Carl, the Loud Investment Banker
Location: Birmingham, Alabama airport. Point of reference: Carl is a very loud investment banker taking on his cell phone. Carl was making a long call and walking up and down the concourse at the airport. He was talking about investment reports that were written by investment wonks for investment wonks. He wanted the wonks to collaborate with the facilitators to produce a more readable report so the bankers he was meeting with to sell the investment vehicle could actually understand what was written. He also described the process of due diligence for the investment vehicles and that is when I had to get up and say something. I didn’t have to but he was so loud and annoying I thought I would trade favors!
“Carl, hi I am Burke – an expert in due diligence, a published author and certified expert on the subject and sir, based upon your utterances – you are clearly misinformed about what due diligence is!
He was stunned for a moment and than he reacted with a mixture of anger and bluster. This is how most people who think they are in control react.
“How how do you know my name?
“Everyone between B1 to B3 knows you name and that you think bankers are stupid and that you don’t know due diligence”
“How dare you interrupt me!”
“How dare you share your call with 300 people minding their own business and how dare you think what you described as due diligence was something other than just porcine lip gloss”.
I had pushed the advantage well past a stopping point and went back to my seat. I smiled to him as I boarded the flight.
In Charlotte, Carl was back on the phone, ear buds plugged in, right in front of me, complaining about some difficult guy in the Birmingham airport. I simply had too…
“Hey Carl, have a great day with the bankers”
I got a shocked look; followed by a glower… I had a great day.
Yes, I know his full name and where he works and what he was selling to his stupid bankers and for him ratios were a substitute for due diligence in his firm. I would be an awesome witness if this product fails and yes, I am monitoring the product.
The point is – learn discretion in airports! If you need to speak do so away from others. When you have ear buds in you cannot hear how loud your voice is to others. People with ear buds or headphones all tend to raise their voice so they can hear themselves through the ear buds. Which means from Gates B1-B3 everyone can hear you too. As a whole many private firms complain about loosing IPCI but yet their minions are broadcasting it at airports and many other places.
By the way: He was wearing a minion suit. Off the rack black suit with sleeves that were too long, and a red tie and shoes with a bad polish and rounded heals.
Please train your people about the need to balance productivity with privacy and for goodness sake dress them better.