Credit card offers from LinkedIn?

Has anyone else received credit card offers from LinkedIn? I received one today and I was very surprised. I didn’t think that LinkedIn had enough personal information on me to be able to qualify me for a credit card. I was complimented and a little concerned as well. Complimented that someone thinks that highly of me, and concerned that perhaps they have been profiling me from other consumer data.

Credit cardsIt is the strangest thing about credit. You get credit when you don’t need it, or you are positively the worst person to give it to. I had a girlfriend in the past declare bankruptcy and as soon as she did, the next week she started receiving an avalanche of credit card offers. This made no sense to me. Why would you give credit to someone who obviously got into trouble? This was in the past around 2005 so credit seemed much easier to get then.

However years after the recession, I have friends now who are barely paying their bills and getting credit card offers. They don’t have extra money to spend, yet these things tempt them into spending. Wouldn’t it be nice for companies like credit card, smoking or other harmful activities have to have some kind of screening and good intentions before they can present their offers? Too often money is made when people who are ignorant or desperate get into situations that they aren’t fully disclosed the risks of. Of course it is not easy to research every decision, and often things are hidden to the customer. To me, anything that has more downside than upside needs to be third-party evaluated that has no financial motive before that choice is made.

Money too often is the motivator for bad actions, and if we could take that motivation away then we wouldn’t have much of the confusion and problems we have. As a society when we allow people with bad intentions to profit from unfair knowledge then it only serves to make things worse. Part of the purpose of this website has been my attempt to share and educate from the lessons I have learned in life. You have to carefully evaluate your choices and consider both short/long-term consequences of action. Mistakes will always happen, but as a society we seem to be learning that some things are not acceptable.

Take for example today it was announced more protections for consumers against credit bureaus who benefit from selling data on individuals to the system. Now they have to be more responsive and responsible, and that will only help consumers. Any system that doesn’t have transparency like the murky financial system is going to be abused by those in the inner circle. I am so thrilled that the Consumer Financial Protection bureau is doing work that is helping millions of people. As a society we are learning that being fair is important, and one way of being fair is being transparent and honest in our interactions. Yes!

Stories from my Past: The high cost of being a jerk

I worked at a company once that was ok, but had a coworker was a complete jerk. He liked to make fun of everyone in a cruel way. I had spoken with him once and he was even more of a jerk, and so I then spoke with my supervisor who said “It isn’t my problem.”

I was a consultant in that company and decided that if addressing the problem with them didn’t work, then my only choice was to leave the company. I told my consulting company that due to the work environment being hostile that I would no longer like to work there and I was going to move on. When the consulting company heard it they were very disappointed because they said that everyone liked me there, and they would have spoken with the person who was a problem. I explained how I went to my supervisor and what he said, so it was clear that the welfare of the workers was not a consideration.

Years later some of the people from that company connected with my on LinkedIn and were very warm and friendly. It is always that you will have jerks in a company, but when they and management don’t respond to a respectful and adult conversation then you might find yourself needing to move on. Why am I sharing this now? I had to deal with a vendor today who was a jerk in not supporting the program they sold, and it reminded me of him. I loved how the vendor who we paid for the program said to me “Boy you sure are causing us problems.” Giving him money and asking for a program to work is causing problems? If that was my money, I would look tomorrow for a new company to pay and get real support from. If your customers are your “problems” you have a backwards view of customer support.

People who have a good self-esteem and are skilled are not going to stand for disrespect. There is no reason for it, and there are too many companies who will treat someone with respect. If you lose employees and they are your best, perhaps you need to address the jerks in your office.