The 12 most Frightening Words

“You have no problem with me quoting what you just said, right?”

I just got off the phone for the billionth time with one of the team of reporters from the Portland Oregonian. They are now going after the city’s purchasing process in its dealings with its parking department, vendors, and the like.It would seem they are after bigger fish than the Feds.

I started my conversation with this reporter by telling him that I knew virtually nothing about the current situation in Portland, and most of what I would tell him I would be making up based on the generalities of the parking business and that none of it could be related to any specifics. We then talked for an hour.

The line above was the last thing he said to me before he hung up.  Ykes. I can’t even remember what I said but I will probably be quoted, out of context. Sigh.

I was giving the reporter some examples, in a general sense, of what the industry was going through. When you have the words Feds, FBI, IRS, and search warrants involved, people get very queasy. He demanded I give him names, (of queasy people). Yeah right. “It will only be deep background,” he said.  Yeah right. I changed the subject.

He asked me how much I knew about parking. I told him “everything.” No sense letting one’s retiring personality get in the way. He asked how I could know all that. I said “nearly 40 years in the industry.” I then felt a little pang in my chest.  OMG — well maybe 35 years.

Reporters are best when they just talk, no real pointed questions. They let you talk.  They just are sure their recorders are getting every word.

I stuck him on a couple of other people who know more about city politics and onstreet purchasing than I do.  They are both retired and have nothing better to do than talk about history. Maybe he will forget he talked to me.

JVH

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One Response to The 12 most Frightening Words

  1. CJD says:

    Those words make me cringe!

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