Back in 2000, I worked in Jackson, Mississippi. While working at Office Depot, I experienced a formative event that taught me how to get rich quick.
I was the victim of a very basic, but effective con. The entrance was undergoing construction which led to lots of chaos. The craziness led to me working the register, which was amazingly uncommon at that location. A man walked to my station and bought a $1.07 bottle of water with a $100 bill.
I knew right then that something was up. But I thought I was smarter than this guy. I might have been. But he had experience to fall back on. He had a goal. He knew how to accomplish his goal and, possibly most importantly, he was smooth. It is my most embarrassing work experience.
Being conned is a horrible experience. Knowing that you are being conned without being able to stop it is much, much worse.
Fortunately, he only got away with $20.
That experience made me appreciate the art of con.
What is it about scammers and con-artists? I hate that I love watching them work.
This past Friday at my 8-5, a guy came in and tried to get his CDL without proper documentation. He worked it really well. He complained that it was too much work. He had a sob story. He even told us that the information was private and none of our business. He didn’t succeed. We informed him that if he wanted a CDL, it was our business and that documentation was necessary. That being said, it was fun watching him try.
I had another person try to work my travel agency this morning. He demanded compensation and had some pretty interesting evidence… Except that he admitted that he broke contract with us in his complaint. It didn’t help that my agent knows how to document well. The client had an experience of cutting corners to save money. But in doing so, he hurt his own chances at getting his goal.
Here is something that I have learned when dealing with businesses. If you ask for something extra, there is a better chance of getting it. Be prepared to pay for it, but you never know, they might give it to you for free. Most employees want to satisfy their customers/clients. However, trying to rig the system to never pay for anything… Well, that’s not good. But it is a way to get rich quick.