The Truth Is Out There

By | Tuesday, March 29, 2011 Leave a Comment
I had a bit of a plumbing problem until recently. The outgoing line from my sump pump was busted and, every time it rained, my front yard flooded sending a river down the sidewalk and into my neighbor's driveway. I'll admit that I let go fixing it for too long (knowing it would be an expensive repair) but I finally called a plumber last week. (I couldn't find any local guys who had been reviewed on Yelp or anything, but I tried to find someone who had a reasonably professional-looking website.)

The guy I talked to listened to my explanation, asked where I was located and said he should be able to take care of it. I provided all my info and had him repeat it (it was noisy in the background) to make sure he got it correct. He said he'd be on the next morning and would give me a call when he was on his way. I stayed home from work and... never heard back from him. No phone call telling me he was on his way, or he had to take care of some emergency, or he got lost... nothing. I stayed in the house all day. Never heard from him and he never showed up.

Well, I'm not about to deal with someone like that, so I called another plumber the next day. They said they'd be out on Monday morning (it was Friday) and would give me a call when they were on their way. I wasn't holding my breath since that was almost the same line the last guy gave me, but sure enough, I got two phone calls that morning -- one from the actual plumber and one from the receptionist. The plumber looked things over, figured out what needed to be done and gave me a quote. I said that was good, and how soon can we move on this?

I've had yard work done before so I knew that it would have to be marked for buried electrical and phone wires and such, and that's done by a third party. But they were able to get out there within an hour, and two other guys showed up about an hour after that with a small excavator. The dug up all of the bad pipe, including having to cut away part of the sidewalk that ran over it, replaced all the piping and patched up both the yard and sidewalk by 4:30. Less than one day, from when the first guy came out to when I did the final sign-off.

Nice guys, too. They called me out periodically to make sure I knew precisely where the problems were and what concerns and issues they faced while they worked.

While these guys are out working, I went back to Yelp and wrote a negative review about the dude who never showed up. Not a hate-filled rant, but just a straight-forward, "I called this guy; he said he'd come out; he never did."

That was yesterday. This afternoon, I get a call from the first plumber and I let the call go straight to voice mail. (Since I now have no need to talk to him.) He left a voice mail saying he was trying to follow-up on our conversation from yesterday and I should call him back. I'm thinking that if he's going to try to lie to me about what I myself did -- especially when it's so easy to scan through my own phone records to see that it was almost a week ago that I actually talked to him -- I'm really glad I didn't hire him, and I hope that my review on Yelp serves as a good notice to others.

The reason I'm relaying this story is because it's about a guy who is trying to pull some bullshit with someone who has access to the internet. I'm not a vengeful kind of person, and I'm not out to destroy anyone's livelihood, but I also don't want anyone else to get shafted because somebody else was trying to sell them a bill of goods. That's one of the great democratizing effects of the internet -- you can't hide your bullshit indefinitely.

And that's what really surprises me most about the Rob Granito plagiarism story, that Granito would even attempt it. Surely, he knew that he'd get caught, right? Not only was the guy going to big conventions with thousands and thousands of people in attendance, but this is the frickin' 21st century! And we're talking about comic book folks who can nit-pick the hell out of continuity details! He didn't think that his story would get back to the other people allegedly involved?

I mean, I get that bit in the linked-to article about his not being able to tell the difference in quality between his work and professionals' but going so far as to say that he actually worked on Iron Man and Spider-Man comics? Books that could easily be checked and then verified with the original creators?

Has he not paid attention to... well, anything in the past decade? All of your bullshit gets discovered. Regardless of who you are. Oh, you might be able to pay off enough people in high enough places that you don't actually do jail time for any of it, but unless you're a politician or paying a politician, your bullshit is going to come back to bite you in the ass. Even those at the top of the oligarchy here can't hide their bullshit -- they can just pay people to ignore it.

For as much as I rant about the stupidity of the American people at large, you cannot outsmart them. Not for long, certainly. The world is too small any more to hide your bullshit. It will get documented. It will get posted online. The people you try to rip off will tell everyone they can. And unless your net worth has at least eight digits in it, you're going to catch hell for it.
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