Yesterday, I was informed by a colleague from my previous company that a complimentary copy of Harvard Business Review had arrived for me. I said, that’s ok, I didn’t order it, it’s just a sales attempt, you can throw it away. I had no time to go there just to collect a magazine that has mainly very tedious content.
While throwing it away, though, she noticed what was on the reverse side, and called me back.
“There’s also a certificate with your name on it showing that you have been awarded some qualification”.
I thought, “that can’t be, but maybe she means that I received something from someone else in the same pack” and so I made my way over to the old firm from where I was, in a taxi at some expense as I was short on time, only to discover that the back page of these special selling editions of the Harvard Business Review contain phoney certificates looking like you have been awarded something until you see the word “specimen” in feint print diagonally across it. In other words, using false pretenses, they cause me damages to my wallet and my time. The rest of the day was out of kilter, and the total value of their unethical attack was at least 100 dollars of damage to me in various ways. And this they probably do to thousands and thousands of other business professionals.
They don’t care, they know it’s not their damage, anything to sell a course that isn’t even an accredited MBA and is highly likely to pay back the time put into it. They know full well that they can get away from it and do it. What a terrible shame to do these things while bearing the illustrious name of Harvard. I’m only glad it’s not my university, although “Cambridge” has more than its fair share of parasites also.
Quite frankly I would like to send them back a certificate calling them certified fraudsters and put the word “specimen” on it in a similar way. The best revenge though is for bloggers to keep writing. For people interested in sharing thoughts freely to keep building, which is what we do here, people on WordPress and other blog portals. We get you to think and show you the world and share ideas. In the case of this place, the biggest free idea is of course the Goldlist Method, but we don’t send out pretend qualifications certifying that you have finished some course with me placing my name and self-styled title in some “Institute” I’ve dreamed up.
You have to raise an eyebrow at the ethics of someone who puts his signature on the bottom of something that certifies that you have received this or that qualification whn you haven’t really, and then backs out using the word “wzor” painted over it feintly. It is the behaviour of the con-artist and phoney. And I am truly sorry to see that the methods of Harvard Business Review are so poor and pathetic. They should not be teaching this at Harvard.
Please state in the comments if you think, given the way I was inconenienced by this and no doubt others also, if HBR are using ethical or unethical sales techniques here and what it says about what they have to teach us in their courses.
2 thoughts on “What’s going on #3 – What they shouldn’t teach you at Harvard…”
David, thanks for bringing up this example of the ever-increasing fraudulent, “not lying by much” genre of paper and electronic advertising. Yes, you are absolutely correct but I suspect you have have more courtesy , control over your patience and vocabulary than me.
I’m afraid I would probably have sent them an email telling them that they are not only unethical but obviously desperate for bums on seats and they have not a shred of moral or business worth. They ought to feel ashamed but of course these people have no sensitivity and thus cannot be shamed. The only language that might cause them a twinge of wrongdoing is the good old Australian political (or Les Paterson’s brand of diplomacy) “shove it up yer arse mate”……(sounds more effective using an Australian accent,of course).
I would never have such sentiments for decent human beings, but we are not dealing with that species here are we ? The number of honest, respectful, competent and principled human beings seems to shrink by the month. They owe you $100 but we both know how likely that is to materialise.
Well said, my friend. They are, indeed a subspecies and ought to be confined.