Twice in the past two weeks, we have been “honored” with small business “awards”.
One was for having an excellent blog. Among the “Top 30″ coffee blogs, in fact, according to the award givers. I mean, wow, I do work hard at the blog, but knock me over with a feather, right?
Not so fast. In order to “claim” my award, I needed to agree to a link exchange, i.e., I post a link to their site on mine, in exchange for… what, exactly? Maybe a link from their site? A well written survey of all the coffee blogs out there? No, not so much. Turns out their site is basically just “Pimp my MBA Program”, an extraordinarily shallow promotion of MBA programs around the world. Their site doesn’t even mention coffee. Or blogs. And if I didn’t agree to a link exchange within a short period of time, well, they were going to have to give my award to somebody else. Somebody who also had the #8 coffee blog, apparently. Man, I haven’t felt that deflated since my kids gave me the “#1 Dad” hat and I realized somebody else had one just like it.
Then yesterday, we learned that we had also been recognized with a prestigious customer service award. Yeah man. We do work hard at customer service. All we had to do to claim our award was to purchase a small plaque. For $195. Plus $18 shipping. Seriously?
First of all, shame on these idiots. This is really the most productive use of your time – cooking up bogus “awards” to sell to small businesses desperate enough to decorate their walls with worthless business bling? When your momma asks you what you do for a living, this is what you want to tell her? “Gee, Momma, I make up phony awards to sell to fools that think they can trick people into believing they do a good job and lots of folks like them.” Yeah, that’ll make her proud.
And shame on any business that propagates this sham. Next time you see a small business displaying a seemingly prestigious “award”, maybe you should ask what they did to earn it. And whether it came without strings attached.
As for us, we’ll just keep on blogging, and serving customers. Because our award is the feedback we get from you. Thanks, and keep it coming!