An unexpected C.R.A.P. in the face

When you’re not expecting it, a healthy dose of the stinky stuff can almost knock you out cold.

Whenever I go through employee publications looking for C.R.A.P. (Corporate Rhetoric Awards Program) nominees, I am careful to prepare for the inevitable assault on my senses. I light candles. I pour gin. I put on soothing music. I steel myself for the stench.

But occasionally, I fall into C.R.A.P. when I’m not ready for it. When I have no gin, and no candles. I step in it when all my senses are alert.

Those are bad days. Very bad days. And I just had one of them. It was a beautiful fall day, and I was not on C.R.A.P. patrol. I was just sitting at my desk with my feet up, going through a pile of mail, figuring out which bill collectors I needed to call to avoid paying, and which ones I could just avoid.

Buried in the stack of what looked like harmless stuff, there was a brochure advertising a PR and marketing conference for health-care professionals.

Since I speak at a lot of those types of conferences, I always like to see what kinds of sessions the planners are putting on. So I opened the brochure and started reading. Since it was a conference put on for marketers and public relations pros, I expected the writing in it to be pretty good.

In other words, my C.T.L. (C.R.A.P. Threat Level) was set to white, which is the lowest level.

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