The Google Wake-up Call . . . and Why I Love My JobIt was at the very depths of the Great Recession. early 2009, and in Las Vegas - well known as one of the hardest hit cities in the country. I found myself on a car lot. Having taken one of the only job available, I was trying to sell cars to customers that either didn’t exist or, when they did appear, had almost unequivocally trashed credit, and no buying options. To try and help my father-in-law (whose career had also recently been trashed) said he wanted to set me up with something new he was doing: a “Google listing.” At the time it was called Google Local Business or a Google Maps listing. Today it's officially called Google Places. It would be wrong of me to say I found this idea very exciting or expected the effort to be of much value, but anything was worth trying at this point and it certainly couldn’t make things much worse. So, I remember taking a call to my cell phone with some kind of am automated "PIN code" and pretty much forgot about it after that . . .
One early Saturday morning only a few weeks later something odd happened. I felt a vibration, heard a sound and looked down to see a local number I did not recognize calling my phone. I assumed it must be a wrong number but decided to answer anyway. I don’t even remember what they were calling about. But what I do remember is that I was choked in confusion and was taken aback that someone looking for the car dealership was calling me on my cell phone. How did they get my number? That same day my phone rang at least five more times. One call even involved the question “Yeah, do you got any black F250 4x4s with the crew cab . . . we’ll be down there about 5:30.” The calls continued at a rate of anywhere from 2 to 10 times a day, every day thereafter . . . Read More