10 June 2007


Avoiding free-advice leeches

Here's some decent advice about how to avoid being pestered for free advice about something you're an expert in (via Brian Chin). Some complaints:

Las Vegas poker champion Scott Fischman [...] says that when he's invited to social gatherings, he has to decide: "Do I want to spend four hours answering questions or should I just stay home?"

Lisa Jacobson is founder of Inspirica, a New York tutoring and test-preparation firm. [She] even suspects that some parents of grade-schoolers have befriended her because they hope she'll be an asset when their kids are college-bound.

At a cocktail party, if someone says to a doctor, "I have a medical question," the doctor can always deliver the old line: "Great. Just get undressed." Now, those in newer professions—especially computing—are amassing their own quips.

I don't get hit with this sort of stuff too often, and usually the people who ask me for free advice (most often about computer stuff) are those I've invited to—family and friends whom I've helped when they bought a computer, and so on. But it might be good to keep some one-liners in your back pocket if you're a likely target.

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