Free Range Rude

Free Range Rude

“Whenever feasible, he preferred to eat the rude.” -Barney on Hannibal Lecter’s philosophy

My client “John” told me that he’s had a lot of trouble with rudeness and he’s fed up with it. But what does that mean?

Key topics:

✔️ Rudeness means different things to different people and it has different degrees of severity. What is your boundary line of acceptable versus non-acceptable behavior?
✔️ In John’s situation, he felt disrespected and marginalized… by everyone. Clients, prospects, and candidates alike. So what was he doing to put himself in that position?
✔️ If you allow people to treat you like a doormat, they will. Clients and prospects will follow YOUR LEAD on how you view yourself. This doesn’t mean no one will ever occasionally test your boundaries (and your patience) but it helps to screen out the obvious problem children.
✔️ Dr. House always said, “People lie. Everyone lies.” This may not be true in every single situation, but you ultimately want to protect yourself and your business. Don’t allow yourself to go off on wild goose chases hoping maybe one day you’ll get paid for it.
✔️ If most of the projects or jobs you’re working on disappear and blow away, it becomes frustrating not only for your pocketbook but also for your mental health and well-being.

Need more? Email me:


Transcription by Please forgive any typos!

Hello, hello and welcome to today’s episode of the Causey Consulting Podcast. I’m your host Sara Causey and I’m also the owner of Causey Consulting, which you can find online anytime at Finally, and without further adieu, I am recording my episode on free range rude. If you read Thomas Harris’s novel Hannibal, or if you watch the 2001 film adaptation of it, then you may remember there’s a scene where Barney tells Clarice about Hannibal Lecter his philosophy on eating the rude. He once told me that whenever feasible, he preferred to eat the rude, free range rude he called them. That’s a scene from the movie that I always remember. I also remember anything to do with Gary Oldman, his depiction of Mason Verger. And anytime somebody says, Oh, nothing beats whatever, I automatically in my mind, think of nothing beats the Riz. If you want to play a d inking game, then every time t at his character cries out C rdell! if you were to take a sho , here’s here’s a Hannibal Lec er drinking game for if you re watching the Hannibal mov e, every time that Gary Old an screams out Cordell! if you ook a shot, you would be abso utely wasted by the time the ovie is over with. But I digr ss. So I wanted to record this episode, because I had an inta e call with a client, a pros ect who became a client I shou d say, and he had been stru gling with rudeness. Now go back to my old standby of john doe, who call him john doe. So we w re talking on the phone, and ohn has his own staffing busi ess. And one of his big comp aints during the intake call was I feel like everyone is rude to me, my candidates, my clie ts and my prospects. It’s just everyone is rude. And I’m fed p with it. And it took us a litt e time to get past that and into some real, like meat and pota oes of the situation. Pard n that terrible puns, espe ially when I’ve been talk ng about Hannibal Lecter and ree range rude. And he need d to just blow off some stea at first and talk about how e was frustrated. And, you know people were being rude to him. And okay, well, you know, john rude means different thin s to different people. And it a so comes in varying degrees of s verity. So let’s get into some specifics. So that we went roun and round a few times with him ust being like, you know, whit knuckle frustrated by the rude ess before he finally gave me s me tangible examples that I coul work with. One of the exam les he gave me was that he had een working with a cand date and I’ll, you know, chan e up some place names here just to be like, super paranoid abou protecting people’s priv cy. But john had been work ng with this candidate who was iving in California, but want d to get back to Chicago. He h d family members and frie ds that lived in Chicago, he h d lived in Chicago for a subs antial length of time. And his nd goal. So he said, was to get ack to Chicago. So john goes out. And now john has been prim rily doing the third party, cont ngency based staffing. So john goes out, takes the takes this candidates resume around and s able to parlay an oppo tunity for him in the Chic go area, he sets the inte views up, things are going well the company makes the cand date an offer. That is exac ly what he said he would need financially to come back to Chic go, they also offered him a pret y robust relocation package to b able to get there, there woul be some you’re working remo e on the front end. And the idea would be that over the cour e of time, he would be able to u e this relocation package to g t back to Chicago so that he c uld you know, in observance with proper COVID protocols, be able to at least occasionally come into the office and inte face in person. Everything seem d copacetic. So john calls cand date presents the offer. And ohn is super excited. Like he’s just he’s already in his mind cashing that commission chec thinking this is a no brai er. And the candidate tells him, okay, well, I need to think abou this. So he’s presented the ffer to the candidate on a Frid y candidate says, Can I have the weekend to really think abou it because this is a major deci ion. And john is a bit dumb ounded because he’s thin ing, Well, why is this a majo decision? You know, you’ve you told me that you wanted to leave California and get back to Chicago. This is a great offer financially, it’s exactly what you said you wanted, and they’re throwing in money towards relo, which, let’s face it, a lot. companies aren’t doing that right now. So in Jon’s mind, it’s a no brainer. What in the hell does this guy need to go think about over the weekend, of course wasn’t going to do you know, so he, he allows the candidate to go off Think about it for the weekend. And Monday goes by nothing from the candidate. Tuesday goes by nothing from the candidate. Finally, late in the day on Wednesday, the candidate calls john and says, I’ve thought about this a lot. But I just can’t. I thought I was ready to leave California. I thought I wanted to go back to Chicago, but I’ve changed my mind. I Please apologize on my behalf to the company. I feel like I’ve disappointed them and wasted their time. But I’m just not ready. Thanks, anyway. And one of the things that burned john up, aside from all the obvious, like, why did you waste everybody’s time? If you weren’t sure? Why did you send me off on this wild goose chase? One of the things that burned john bad on that deal was the candidate said apologize to the company for me. I know I wasted their time. john was like, What about me, like, this candidate didn’t even give a damn that he had royally wasted my time. It was like I was a second class citizen that didn’t matter. JOHN use me and abuse me and then threw me away and then didn’t even have the decency to say, oh, by the way, I’m sorry to you. Because I set you off on a goose chase, I wasted your time. You’ve got no money to show for all of this work that you’ve put into this deal that I literally just obliterated with one word. And john was really mad. So he relayed quite a few stories of that flavor where candidates had misled him about their end goals or hiring managers were sending him off on wild goose chases. Hey, go find us a purple squirrel that eats unicorn tears. And then when you go find this person, again, bear in mind, he was doing all of this work free of charge. When he would go find this magical mystical person for them. They either change the rules of engagement again, Oh, thanks for finding us that person. But now we’ve decided that we really want a pink giraffe who eats m&ms all day. Know you found that guy for us. Okay, well, now we want something else. They were either constantly giving him a moving target, or they would just blow him off. So he he was interpreting all of this as rudeness. They’re rude to me. And it made me think of Barney’s comment about free range rude. Again, because rudeness is such a broad and general term, and it can mean different things to different people. And it can have different levels of severity to it. In listening to John’s stories about these things that he was labeling rude, one label that popped into my mind is disrespectful. Another label that popped into my mind is they do not see him as the expert and the authority figure. They don’t see him as being a valuable person, they don’t understand the value that he brings, and they don’t care. One of the reasons why I am so passionate with you guys about an hour worked must be an hour paid is because it gives everybody skin in the game. It’s not about you saying Well, I’m going to charge this client an hourly rate, and then not actually do anything to help them. It’s about making sure that you’re not going off on a wild goose chase, that’s not going to lead anywhere. It also sets a standard that you’re going to demand respect, you’re not going to go out on a wild goose chase, you’re not going to be Don Quixote trying to fight the windmills for these people and hoping maybe someday they’ll pay me maybe they won’t squirrel out on the tab. Maybe they won’t change the requirements. You’re really protecting yourself financially. But you’re also setting a standard with your reputation and your ability to demand respect. Back in my third party staffing days, there were companies that were pretty much notorious in the area for engaging the third party contingency based staffing firms, not because they were really actually going to hire anybody from them, but they wanted to keep them out. So in other words, they would engage this company and sign a fee agreement, which let’s face it, if you don’t ever hire anybody from said company, the fee agreement is basically worthless, and they knew that. So they’d sign the contingency base fee agreement. They give them some search assignments or job orders that were basically either impossible to fill or were bogus in the first place and say, hey, go find somebody for these. And it was kind of like giving your child a toy, or giving them a video game and saying, hey, go go play with this for a while. Get out of mom’s hair. You know, that’s what it was like. So they’d send the recruiters off on a goose chase, knowing they were never going to hire anybody that the recruiter produced. But they thought, Okay, this keeps them from pestering us, they’re not going to call in and try to business develop us every five minutes if we go ahead and make this concession to them, but it also will theoretically, keep them from pulling people out the backdoor, meaning if they think they’ve got a chance to make us their client, then they won’t start calling our staff and trying to poach them away to our competitors. So for the company, they viewed it as a win win. Before the recruiters and the third party staffing agencies is sure as hell was not a win win, it was a giant waste of time. So when you demand some kind of remuneration upfront, I’m not going to get started on this search until you’ve paid me a deposit. Or I’m only going to engage in this if we do it on a retainer basis, or I’m willing to help you fill up your talent pipeline, but you’re gonna pay me by the hour for each hour that I work. If they’re not willing to do that. They’re telling you, they’re not willing to put skin in the game. And there’s always a reason why they’re not willing to put skin in the game. The onus is on you to protect yourself to protect your time, the cash flow of your business and your energy. And I think that’s another thing that people forget about is like the energy and the motivation. There’s a guy named Gary Savile who runs the recruiting lab, and I really like him. And I like his style. And I listened to a lecture that he did several years ago, and it made a big impression on me, I’m going to out of necessity have to paraphrase a little bit here, because I’m trying to go back through the catacombs of my memory several years. But in the lecture, he drew an analogy that if a big percentage of what you work on, never closes, and you never get any money off of it, then the majority of what you’re working on is like space dust, it just evaporates and goes off into the ether, and you never see any money off of it. So you’re putting a lot of time and energy into space dust, and in. In reality, it’s like your business practice becomes space dust. Like back when I was doing third party contingency based staffing, the rule of thumb was that you were expected to close 1/3 of the deals that you worked on. If you did that, if you had a 33% success rate, then you are considered to be a great recruiter, you were profitable, which means two thirds of what you worked on would turn into space dust. And I just remember like after I heard Gary Stauble talking bout that, I thought, oh my od, you know, at the time, I as running my own staffing irm, and I’ve always been very andid about how that business ailed, it did not go well. I as miserable. And I was working o hard all the time. And I was unny enough working on space ust. So many of the things that would do and try to close ould not come together, I would eel very frustrated and amstrung. So when we think bout the way that we spend our ime, it’s not just about the oney involved, it’s also about he motivation level, people get ired of battering their head gainst a brick wall and feeling ike I’m chasing this money, but ‘m never getting there. So I ould agree with Gary, if the ajority of things that you’re orking on, never materialized nd put money in your pocket, nd you feel like you’re onstantly putting up Ls, and yo ‘re never getting a win, it’s go na wear down your motivation be ause your business is turning in o space dust. So bringing it ba k to john doe, one of the th ngs that we’ve had to work on is you teach people how to treat yo . Nobody is forcing you to go of on these wild goose chases. In a situation where a candidate sa s yeah, I’d be willing to re ocate back there, I’ve got fr ends and family there, you’re pl ying a really dangerous game, be ause if the candidate has not pa d you any money, which let’s fa e it, most recruiting houses ar not set up where the ca didates pay any kind of fee. No , some are some some co panies will set up so that th y say Alright, we’re going to re o your resume. We’re also go ng to do some interview prep an some coaching. We’re going to really like sell this package to you as career coaching or ca eer advisement so that th y’re able to make some amount of money off of what would ot erwise have just been space du t. And if that offends you, I’ sorry. I’m not trying to rag on candidates that say they want to relocate. I’m just making the po nt of in order to run a for pr fit business, you do have to be focused on your cash flow. An if you give too many se vices away, I mean, think ab ut it this way retail stores ca have a loss leader They can se l something for a loss to get yo in the door so that you then co e in the store and buy a cr pload more items that they ma e a profit off of. But if yo ‘re a solopreneur, or a small bu iness owner, you may not be ab e to afford a loss leader. An so you really want to think ab ut your cash flow, and where yo ‘re spending your time. But if you go off to quixotically, fi ht the windmills then you’re do ng that to yourself, because yo can always tell the ca didate, if I run across an thing, if a client engages me to find someone with your skill se in the Chicago area, then ye , you’ll be my first phone ca l. But I don’t work as a re ume house, I am not going to sh p your resume out and then ho e somebody says yes, you’re go ng to have to be your own be t advocate on that. That’s on strategy that you can take. An ther is to do like the career co ching and say, Alright, well fo me to take you on and po entially shop you around, th n you’re going to have to get on boarded into my career co ching program. And I’m going to redo your resume, we’re going to do coaching and interview pr p. And we’re also going to ta e a deep dive into the se iousness of what’s going on he e. What are your long term go ls? Where do you see yourself wh t would the dream job be, and we re going to really get into th nitty gritty, but I don’t of er that service free of ch rge. And then you present the pr ce, they say yes or no, th t’s another potential angle, I ould say on that you have to do whatever makes sense to your bu iness model and what you feel th most comfortable with. But the point I really, really, really want to drive home is don’t send yourself off on a fool’s errand, do not waste your time and screw up your cash flow, doing a whole bunch of work for free for all of these people. They don’t owe you anything. If there hasn’t been skin in the game, if somebody just says, Hey, I really want to get from point A to B, let me know if you can get me there. And they’re not willing to do anything other than give you that lip service. That should kind of tell you something. I had a candidate, I will never forget who burned me in a similar fashion to john situation with the California to Chicago guy. This lady had said that she was she had been at her company for a long time, she felt taken for granted. And she had essentially been told by the powers that be that the odds of her moving up in the near future were pretty much zero, she was going to have to wait for somebody to either die or retire in order to have any upward mobility. And she was just, you know, sick and tired of waiting around and wanted to do something to further her career. And as it happened, when we connected, I had a role that she was perfect for. But it was on the other side of the country. And she assured me that that was not going to be a stumbling block that she was locked, loaded, ready to go. Her career came first in her life. And she would go wherever an awesome job was if she got out there and she loved the company. She loved the people she would go she did not have any ties to the community she was living in at that time. And she had the freedom and flexibility to just go, I’m like, Okay, cool. So my client fell in love with her. They thought she was awesome and amazeballs and they really rolled out a red carpet for her they paid for above and beyond. You know, when you typically think about somebody flying across country and this was pre COVID. Okay, I just have to put that disclaimer in there. When you think about somebody Flying Cross Country to an interview, you think, Okay, well, they’ll they’ll have the interview, and they’ll put this person up in a hotel for maybe a night and then fly them back the next day. But they let her stay for several days on their dime. And they coordinated like cool, touristy things for her to do. And they had other people like introduce her to the community and give her some ideas about like, you know what the social life was like out there. I mean, they really took it next level. It wasn’t just like, okay, fly out. We meet with you, and you spend the night at a motel six. And then you go back like no, they they helped her out in style. I was really impressed. They made her an offer. Every again. I was like john, everything seemed copacetic and she rejected the offer. She took an abnormally long time to think about it. And in my opinion, I don’t know if she was taking the offer to her current employer hoping that she could cajole more money or a better title or whatever out of them. And maybe she did. Something happened. And in my opinion, she was really using all of us for leverage. I don’t know that for a fact. That’s why I say in my opinion, that’s what What happened, but I’ve been in this racket for a while, and I really dug deep down in my gut, I think that we were played games with and it was super not cool. And it made me so angry. And it was at a time when I needed the money. You know, if that deal had closed, it would have been worth a very substantial amount of money. But it didn’t, it turned into space dust. And I want to say that again. Because if you’re listening to this broadcast, and you’re in a job, it doesn’t matter if it staffing or not, if you are in some type of job, where you have to do a whole bunch of work upfront, and then hope you get hired or hope you get paid later. I won’t I want you to hear this, because it’s really important. If that deal had come together, it would have been worth a lot. You know, the statement I just made is, in and of itself worth less. If something closes, if it works out, then it would be that’s too much variability, it’s too much risk. Now, maybe you’re a gambler, maybe you’re like no man, it’s not too much risk for me, I can handle that. I’m cool with it big, big risk, big reward, you know, high degree of risk tolerance, high degree of payoff in the end, maybe so. But I doubt it. When you’re chasing down a 30 or 40 or $50,000 deal, t inking about how wonderful that’ going to be how great that’s g ing to be for your bottom line a d what you’re going to do wi h that money, and then it eva orates and turns into space d st, it really sucks. So I’m sk ptical about the whole Oh, hig risk, high reward I can do t is for how long? For how long? an you do it with two thirds f what you’re working on evap rating into nothingness. And that’s those are good odds. Th re are plenty of people who re not considered great in the b siness that don’t close 1/3 f what they work on. So imagin that, then you add in the global pandemic, companies tha don’t even exist anymore market sectors that are depre sed, I mean, if you are doing whole bunch of work for f ee and hoping you get hired, hop ng you get paid, I truly do n t know how you’re making it rig t now. And I say that sincere y I do not know. So in the s me way that Johnson himself o f on a fool’s errand with this g y that said he wanted to o from California back to Chic go and then changed his mind I let myself go off on a goos chase with this person that sa d they were willing to go anywh re. If the job was right, if th money was good, if there was upward mobility, she didn’t h ve any routes, she didn’t have a ything holding her back, she wo ld go, Well, she did. An as an addendum, she is still iving. This has been years ago, she is still living in t e same community and working at the same company that she was in when we connected al those years ago. Just some f od for thought there. So whe her we like it, or we don’t whe her we want to just accept it or bemoan it, people have th ir own agenda. They have th ir own ideas and their own beh nd the scenes maneuvering that hey’re doing. Now, that’s not to say that everybody, every lient, every prospect every can idate, you know, depending n what business you’re in, they re all secretly conspiring, they re all using you for their own elfish gain. I think sometimes hey’re really and truly are can idates who think they want to r locate somewhere or they think hey’re ready to make a job chan e. And then when the rubber me ts the road, and everything ecomes super real. They poo their pants and they go, Oh, his is this is happening. I ave an offer in hand. I onc had a candidate who backed do n on a deal with the U haul in the driveway. You may have h ard me tell that story befor . It’s certainly one I’ll never orget. The U haul was in the dr veway. The movers were there r ady to take the boxes and roll and he said I cannot do t is. So there’s times where peo le may engage you and want yo r help because they’re sincere at the time, they really do thi k they want to make some bi cross country move or they ant to leave a company they’ e been with for 20 years and hey’ve had enough. But the after you’ve expended a lot o work, and you’ve done so ree of charge, if they chang their mind, it’s space dust And I really want all of you li tening to protect yourself fro space dust. And I’m really h ppy to report that as john has tarted making changes to his bu iness, no more wild goose chas s, and he’s really taking th steps necessary to migr te his business away from bei g some deposits some retained search but mostly contingen y into mostly retained or mostly deposit required. No goos chase is no fool’s errand. A d he’s also teaching people how to treat him demanding comp iance, demanding respect, and really making sure that he po itions himself in a way that G rner’s respect. It’s opening a lot of doors for him. And ins ead of seeing everybody as ru e that all these people are jus rude. They’re just rude all th time, just free rang , rude everywhere, instead of f cusing on there’s just rude peop e. And that’s awful. And eve yone’s disrespectful, as he po itions himself as a higher aliber person, an expert and au hority figure a badass at what h does. He’s finding that, as I s often tell you guys, when you how up differently, these other people show up differently, t o. And he’s attracting fewer an fewer looky loos and time wast rs and more and more people t at are serious and want to get own to business. And that’s one of the reasons why I love coach ng and helping people to s e that transformation from omeone who’s just angry and frus rated. Because they want succes . They know that they’re close, but something’s just derailin them, and then they get the tra n back on the track. It is wildly satisfying, and I ne er get tired of it. So I’ll rap up this episode by saying, if you feel like people are etting into your business t at are disrespectful, they don’ treat you appropriately. I want you to really evaluate whether or not you’re putting y in wild goose chases. Are you going off on fool’s errand? are you chasing windmills like what what’s going on? That is allowing people to think that’s acceptable behavior. In order to be an entrepreneur, solopreneur or a small business owner, you do have to have a spine. As I’ve said many times before, your rules of engagement are meaningless if you don’t demand compliance to them. If someone runs roughshod over the rules, and you don’t do anything, then they feel like that’s allowed. If someone is disrespectful or rude to you, and you allow them to speak to you that way, they feel like that’s allowed. If you feel uncomfortable standing up for yourself, then practice, practice until you don’t feel uncomfortable anymore. But there is absolutely no rule of thumb that says you have to give everything away for free. And in order to level up your business from where it is now to where you want to be. That adherence to the rules, and the demand for respect is absolutely paramount. There’s just no way around it. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please share it. If you haven’t already, take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and leave a review for us on iTunes. Bye for now.

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