PSA – Look a gift horse in the mouth

Hi, all (he shouts out to the interwebs, not sure who’s listening)!

Long time no talk. Something a little bit different today… A public service announcement of sorts.

”Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”
– Anonymous

“If you are going to ride it somewhere, though… well, at least make sure it’s a horse. And if it’s a horse, make sure it’s not wooden…”
– me

That pesky Odysseus… Giving people ideas about how to cause problems. Well, a couple weeks ago, Odysseus called himself “Steve K” (name shortened/obfuscated, for reasons that will become apparent) and said he was looking for coaching. Let us observe:

life coach
18 messages


Steve K*
Wed, May 24, 2017 at 11:25 AM
To: info@soundingboardlearning.com

Hello, i’m steve, i would like to know if you are a life coach ….And if you do accept credit card as payment??i’m hoping on your quick response.

First warning: improper capitalization and grammar/mechanics. Eh, some people are just bad at typing. Let’s see what’s up.

Ryan Francis
Wed, May 24, 2017 at 10:03 PM
To: Steve K* , info@soundingboardlearning.com

Hi, Steve.

I am, in fact, a life coach. And I accept credit card. 🙂 How can I help you?

– Ryan

[Quoted text hidden]


Ryan Francis
Personal Fulfillment and Self-realization Coach
Sounding Board Learning
ryan@soundingboardlearning.com
(408) 657-7257

Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires clients to maximize their personal and professional potential.
– International Coach Federation Code of Ethics


Steve K*
Thu, May 25, 2017 at 7:16 AM
To: Ryan Francis

Thanks for your swift responses,I’m a hearing impaired that why am contacting you via text, so i hope its fine?? i will like to know if you work in the areas of spiritual direction,relationships,parenting, and stress management and Anger management??

[Quoted text hidden]

Second warning: looks like a rephrase of my bio. Eh, maybe he’s just confirming this is what I do. This could be a great fit! Just to be safe, let’s check social media. There are four Steve K*s that I could find. All live nowhere near my practice. The one most likely to be capable of securing my services lives in Saskatchewan, Canada…

Ryan Francis
Thu, May 25, 2017 at 10:18 AM
To: Steve K*

Hi, Steve.

Those are precisely the areas in which I work, particularly how spiritual direction influences your relationship with yourself and others. Are you hoping to conduct sessions by email/text message?

Ryan Francis
Personal Fulfillment and Self-realization Coach
Sounding Board Learning
ryan@soundingboardlearning.com
(408) 657-7257

Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires clients to maximize their personal and professional potential.
– International Coach Federation Code of Ethics

[Quoted text hidden]


Steve K*
Thu, May 25, 2017 at 11:09 AM
To: Ryan Francis

I will like you to know the coaching is for 4 ladies in my family, so I want you to get back to me with total estimate for 2 times in a week 4 (Females) for 4 weeks and i want the session to be 1 hours in person,so i will like to know the total cost for the service asap

[Quoted text hidden]

Third warning: looking for services for multiple people at double the frequency that most would engage in coaching. And “ladies”?! Eh, maybe he doesn’t know much about coaching. Though, for not knowing about coaching, he is being oddly specific… And maybe he thought “CA” in my social media means Canada, not California? Let’s check some facts.

Ryan Francis
Thu, May 25, 2017 at 11:31 AM
To: Steve K*

Hi, Steve.

A few questions:

– Would the intention be to have all four people in the same room simultaneously?
– What is the explicit goal of the sessions?
– Would the individuals be available for consultation by phone prior to an initial session?
– Where do you all live?

The majority of my business is conducted with individuals by phone. I certainly have no problem meeting in-person, but would like to understand the situation more. There seems to be an immediacy/urgency to your communication. If there is an emergency, I highly recommend employing a therapist before attempting coaching. Therapy helps heal the past/present so we can move forward. Coaching helps us optimize the present/future.

I look forward to your reply.

Ryan Francis
Personal Fulfillment and Self-realization Coach
Sounding Board Learning
ryan@soundingboardlearning.com
(408) 657-7257

Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires clients to maximize their personal and professional potential.
– International Coach Federation Code of Ethics

[Quoted text hidden]


Steve K*
Thu, May 25, 2017 at 12:19 PM
To: Ryan Francis

Yes it will be a group sessions they are my Daughters and Nieces and i will be scheduling the appointment for them.Basically i’m currently in the hospital right now due to my health issue and i’ve been advice to stay off internet and cell phone am just contacting you now cause i want to secure this appointment for my family as a surprise to console them and keep them busy while am undergoing my surgery so i hope you can handle them very well??

Get back to me with the total cost for 4 (ladies) x 2 (sessions per week) x 4 weeks = 8 sessions ?

[Quoted text hidden]

Fourth warning: There is that oddly specific information again. And that capitalization. Not a native English speaker? And he avoided half of my questions… Eh, maybe it’s because of the severity of what he’s going through. Sounds pretty intense. I’ll just gently hint at the missing information. Can’t be too rough on the guy if he’s going through so much. And I’ll be super generous with my terms (my normal rate + 25%). If he’s legit, he’ll act surprised, and I’ve done a good thing. And if he’s not…

Ryan Francis
Thu, May 25, 2017 at 12:49 PM
To: Steve K*

Hi, Steve.

Wow, I understand the hurry. Even if you don’t live in my area, I’m sure we can work something out digitally.

I typically charge $$ a session for one person. What if we did $$$ per session?

$$$ * 2 sessions/week * 4 weeks = $$$$

Does that fit within your budget?

Ryan Francis
Personal Fulfillment and Self-realization Coach
Sounding Board Learning
ryan@soundingboardlearning.com
(408) 657-7257

Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires clients to maximize their personal and professional potential.
– International Coach Federation Code of Ethics

[Quoted text hidden]


Ryan Francis
Thu, May 25, 2017 at 12:54 PM
To: Steve K*

Also, if you want to text me at the number in my signature, please feel free.

Ryan Francis
Personal Fulfillment and Self-realization Coach
Sounding Board Learning
ryan@soundingboardlearning.com
(408) 657-7257

Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires clients to maximize their personal and professional potential.
– International Coach Federation Code of Ethics

[Quoted text hidden]


Steve K*
Thu, May 25, 2017 at 2:37 PM
To: Ryan Francis

Yes fine the driver will be bringing them down to your office. I want you to know that the ladies will start their coaching session on the 6th of June and I prefer Tuesday and Thursday 10:00,so i hope those time is open?

Get back to me with your office address and cell number ?

[Quoted text hidden]

Fifth warning: asking for specifics without giving any. Plus, a driver costs a fair amount of money, potentially. Someone who makes that much money doesn’t usually have grammar/spelling this atrocious… And he said nothing about the rate. And oddly specific again. Eh, I’ll check with my professional friends about office space, just in case. I’ll be vague myself, just to be safe. And challenge a little bit more on the information he’s given.

Ryan Francis
Thu, May 25, 2017 at 3:18 PM
To: Steve K*

Steve,

I have to check about space at that time. If that time does not work out, are there other times that they are available?

When were you planning on telling them? I don’t typically do a full session without doing a consulting call first.

I am in Campbell, California. The number in my signature acts as a mobile number.

Ryan Francis
Personal Fulfillment and Self-realization Coach
Sounding Board Learning
ryan@soundingboardlearning.com
(408) 657-7257

Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires clients to maximize their personal and professional potential.
– International Coach Federation Code of Ethics

[Quoted text hidden]


Steve K*
Thu, May 25, 2017 at 3:37 PM
To: Ryan Francis

Please check and get back to me with the time you have available. ?

They are open to the sessions.

[Quoted text hidden]

Sixth warning: a “surprise” just turned into “they’re open” — in 20 minutes — without confirmation of the appointment… This is just not right.

It’s at this point that I need verification from trusted sources. I forward the email to my partner (life, not business) and show the friend I’m with.

Ryan Francis
Thu, May 25, 2017 at 3:51 PM
To: E A

Tell me what you think about all this…

[Quoted text hidden]

All agree, likely a scam. I secure office space with a trusted friend in a location I can control. But how would this even play out? I’m way too curious. Need to know more.

Ryan Francis
Thu, May 25, 2017 at 3:59 PM
To: Steve K*

Hi, Steve.

I double-checked my calendar and I can do June 6 and 8. However, I am traveling a lot in June and July and do not have four consecutive weeks with two days per week available. Will that be a problem?

Where will your family be traveling from? Also, I would very much like to do a short, initial session with them via Google Hangout or Skype. What are their names?

Ryan Francis
Personal Fulfillment and Self-realization Coach
Sounding Board Learning
ryan@soundingboardlearning.com
(408) 657-7257

Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires clients to maximize their personal and professional potential.
– International Coach Federation Code of Ethics

[Quoted text hidden]


Steve K*
Thu, May 25, 2017 at 4:10 PM
To: Ryan Francis

The driver will be bring them down to your office. if you are not available on some particular date we can schedule it for another date.

Sharon 20yrs…..Linda 18yrs………….puala24yrs…..Shawn …..22yrs you can talk to them first day of sessions.

I will be making the payment nw to secure the appointment. what is the name of your credit card merchant ?

[Quoted text hidden]

Final warning: credit card merchant?!?!?! OK, this is total bullshit. Who the fuck asks for someone’s credit card merchant? And why would you even need that information? And total deflection about an introductory session. Total. Fucking. Bullshit. All right, game face. Let’s see how this plays out.

Ryan Francis
Thu, May 25, 2017 at 4:56 PM
To: Steve K*

Hi, Steve.

I use PayPal. Out of curiosity, how did you find me?

I must insist on having an introductory session, and won’t accept payment until that happens. Coaching isn’t right for everybody, and I need to know if we’re a good match before we begin.

Ryan Francis
Personal Fulfillment and Self-realization Coach
Sounding Board Learning
ryan@soundingboardlearning.com
(408) 657-7257

Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires clients to maximize their personal and professional potential.
– International Coach Federation Code of Ethics

[Quoted text hidden]


Steve K*
Fri, May 26, 2017 at 9:40 AM
To: Ryan Francis

Hello

I got your info thru internet search, I want you to understand that the girls are open to the sessions,

I will like to make the payment now i’ve been advice to stay off internet and cell phone am just contacting you now cause i want to secure this appointment.Also did you have any other card merchant have been hacked on paypal nd square before and advice not to use it again ?

[Quoted text hidden]

You want me to understand… Fascinating phrasing. And doubling down on the victimization… Who knows? Maybe he’s legit. I won’t be backing down, though.

Ryan Francis
Fri, May 26, 2017 at 2:04 PM
To: Steve K*

Hi, Steve.

I exclusively use PayPal. Also, I screen all my clients. If my process is too slow for you in your circumstance, I absolutely understand. There are many qualified coaches in the area.

Good luck in your search!

Ryan Francis
Personal Fulfillment and Self-realization Coach
Sounding Board Learning
ryan@soundingboardlearning.com
(408) 657-7257

Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires clients to maximize their personal and professional potential.
– International Coach Federation Code of Ethics

[Quoted text hidden]




Silence. Absolute silence.

I understand not looking a gift horse in the mouth. I do. It’s rude and inconsiderate of the gift. But if you are going to rely on that horse? Well, it better be capable. There is not a damn thing wrong with checking its hooves and teeth, joints and back.

And let’s just take a moment to praise intuition, instinct, and awareness. Praise (deity of choice)!

Not really sure how to end this, so… Keep your intuition turned on, look after yourselves, and have a good week.

– Ryan

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