An Open Letter To James Richardson of AGLA (American General Life Insurance Company)

Dear James/Jimmy,

I just received, yet again, another email from you regarding the opportunity to work for AGLA.

Allow me to begin my response by saying I don’t know how many times I have contacted your company regarding your disingenuous approaches to me but I do hope this will be the last.

Now, I fully understand you are just trying to put some warm bodies in seats with the hopes of them making you money, I get that. However, I receive these emails from you/your company what seems like a few times each month and here is why I call them ‘disingenuous’.

You James/Jimmy, state: “I recently reviewed your resume on the internet (sic)”.

If you did indeed review my resume then I suggest you look into a reading comprehension course or maybe try this approach:

“I did a query of updated resumes on Monster and without really looking at your resume, it did pop up because certain keywords matched and therefore, I thought I would spam you with this canned intro.”

Why the need for a reading comprehension course? Because the very first paragraph of my resume states:

HIGHLIGHTS OF QUALIFICATIONS: Over 20 years of business development, management, account management, operations, project and product development experience. My career has been built upon skills in, project management, strategic partnering, corporate development, building strategic alliances, consultative and relationship sales, sales & marketing, customer relationship management, mergers & acquisitions, research, project management, P&L responsibility, data mining & development and training. (NOTE: If you are contacting me to buy a franchise, sell insurance or ‘financial services’, then you did not read my resume very well.)

If you, James/Jimmy, are even a real person, which I doubt (No profile on LinkedIn which, for someone in your stated position, should cause any candidate worth their salt to further question your dubious approach.) then please inject a little integrity into your solicitation for new hires.

I fully appreciate you wanting to hire and grow your business and it is my sincere hope that you find the best candidates and they make a lot of money for themselves and for your company. I genuinely want all companies to succeed but your approach appears to me to be less than honest and since I am not a good fit, please do not contact me again.

Thanks,

Bobby Darnell
Principal
Construction Market Consultants, Inc.
3651 Peachtree Parkway
Suite E-275
Suwanee, GA 30024

The Good Ole Enthusiasm Meter

There is one rocking cool display of ‘gift cards’ where we shop for groceries. Being one that others may say is difficult to shop for; I am a fan of gift cards. A gift card shows that you did put in some effort and a well considered choice should reduce the fear of being ‘re-gifted’.

Display

Anyway, as I was zipping by this display, one card in particular caught my eye and I could not help to ponder. Granted, the following is not based on anything objective but comes from my own personal conclusion.

Of the dozens and dozens of cards available at said display, I cannot help but to wonder if we were line them up and found a way to rank each on how much they moved the ‘enthusiasm meter’ as a result of the reaction of the recipient, I have to believe the good ole $15.00 Subway Birthday Gift Card has to be in the lower half of the rankings.

Subway

But that’s just me…

(As always…hip me to any errors!)

Bobby Darnell’s – ‘Plug-In Play Collaboration Modules’

I have been very fortunate in my life to be surrounded by very creative people.  Several of my friends make their living by being creative, others like Dr. Michael Kinsley, a friend since childhood, express their creativity on a part-time basis.

Years ago, Michael started ‘Center Stage For Christ’, a local theater group, and has written several plays that have made it to the stage.

Theater

As much as I would like to have a few screenplays under my belt, time seems to be limited. However, Recently I was able to carve out some time and created something to help scratch that itch.

Introducing – Bobby Darnell’s ‘Plug-In Play Collaboration Modules’

(Get it!?  Plug in Play!)

Since I don’t have time to write an entire play, I created these small tidbits that can be used in a play, movie or whatever.  They will not disrupt the feel or mode of the scene but will add a bit of flavor beyond the main author.

Let me know what you think:

Pencil Please

Character A:  “Oh, by the way, do you have a pencil I could borrow?”

Character B:  “A pencil…how about a pen?”

Character A:  “Well, I know beggars can’t be choosers but, yes, a pencil if you have one.”

Character B:  “I could be wrong but I am pretty sure I don’t have a pencil.”  (Looks around for a pencil)  “Nope, sorry, no pencil, here’s a pen.”

Character A:  (With a furrowed brow and a shrug)  “Uh, OK…thanks.”


Windy Day

Character A:  “Oh, excuse me, but real quick…before I forget, did you notice how windy it was yesterday?”

Character B:  “Windy…not really.”

Character A:  “Are you kidding me, it was pretty amazing!”

Character B:  “Well, I really only went out during lunch.”

Character A:  “I am not kidding you, it was very, very, unseasonably windy.  Now, what were you saying?”


Guess Who?

Character A:  “Don’t let me forget to tell you who I saw last week.”

Character B:  “Go ahead and tell me now because I doubt I will remember to ask.”

Character A:  “Carol.”

Character B:  “Carol, Carol who?”

Character A:  “You know, Carol from the Office Supply store.”

Character B:  “I have no idea who you are talking about.”

Character A:  “Hmmm…I thought you knew Carol.”

So, feel free to have me as a co-writer anytime, royalty free!  Pretty cool eh?

(We can hash out the credit details later.)

To learn more about Michael’s Group click here

As always, feel free to hip me to any typos…thanks!

The Bulldozer

We all have seen them, sitting by the side of the road, patches of rust scattered here and there, day after day after day…all alone at some apparently stalled construction project.

When I see one of these I cannot help but to think of the following scenario.

Setting: A small conference room table at a small, but growing, civil contractor’s office.

Ned – Owner: “Well guys, I have some good news! I just got back from our accountant’s office and it looks like we are going to be able to buy that new bulldozer.”

Sam – Foreman: “This is great, now we can price more, and larger, projects.”

—————-

Fast forward to the local bulldozer dealer and we see Ned and Sam looking over the latest models, eagerly asking questions, soaking in all the information and learning about all the latest features.

Hours go by and, buzzing with excitement, they finally pull the trigger on a new bulldozer!

—————-

Fast forward to the first day on the job for the shiny new ‘dozer: Ned, who rarely ‘gets dirty’ any more puts in a full 9+ hours running the new machine. He is thrilled!

The day ends and Sam and the crew help Ned get the new bulldozer situated back on the trailer to return to the shop where it will be hosed down and put under cover much like a prized thoroughbred.

From Showroom Floor to Forgotten
From Showroom Floor to Forgotten

Fast forward to today, where we see what was once a shiny new bulldozer, sitting on the side of the road so far removed from the ‘fresh off the assembly line’ look of days gone by. Sitting alone with just the elements as company.

I like to think about how many jobs that bulldozer did, how many weeks passed before Ned found his ROI, how many stories are now told because of this magnificent piece of equipment.

Then…what I like to think about is this: There was one day, one single, solitary moment, when Sam, after a finite number of projects and long days and much effort of guiding the new machine back on the trailer to return the shop finally said, “Ahhhh…fergit it, let’s just leave it out here, no one’s gonna do anything.”

And then…they left the bulldozer on the jobsite for the first time.

The day that happened, I wonder what Ned had for breakfast that morning.

To Be A Sparrow

Though this is not always an annual event, every few years it seems we have a group of turkey buzzards stop and hang out here in the ‘hood on their way to wherever they are going. These birds are huge and for the most part don’t cause any problems unless they decide to congregate on your roof.

Turkey Buzzard I

Turkey Buzzard II

(Source: http://www.wikipedia.org)

So, each morning, out behind our house, anywhere from 20 – 40 of these huge birds begin their day by gathering in the trees, drying their wings on damp days but mostly, just hanging out before they begin scanning the ground for some breakfast.

Turkey Buzzards

(Source: My cell phone camera)

As I watch these enormous birds sit in the tree, chatting amongst themselves, I cannot help to but think how cool it would be if I was a tiny little sparrow and I flew amongst them, perched right in the middle of everyone, looked around and said, “So, what’s going on?”

I would just love to see the look on their faces when I did that!

An Open Letter To Christopher Painter of AFLAC

Christopher Painter
District Operations Coordinator
christopher_painter@us.aflac.com
http://www.aflac.com
Atlanta GA

Dear Christopher,

I just received, yet again, another email from you regarding the opportunity to work for AFLAC. Allow me to begin my response by saying I don’t know how many times I have contacted your company regarding your disingenuous approaches to me but I do hope this will be the last.

Now, I fully understand you are just trying to put some warm bodies in seats with the hopes of them making you money, I get that. However, I receive these emails from you/your company what seems like a few times each month and here is why I call them ‘disingenuous’.

You, Christopher Painter, state: “I was reviewing your resume today on the Internet”.

If you did indeed review my resume then I suggest you look into a reading comprehension course or maybe try this approach:

“I did a query of updated resumes on Monster and without looking at your resume, it did pop up because certain keywords matched and therefore, I thought I would spam you with this canned intro.”

Why the need for a reading comprehension course? Because the very first paragraph of my resume states:

HIGHLIGHTS OF QUALIFICATIONS: Over 20 years of business development, management, account management, operations, project and product development experience. My career has been built upon skills in, project management, strategic partnering, corporate development, building strategic alliances, consultative and relationship sales, sales & marketing, customer relationship management, mergers & acquisitions, research, project management, P&L responsibility, data mining & development and training. (NOTE: If you are contacting me to buy a franchise, sell insurance or ‘financial services’, then you did not read my resume very well.)

If you, Christopher Painter, are even a real person, which I doubt (No profile on LinkedIn which, for someone in your stated position, should cause any candidate worth their salt to further question your dubious approach.) then please inject a little integrity into your solicitation for new hires.

I fully appreciate you wanting to hire and grow your business and it is my sincere hope that you find the best candidates and they make a lot of money for themselves and for your company. AFLAC is a great company but your approach appears to me to be less than honest and since I am not a good fit, please do not contact me again.

Thanks,

Bobby Darnell
Principal
Construction Market Consultants, Inc.
3651 Peachtree Parkway
Suite E-275
Suwanee, GA 30024
770-887-4941 – Direct
770-887-5409 – Fax
bobbydarnell@cmconl.com
http://www.cmconl.com

Find Me On LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/bobbydarnell
My AEC Marketing Blog: http://www.buildingnewbusiness.com

Business Development | Sales & Marketing | Social Media | Recruiting | CRM

Getting To Sleep Technique – One of Many

OK, if you ever have trouble falling asleep, which I do almost every night, here is a technique I use that helps.

Pretend you are Superman and the covers are hot molten lava with just enough Krypton infused so as to weaken you a great deal but not so much that the lava burns you.

Superman

Slowly pull the covers up to your neck and pretend that it is the lava, oozing towards you. Once you reach your neck, stop and then pretend that it hardens. Now, you are weak, tired and you cannot move because of the cooling lava. You try to struggle to break free but you lack the strength due to the ‘Kryptonian lava’.

Knowing that there is not a lot you can do at the moment, you might as well take a little snooze and try again later.

I hope this helps…

How ‘Bout Them Dawgs!

Terry College of Business

I am excited, and honored, to be taking part as a panelist for the ‘Terry Alumni Panel – Careers In Sales’ event today. (October 12, 2011)

In case anyone would like to contact me or keep in touch, I can be reached at:

bobbydarnell [at] cmconl.com

Go Dawgs!

Happy Two

The oldest memory I own is the day we got our puppy, Mitzi. I was not quite three years old but I distinctly remember taking her to my grandmother’s to show her.

Mitzi was with us until I was 17. I was sick and home from school the day she passed away and that was my first introduction to the sting of death. She was the personification of why I believe every child should have a dog. She was sweet, loving and if it is possible, she was a humble creature. Mitzi was definitely an ‘outside’ dog and really did not like coming in the house except when it stormed and the 14 or so years we had her, she was definitely part of the family.

Fast forward to about five years ago when the idea of getting a dog for the girls started percolating and I received a call from a friend who knew the status. She called me and said, “I know you told me you are just thinking about a dog but there is a ‘Jackapoo’ at my vet’s office and she is up for adoption.”

Since I work from home, it was easy to sneak out and try to see the puppy on my own. However, for some reason, that did not happen. Lane met me at the veterinarian’s office and when they brought out Coco, she was shaking like leaf and before they could put her on the table, the directive was set. “We are not leaving this baby here.”

Since Mitzi was an outdoor dog, I grew up thinking that is where they belonged. I was never much of a fan of indoor dogs and was determined that Coco would carry on Mitiz’s fine tradition of keeping our back door free from intruders, twenty four hours a day.

To make a long story short, we brought Coco home and she went from being an outside dog, to a ‘she can be in the basement only’ dog to sleeping on our bed that first night dog. I caved like a house of cards all in about five hours.

Coco was a special dog in many ways. She not only melted my heart but renewed the love my parents had for our beloved Mitzi as well. I will never forget how Coco would greet me when I had been away on business for a few days. She would spin like a top until I could reach down and pick her up. I will never forget how she would love to share a nap with me, in my lap, on my big ‘Daddy’s Chair’ on Sunday afternoons.

Coco waiting for Lane and the girls to come home.
Coco waiting for Lane and the girls to come home.

We lost Coco a few years back and I still miss her terribly. I have a picture in my office of her sitting in the garage, looking up the road just waiting for Lane and girls to come home. I took it with my Blackberry on a whim and have no doubt it is one of the finest photographs I have ever taken. It has been said that ‘Dogs’ lives are too short, which is their only fault, really.’ and that was truly her only one.

I believe I made it about a week before I knew what I had to do. I had to get a new puppy. No dog could ever replace Coco but I knew that a new one could replace that new ‘dog shaped void’ in our lives. So, once again, I headed out the door just to look at puppies and once again, I was an easy sell.

Two years ago this week, Sophie moved in with us and the joy that little pooch has given me is immeasurable. Instead of spinning, she likes to stand up on her hind legs ‘reaching’ for me. Like Coco, she loves to play tug of war’ and chase her rope ‘bone’. She loves to chase any life form larger than a stick of butter and has successfully kept our home free from all direct chipmunk, squirrel, deer and/or bear attacks and for that, we are grateful. Like everyone else under this roof, Sophie is not without a nickname or two and I am so thankful God has blessed us with our little ‘Choochee’.

Sophie - Day 1

Today was a pretty tough day but now that it is almost over, I will try to bury that which I don’t want to carry over to tomorrow and I will spend a little time with Sophie before turning in. In doing so, I am reminded of the old saying that one reason a dog can be such a comfort when you’re feeling blue is that she doesn’t try to find out why.

Happy Birthday Sophie…

Not Quite The Road To Damascus

I love what I do for a living and am grateful that I get to work from ‘The Bunker’, my home office located in our basement. I also enjoy any time the phone rings and my caller ID displays a name I am not familiar with. The reason for this is that if it is a ‘first time caller’, then there is a chance it could be a prospect or new client.

That said, when my caller ID indicated “Joe Fambrough” was trying to reach me, I picked up the receiver with anticipation. I did not take long for me to realize that Joe was not calling to inquire about my services, but rather tell me about his. More specifically, Joe was calling to introduce me to ‘AlongsideHer’ and wanted to set up a meeting.

My first thought was, “Joe, you’ve got it all wrong. I make calls to get people to see me; I don’t take calls from people wanting me to see them.” However, I listened to what he had to say and have to admit, the very unique nature of his offering did pique my interest and something inside me said, “You need to meet this guy.”

Not much later, I met Joe and his lovely wife Andy and listening to them tell me about AlongsideHer, their ministry for widows and single mothers. As compelling as their presentation was, before the conversation was over, I had to tell them both that between our church and our girl’s Christian School; we seem to get three or four opportunities a month to support some new ministry, mission trip or fundraiser. Money was tight and I would have to discuss this with my wife.

I will admit, my modus operandi in such situations is to take their information, write a check and find a polite way to share with them their ministry is just not in our budget at this time. However, there was something persuasive about what Joe and Andy shared with me and while I make no claim to be a Bible scholar, I am well aware of the many directives to take care of widows.

The more I thought of all Joe and Andy’s story, the more AlongsideHer resonated with my heart and I knew that this was something that I had to become involved with myself. I knew my participation had to be more than any ‘obligatory’, “Well, I certainly will pray for your work.”

This past year my, my mother’s sister became a widow after being married to my uncle for 65 years. When we all get to Heaven, you may recognize my aunt Rena’s place as it will be huge! She is a dear soul with a heart of gold.

During their marriage, my aunt and uncle were foster parents to over 80 children and when I know I need some serious prayers, I ask my aunt Rena for help. Maybe it was seeing the transition in her life to becoming a widow that moved me. Maybe it was the truth, conviction and sincerity in Joe and Andy’s vision. More than likely, it was all the above with a great big dose of the Holy Spirit using them to move my heart.

AlongsideHer is more than just a ministry to help the widows and single mothers of a local church. It is a ministry to grow and equip other churches to have an established and focused response of their own. While my taking the call from Joe and agreeing to meet with him and Andy may not quite be a ‘road to Damascus’ awareness, it is for me close enough to know that God is using this wonderful couple to actually change lives.

I am so very proud to be a part of AlongsideHer. If you have a widow or a single mother in your life, please consider supporting this amazing organization. If you would like to hear the unabridged version of my ‘conversion’, feel free to contact me. If you are unable to financially support AlongsideHer, but have a skill, gift or talent that you believe would be useful, let Joe and Andy know. Finally, please share with your friends AlongsideHer’s story.

Taking that call from Joe may not have been a road to Damascus conversion, but it has proven to me to be close enough. In the most turbulent economic times of my life, I have learned to step out of my comfort zone to help grow this wonderful ministry as best I can.

Because of Joe and Andy’s vision, their willingness to follow the Lord’s calling, to put in countless hours to do for others has had an amazing impact on so many people’s lives, mine included.

——————

If you are even remotely intrigued and would like to know more, let me know or visit us at: http://www.alongsideher.org