A few years ago, I was boarding a flight from San Francisco to Denver. While slumming it in United boarding group 4, I happened to be standing in line near two business associates eating at a restaurant. One was sitting in silence. The other was having an extremely loud phone conversation with someone else. Here’s what he said:
Thanks to recent events, we collectively have a surplus of time. I’d like to offer you an alternative topic beyond the constant flow of “How is COVID-19 affecting marketing?” blog posts.
Let’s not overthink this. We’ve got to let Tom DO what Tom DOES. And it sounds like Rosie’s contributing, so that’s good…”
I remember thinking, “If only poor Rosie knew her name was being dragged through the mud, But damn, Tom sounds incredible! I wonder what he does…” I immediately typed the exact quote and sent it to my wife. And here began my hobby of rude public business call espionage.
I don’t even need to be sneaky about logging these quotes. The public business phone call blowhard loves to project their voice. Conversations are typically heard in an airport terminal or airport restaurant. Here are some of my favorites:
Sorry, I’m in an exit row…OK, Joan, we’re trying to figure out the ground game in these states. How do they find the low-hanging fruit? They are trying to cultivate the grassroots folks. That doesn’t make any sense. That’s why you have to partner with the alliance! Oh, I share your concerns. Lisa and I are acutely aware… – A United flight on the tarmac at SFO
This woman actually WAS in an exit row. And during this conversation, the flight attendant was trying to get her consent to help in an emergency. I have no idea what industry this person was in, but it sounds sinister. The alliance? It sounds like you can’t get anything done without these overlords!
I remember Rob mumbling something about a million dollars. I don’t know if that was equity or what, but Steve heard it. We need to sniff that out. – Denver International Airport
A classic topic I’ve heard many times in my career. So-and-so came into a lot of money. That should automatically be ours!
“Three and a half percent returns? Those are San Francisco returns. Those aren’t Indiana returns. These engineering knuckleheads…You can do it however you want, but let me paint you a scenario. You have Ronson on your side…” – Denver International Airport
Another classic topic. The people in the other department don’t understand anything like we do. One thing is for certain, if you have Ronson on your side, anything is possible.
So I threw my fucking iPad at him and said “You tell ME I’m a fuckin’ liar!” – Airport shuttle from the Vagabond Hotel to SFO
There were about seven of us in this shuttle. Two people on the shuttle were small children. Quick tip: Maybe don’t threaten your clients. Or go R-rated in front of little kids.
I agree. Dude, it’s a deal all day. Ask Lonnie when he wants to close. We’ll get it under contract and figure it out. Dude, I got like 350 grand of equity on that property in Golden…dude, that would be insane. That’s a hundred all day. That would be nuts. – Bathroom stall at Denver International Airport
The truly impressive part of this is the location. The call did not end before the flush! He made no effort to conceal where he was. Real estate deals wait for no man.
I continue to accumulate these quotes over time, but would love to read yours as well. Please feel free to add yours in the comments.