Firstly, let me say sorry. I apologise if you are the exception that proves this rule. I consider myself to be the exception to number 11. However everything in this post is a truism in my experience. In general 90% or more of the people making money from the following professions are talking total BS most of the time. There are some professionals doing it right, some, but most are secretly scared of getting found out. The idea for this post came when in a meeting last week where I was told that I am the frankest estate agent they have ever known, pointing out problems rather than selling the dream without any responsibility. See number 11 for what estate agents normally do. So without further ado here we go with a trashing of a few professions, or in some cases occupations because calling those people professionals does all real professionals a disservice.
Economics is known as the dismal science for a reason, one it is dismal and two…. Hold on, it isn’t a science it is just a huge amount of guesswork. When GDP was how many planks of wood were created in a wood mill, how many bricks were made, how much money did a bank have there etc… economics may have had a point and have been accurate. Then came the Big Bang in the City in London and around the rest of the world and economics became simply gambling. Trading in derivatives, speculation on futures and other such ridiculous notions of “value” meant that the vast majority of economics became predicated on guesswork and gambling. And let’s face it when push came to shove in 2008 and the shit really hit the fan with a force that no economist had predicted did any of the economists apologise for missing it. Did the head of the IMF, at the time the totally inept, corrupt thief Rodrigo Rato actually see it coming? Did any economist mention where they got it wrong? Erm no! They continued to be venerated as they espoused austerity to get out of the problem they had created with their banker friends, the same austerity that has never ever worked in any economy anywhere ever in solving an economic downturn. They continued to appear on news programmes saying they had the answer and everything would be ok if only governments followed their advice, the same advice that had been proved to not work ever. You get the point right? If you are ever watching a news programme and an economist comes on just pretend he is a copy of the Daily Mail! What do I mean by that? Assume everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie and ignore it or even better just turn it off.
Celebrity Gossip Mongers
Dave Gorman recently called out a celebrity news guy writing for the Metro, Neil Sean. On the show Modern Life is Goodish, Gorman looked at Sean’s history of writing about celebrities on his column in the metro newspaper and his obsession with celebs having problems quitting smoking, “my friend Prince Charles told me last night etc..”. Erm no, he didn’t and they are not having problems with their smoking habit. They have not confided in you and it is all basically untrue. The programme went for Neil Sean but it could have gone for any celeb gossip writer and it didn’t need to point out how they make up stories and embellish their circle of friends with members of the Royal Family. All it needed to say was,
STOP SPOUTING VACUOUS SH*T THAT NOBODY SHOULD REALLY GIVE A F*CK ABOUT
That would just about do it. Every day newspapers fill their space between adverts with absolute dogcr*p about who is sh*gging who, who is cheating on who and a long etcetera of who is slagging off who to get their book sold. It’s all total and utter b*llocks. Oh, and it’s not news of course. Worse still are the acres of forests that are cut down so the likes of Heat and millions of other cr*p magazines can be produced to reproduce this BS on a weekly or fortnightly basis too. It doesn’t matter, none of it matters and so the people who write this get a high placement on the list of professions who make a living from talking bullsh*t.
If economists talk BS as they don’t understand the first thing about economies because, let’s face it, an economy is an amorphous mess that is beyond the understanding of any mortal soul, then politicians trump them by talking BS about absolutely everything including economics which they don’t understand because not only are they not economists but they are not really specialists in anything. Politicians talk BS about society, economy, sport, the health service, the “aspirations of hard working people” and more because it is just impossible to have a grasp on so many complex systems. Therefore they boil it down into sound bites and doublespeak where they seem to say a lot, their speeches can go on for hours it seems even if they only take ten minutes, but actually when you look at the words spoken they do not actually say anything and their words are empty. When was the last time you heard a politician answer a question and were not hugely frustrated by the answer because effectively they had never really answered what they were asked? When a politician says “Let me just say this…” at the start of their answer then you know you may as well ignore the next five minutes because they are not answering what they have been asked, they are simply repeating the message that they want people to hear. If a politician opens their mouth to speak take the Daily Mail rule from above for economists and multiply it by a hundred. It will inevitably be bullsh*t.
“Oh it has almonds and blackcurrant undertones and you can definitely taste the sea air of the Southern Cape….” Blah blah blah blah etc etc etc… No you cannot. Not unless you have looked at the label beforehand and taught yourself the cr*p that oftentimes wine labels will have on them anyway. If there is one profession where the public know that people are talking BS but still sup it up then it is the snobby world of wine writing. Take a look at this link for a scientific and longitudinal study of wine experts.
As it says, even experts in producing wine say that judges are wildly inconsistent, cannot tell the difference between cheap plonk and the best wines ever produced and at a more basic level cannot even tell between red and white. So why do we take so much of what wine critics say as gospel? Just try wine yourself. There are three types of wine only: yuck, meh and mmmmm. Anything else is just trying to show off.
Comment Writers in Newspapers
750 words you say? By tomorrow? About what? Ok no worries. Self appointed guardians of the taste and morals of the nation. Critics of culture. Commentators on society based on a killing or accident. The people who write the comment sections of newspapers are bound to write total BS on a regular basis because they are ruled by deadlines, political or moral slant of their publication and their own, often flawed (because we all are) morals and judgements. Suddenly becoming an expert of South African court proceedings and the legal system in that country because you need to write a judgemental piece on Oscar Pistorious or take apart the judge because it suits the proprietor of your publication is nigh on impossible. However don’t let that stop you. As long as you can churn out 750 words of total BS by deadline this evening to fill up some what would be white space in the paper otherwise between the adverts for M+S, Vodaphone and your glorifying of Nigel Farage means you are considered an expert and if it is accompanied by your stern visage and byline in the paper then so much better it is right?
The Internet has been around a few years right? In that time most places have been visited, revisited and talked about at least a couple of times right? Wrong. Everywhere has been discovered hundreds of times. Everywhere. There are no off the beaten track tapas bars in Barcelona that will be a huge surprise for anyone visiting. Seriously there just aren’t. Check Trip Advisor, there will be 300+ reviews praising it to the skies and two nutters from Essex complaining they couldn’t get the full English breakfast and therefore it should be damned. Alex Bramwell wrote a great guide to what travel writers shouldn’t be saying which you can see here. That applies to the Canary Islands but it could apply to Santorini, Casablanca, any godforsaken part of India or anywhere else for that matter. Travel bloggers shouldn’t say “they have discovered” they are not Dr Livingstone I presume. They shouldn’t “find an unexplored gem” it isn’t unexplored even though it may be a gem. They should just describe without trying to regurgitate a dictionary and tell their reactions.
MLM Business Owners
It’s not a business, it’s not an opportunity, it’s nothing except a glorified and only sometimes legal pyramid scheme that you have been conned into and you will now spend the rest of your time while in the business trying to get your friends and family to start using a ridiculously overpriced product to satisfy the seven levels deep payment system that the five people at the top who really make the money have devised to confuse the hell out of everybody. Once you inevitably leave the con you will then spend the next few years of your life trying to re establish communications with estranged family members and friends who you have driven away with your evangelical zeal. Because you WILL have become an evangelist even though you may recognize that the product doesn’t actually do anything good and just like in the cases of evangelicals in general everybody will run a mile to avoid the inevitable BS that you will be spouting to justify the sky high prices that your product demands. Someone tried to suck me into one of these once in Spain. It was really funny. Apparently their fruit juice which retailed at over 30 euros per litre (yes you did read that right) was 8x more bio available in antioxidants than fruit juice in normal packages and had health benefits that only a true nectar of the Gods could really hope to achieve. My answer that asking over 30 euros for a litre of fruit juice in Spain where orange juice is not exactly scarce would get me laughed out of the country and me pointing out that I would prefer to drink 8x as much fruit juice and I would still come in at a sixth of the price of their ridiculous offer was met with a rather aggressive tone totally unbecoming of a salesperson 😉 MLM, just don’t do it. Run a mile. See the video below.
Advertising Sales Writers
You are paid to lie and espouse BS. Ok let’s tone it down a bit, you are paid to embellish and espouse BS rather than outright lie. Your product will not change my life, it will not make me more handsome (an impossible job of course) it will not mean I am more popular with my friends and it will not lead me into a new life of happily grinning models with lobotomies staring intently into the distance while looking earnest and blurting out words like “because I am worth it.” The best example is of course washing powder. It always, but always, gets whites whiter than white. And yet washing powders were claiming this in the 1970’s and weren’t whites white enough then? Have we got a total new order of white now, Apple white perhaps? Equally the second blade shaves you closer still does it? Well the second blade always used to get rid of all of the hairs on your chinny chin chin in the 70’s and 80’s so why now do the five blades on the average wet razor still only get you as clean shaven as those previous double blades did? You were lying then, you are lying now and forever more you will be forced to sell your soul and spout BS to convince us that the new version of whatever is better than the previously flawless version of whatever it was that at the time you convinced us was better than the excellent version you told us was the version to end all versions beforehand. Stop lying, stop spouting BS or rather get a different job unless you can live with lies forever more.
Social Media Consultants
Just before this bit of the rant I do actually know some very good social media consultants who do actually know what they are talking about (if you want a recommendation get in touch) but the spam I get from people saying they can transform my business using their services is absolute BS. Just because you have a Twitter account and know how Facebook works when you want to put a cat picture up doesn’t mean you are a social media guru. Retweeting studies that show that everyone’s followers are more likely to interact at 3.27pm on a Thursday when the month has an R in it doesn’t make you an expert, it just makes you sound like an idiot. The fact that many social media experts limit themselves to just Twitter, just Facebook or even worse just Google+ gives the game away a little because social media is not just throwing out a few tweets and seeing what happens. I went to a conference of 2500 people in Seville a few years ago that claimed to be the social media event of the year. The fact that most of the attendees didn’t know what WordPress was, at the time hadn’t separated their Facebook profile from their Business Page, didn’t have a clue about keywords and thought that just because they were on Twitter they were qualified to run the social media campaigns for huge corporations was slightly disconcerting but at the same time not surprising. Faking it until you make it is always prevalent when something new and shiny comes along. After all you only need a little more knowledge than the person you are trying to fool to appear as if you are an expert right?
The Secret and Personal Coaches
Again a little detour before laying into these. I was taken in by “The Secret” when it came out just a little. I realised pretty quickly that there was something missing there, the bloody hard work bit of course. Sitting there wishing it so it will inevitably happen is a load of total BS of course but focussing your energy and efforts on something and working towards it bit by bit is actually the way down the path to anything of course. Out of The Secret came the huge growth in the personal coach industry and out of the personal coach industry came the charlatans, the energy coaches, the reiki coaches and a whole heap of new age BS that due to the omnipresence of the Internet became virtually impossible to escape from. Have you ever spotted one of your friends on social media who has gone down this path and then had a total breakdown online when they realize that this is absolute BS? I have. Plenty of them. You can follow these steps to spot them. They start putting links to “Energy chakra healing BS“, “the “Secrets of the Inca Spaceships BS” etc… Two months later they start getting defensive when their life hasn’t miraculously changed and they are not now owners of a couple of yachts while bringing sweetness and light to the world. Two months after that they are asking why there is no work and why all bosses are bastards while getting thrown out of their rented house and still trying to convince you that they would be the best life coach you could ever have and finally they just throw an absolute wobbly and in a huff delete all of their social media profiles. It seems they didn’t know The Secret after all. Or if they did they just didn’t want to tell anyone else.
Of course, estate agents are the worst. I have to say that don’t I? Every house is a delightful cornucopia of cubby holes where light and air flows freely and the feng shui will allow your creativity to flourish even when it is a two up two down terrace in the worst area of Speke. Every decorative touch is done imaginatively and fits perfectly with the whole ambience of the frosted glass interiors and delicately placed candles so that the overall effect is one of calm and magnificence. Of course it is. A house is never described as a hole suitable only for somebody with intentions to slit their wrists of course. Even when it is. Everything is light even when it isn’t. Everything is comfortable even when it isn’t etc etc etc…. I have written about this with Spanish adverts here. So am I wrong? Does this make your blood boil? If so I am sure you could suggest some better professions to be included in the list.