits fine with me.

I mention all this because while these anonymous calls and letters have been relatively infrequent over the years, suddenly I’ve been hit with three of them in the last month or so. The latest was a voice message telling me of an industry firm’s warehouse worker being arrested for child molesting. My opinion of child molesters is unprintable, but what does this have to do with the employer? The alleged crimes no doubt took place away from the business, I doubt the owners were aware of the employee’s proclivity and it’s even more doubtful they were complicit.

The bigger issue spinning in my head is why this sudden spate of anonymous tattling? The conclusion I draw is it’s a sign of desperation in these troubled economic times. Many businesses are in trouble, and a few owners think the best way to survive is to drag down a competitor. Or maybe the calls came from laid off or disgruntled employees.

It’s been said that character is defined by how you behave when nobody is watching. These anonymous sources reveal more about themselves than the targets of their snitching.   


Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Supply House Times. Stay connected with us via social media.

Recent Articles by Jim Olsztynski

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

A pictorial look at Supply House Times' travels in the early part of 2015

Industry events are in full swing. Here’s a pictorial look at Supply House Times’ travels in the early part of 2015.

4/30/15 2:00 pm EDT

Optimizing Variable Flow Pumping for Energy Savings

This session will help engineers ensure they are able to understand the many control modes that are possible with today's modern variable speed pumps to maximize their energy savings. 

Supply House Times

march cover

2015 March

SHT's February issue features cover story: Woman-owned American Precision Supply is an industrial PVF success story and the features: Women in Industry: 2015; Manufacturers enthused after record-breaking 2015 AHR Expo; Planning ahead at the ASA Winter Leadership Conference; and Green products abundant at Design & Construction Week 2015.
Table Of Contents Subscribe

Where do you look for new employees?

Where do you look for new employees?
View Results Poll Archive

The Supply House Times Store

2015 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research

CS-OflRGBhomepage.jpgWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


facebook Twitter Updated icon Youtube Updated icon    LinkedIn Updated icon  Google+

Premier 125

Premier 125 button

The information SUPPLY HOUSE TIMES uses to rank the Premier 125 is the most accurate we can gather. It is primarily based on responses to a questionnaire we send to the wholesalers in our database, supplemented with information obtained from industry reports and estimates.