Sunday, February 12, 2006

value of regards

On Friday afternoon my brother-in-law, may he return to full health soon in our days, called me and said that he had regards for me from someone. He then asked me how I knew that person, and I gave him the standard reply, "I know a lot of people." He thought the message on the back was kind of strange, as it a blogosphere identification and he is not a member.

There are 2 kinds of blogs, anonymous blogs and blogs that are not anonymous. I, as most of you know, have a non-anonymous blog. Approximately 85% of my readers have known me for a long time. The other 15% are random people, who may enjoy what I write or may come to laugh at my opinions on various topics.

The person sending the regards is an anonymous blogger, for the most part (He can't be that anonymous if he is sending me his business card). Anonymous bloggers don't want people to know who they are for a variety of reasons. These reasons may include:
  • they will get put in administrative detention if shabak finds them
  • they are writing about things they don't want associated with them
  • They are expressing a fantasy part of their life, being creative in their writing and don't want their friends/relatives to think of them that way. (similar to the above reason)
  • They are writing about personal issues, maybe therapeurically
  • They like having a secret identity.
  • Other reasons
I do appreciate the business card.

One of the hardest things for me about making aliyah was suddenly losing all of the contacts and business relationships that I had made over the 7 years that I was working back home, as well as all the personal and family contacts and relationships that I had grown up with. If I had a question about food, we had a good friend who was a caterer. Any legal questions, there were plenty of lawyers. Doctors were around to answer the medical questions. Same was true with accounting, politics, plumbing, electrical, you name it. I was part of the loop for technology or computer issues.
When I moved to Israel, I lost all that. We had a plumbing problem, I had no idea who to call. We called a friend who had pull with a plumber and he came out right away. We had an electrical problem and I didn't know who to call. We got someone's name who came out and said, "no, I don't want to do this job." We called someone else who did what we needed and the electric box blew up a week later. Someone else asked us why we used him, "...everyone knows he's incompetent."
So slowly, slowly we're learning the ropes and finding out all the stuff that you're just supposed to know . Building a network of contacts is a long process that includes a lot of give and take. It takes years or even generations before you really know what's going on.

This business card could have been very helpful to me two years ago when I sent a resume to the company he works for. I didn't even get an interview, though the headhunters I was dealing with said it was a 90% probability. Once, back in America, I didn't get a job because they gave it to the project manager's son's best friend. A couple weeks later, someone in shul said they needed someone with my qualificaltions and doubled my salary. As they say, it's not what you know, it's who you know.

Now I have one more person on my list.


Just Shu said...

I'm confused, do you know the guy or not? and How did he know that you knew Brother In Law?

rockofgalilee said...

see its more confusing then that
If you followed the blog regularly you would know.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Cool Story!

I remember moving here with hardly any takes YEARS to build up a decent list, so I know where you're coming from.

Other reasons to keep anonymous could include:

Not wanting parents in chutz laaretz to worry about some of their children's exploits.

Not wanting coworkers to know about certains hobbies or political leanings.

Anonymous creative writing lets you explore limits a bit further.

Any any event; There shouldn't be a "teudat oleh" with run of the mill benefits. My idea is as follows: A booklet of redeemable coupons for Israeli proteczia: (some examples include)

1. Brother in law is a bank manager
2. Cousin is a cop (get out of jail free)
3. IDF buddy works for mas hachnasa.

You get the picture.

rockofgalilee said...


I think you mean there "should be".
That would be very helpful, go to the bank and pull out your "I know the manager" card. The teller is then very helpful and punches your card and tells you very pleasantly, you have 2 more times.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

rock: yes, you're correct. "should be" -- most people put more grammar/spellcheck effort into their posts than their comments.

You figured it out to a T -- but you would have 10 years worth of all sorts of proteczia, which would be ample time to build up your own list of contacts.

Oh well. I guess thats why I'm not Minister of Absorbtion.