The Scene Of The Crime: Our hotel room in Seattle at Sourcecon
The Miscreants: Pam, Me and Bill Staadt
Date: October 3, 2013
Time: 7:15 a.m PT
Pam’s the first to hit (after maybe two – three minutes of dialing sequential numbers) and I hear her in the other room:
“Hi, this is Pam. I’m trying to reach Diane Buenopello – I must have the wrong number!”
I walk out, quietly to listen.
I don’t hear what’s being said on the other end but I listen as Pam asks pleasantly, like she’s repeating something she just heard, “Where are you, you say? Field operations?”
“Uh-huh…uh-huh…I see. Do you have access to a directory? You do? Great!”
“B-U-E-N – no, N as in Nancy, not M as in Mary – O-P-E-L-L-O.”
I can’t hear what’s said on the other side but Pam seems to agree with the person that this is a difficult name to spell.
“Yeah, it’s a hard one.”
“Is there another directory?” I hear Pam ask.
My hopes sink. I know if it can’t be found on the first attempt in a directory chances it can be found at all reduce on a second attempt and greatly reduce on and after three attempts.
“Is there a button-thingie anywhere at the top of your screen?” Pam pleads. “Sometimes-“ and before she can finish her explanation she says, to the person she’s speaking with, “There is?” as if she’s been interrupted and pleasantly surprised by that person.
(Sometimes you have to help them help you.)
My heart flutters.
“Yes, this person is a Consultant,” Pam answers.
“Yes, she could be located there,” and Pam looks up at Bill and me and throws up her right hand palm-up as if to indicate something seems screwy and shakes her head slightly back and forth.
“You found her? That’s great,” Pam coos. “Does it say what her number is?”
“It doesn’t? Are you sure?” and it sounds almost accusatory and cold.
Pam listens a few seconds longer and it appears she decides this turnip’s had the last drop of blood squeezed so she tacks differently, “You’re in field operations? I thought I was calling (mid-town very big Midwestern city headquarters location?)
“You’re in the Southwest? How’d you get there?” and again Pam sounds like she’s cross-examining a murder suspect whom-she-knows-is-stone-cold-guilty.
“Oh, I see. Well, I guess that makes sense…” and Pam’s voice trails off and I know she’s puzzling a picture together in her mind as she thanks this person for their help and hangs up the phone.
The three of us quickly reconnoiter.
“That guy was in field operations – and I do mean field operations, guys - in a building adjacent to a runway – in Texas.”
“That would make sense,” Bill cuts in, sounding thoughtful. ‘This airline bought (this other pretty big airline) a couple years ago so maybe he’s part of that operation…?” and I could see Bill was beginning to piece the puzzle together too.
“That’s great information because this makes sense – one of the VoiceMails directed me to a ‘new office number’ and I was wondering why it was a Texas area code. I wonder if there’s another phone directory we’re missing? Oh, Pam, I have Diane’s direct dial – I forgot to tell you – I’m sorry. I got it off their phone directory – she’s listed in it! I got it this morning before you woke up,” I chime in, the subtle competition between us creeping in to my delivery.
She looked at me with one of those dysfunctionally familial, “Well you coulda’ tol’ me, sister” looks, that I hope Bill missed and then we agreed to continue the serial dialing so back to the bathroom I slunk as Bill continued to study LinkedIn from the couch and Pam continued to dial from the floor, cross-legged with a pad of paper on her lap.
I hit next.
The third or fourth dial was someone in procurement.
She was a pleasant young thing, enthusiastic and straightforward.
I heard no caution in her voice.
She’d said her name when she answered.
It was Annette.
“Annette, this is Maureen. I know I have the wrong number but I’m trying to reach someone in Loreen Musterson’s group and I get Loreen’s Voice Mail. Can you look someone up for me?"
“What’s the person’s name?” Annette asked.
“Diane Buenopello,” I answered, slowly.
“Sure, I can try; let me look,” Annette replied politely.
I waited while my excitement grew.
“I’m not finding her; how does she spell her name?” Annette asked.
“It’s a hard one,” I warned and then slowly spelled it out.
“I still don’t see her – are you sure we’re spelling it correctly? This thing is really sensitive to spelling!”
I spelled it again and then I asked if the directory she was looking in had the ability to display groups.
(Remember, sometimes you have to help them help you.)
She said it did!
“Let’s look at her manager’s group. Can we do that? Maybe I’m NOT spelling correctly. Maybe we can find her in Loreen’s reports!” I suggest, like I’m thinking of some bright idea for the first time.
“Good idea. What’s Loreen’s last name again?”
I can tell Annette is enjoying this hunt we’re on together.
“Musterson,” I say, simply. I spell it.
“Here she is. She has only a few reports but I don’t see a Diane.”
“You don’t see a Diane?” and I’m thinking to myself, “Really Maureen? You’re surprised? Loreen’s name “came off” LinkedIn as one of Bill’s assumptions/guesses/last hopes that she would be Diane’s manager because they were “connected” and you’re surprised? You know better than that, girlfriend – get over it!”
(Every once in a while I have to give myself a biff on the back of my own head – a reality check – over all the LinkedIn hysteria out here.)
“Who do you see?” I dare, thinking to myself, “Maybe I’m close – I’ll pick up what I can out of THIS Loyalty Marketing group and maybe some of these will be able to help me find Diane…” when Annette breaks my reverie.
“I can see the whole organization – it’s big. Loreen has four reports and I can see her Director-“
I cut her short this time and ask, trying to contain my excitement, “You can see her Director? Who is that? Maybe that’ll help!” I again suggest like I’m walking this minefield for the first time and trying to sound cool as a cucumber.
“Denise Smothers is the Director of Loyalty Integrated Marketing. Do you want her number?” Annette asks me like she’s asking me do I want some chocolate ice cream.
Of course I say yes and then I ask how many reports does Denise have hoping it sounds like I'm asking about the weather.
I hear Annette’s counting low on her breath and I’m thinking I have a real songbird on my hands – how lucky I’ve gotten when she answers “seven.”
“Seven’s not too many,” I think to myself and I decide to press forward though I can hear silence in the other room (where Pam and Bill are) and wonder to myself why all’s stopped in there.
Do they have what we need?
Should I continue on?
Am I going to set any trip-wires off if I go on?
I shake off my doubts thinking surely Pam would've busted through the door to warn me off if I was about to mess something off and I circle back to those four Musterson reports at this point and ask about them.
I learn their names, their titles and the direct dials for all but one (it seems there isn’t any direct dial listed in the directory for this person – it could be he’s brand new, Annette surmises - it happens.)
I then press on to the Director’s reports and begin to "open up"* on each of those hoping to drill down below each when Annette announces she’s late for a meeting and has to run. She invites me to call back later if what she’s given me doesn’t help and she’d try to help me further.
Annette is so nice.
I step out into the silence and Bill and Pam are looking at me expectantly.
“Well? What did you find out?” Pam asks.
I report that I have the outline of the Loyalty Marketing group that I believe Diane resides in but Diane was not in the group of Bill's scribbled LinkedIn connector name - Loreen Musterson – that most of those were Analysts and that’s definitely not what he’s after.
Right about now Bill decides he’s had about enough (either he was or wasn’t a believer at this point – I’m still not sure) because he smartly closed his laptop at this point and rather nonchalantly remarked, “I’m gonna head on over to Sourcecon now – it’s about 8-“
“You’re what?” I asked, my head lowering so I could see him clearly above my readers.
I probably looked like a bull getting ready to charge.
“He’s going to go to the conference,” Pam slowly explained to me, looking at me sideways and giving me that look with a slight nod like, “Let him go, if he doesn’t want to watch this then – that’s okay…” trying to defuse the temper she knows I have.
“Oh, okay,” I said, giving Pam one of those, “We’re gonna talk about THIS,” looks as Bill picked up his stuff and headed for the door.
“I guess we’ll be over ONCE WE FINISH THIS JOB UP FOR YOU,” hoping there was an emphasis on the capitalized letters ringing through the air after his retreating backside.
“Can you email it to me when you get them?” he asked and gave me his email.
“God loves the innocent, watches over them and protects them and it’s a good thing,” I thought to myself as he left and decided I had to like this guy in spite of the fact he was making a choice that had more to do based on the fact that he had no idea what he was missing out on.
"That had to be it," I comforted myself.
If you want to “hear” what happened next watch and stay tuned for Part IV.
You’re gonna’ love it!
Results from this exercise were displayed in Maureen’s Phone Sourcing October 3 Track at Sourcecon and Bill “testified” to the events as they unfolded before his eyes. He volunteered this experience as one of the “things that stood out in his mind” about Sourcecon at the Closing Remarks of the conference and has agreed to contribute on-going information as to “what happens next” with the potential candidates that were surfaced with this real time phone-sourcing exercise.
Late in the very same day these names were surfaced and sent to Bill’s boss TWO of these potential candidates had been contacted (that same day!) AND scheduled for interviews the next day!
Once again, stay tuned on this very exciting and very real, real-time phone sourcing exercise.
*open up: Phone sourcer terminology for "opening up" a group and discovering the reporting structure