Originally posted 2014-09-02 07:59:01. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
As the metro Detroit area gains more and more attention, a lot of people are suddenly swooping in with a whole bunch of events, conferences, seminars…and more and more, I find myself thinking about seagulls.
Why? Because seagulls are fascinating creatures.
Scientists tell us that they are intelligent, resourceful and inquisitive.
That they have a highly developed social structure and utilize complex methods of communication.
Of particular interest is that they’re highly adaptable when it comes to their food supply. That they opportunistically feed on a wide range of prey, all depending on what’s available to them at the time, what their surroundings are, and what you aren’t careful enough to keep a close eye on…like your wallet…
Seagulls, like people, share some basic common characteristics…but come in many shapes and sizes.
They have different looks, different voices, different ways of doing things…but they’re still looking to scavenge that next meal.
You see them flying around, and they look harmless enough. They’re just riding the air currents, going wherever the winds take them. Pretty innocent, right?
But they don’t look like they’re capable of doing anything bad.
They certainly don’t look vicious.
Maybe they look like a guy in a suit and tie. Very polished, talking about all the great things he and his group have done in places like New York City and Los Angeles and wouldn’t you like to buy a $700 ticket so they can put on an absolutely killer fashion show here in Downtown Detroit for…
…wait? Fashion show? Yeah, that’s a seagull. Notice them flying off back off into the sunset with your cash in their wallets and not really hanging around?
Okay, that one’s kind of easy to spot. But what about the one that you’ve seen flying and floating around for years? The one that always seems to be doing something that sounds like there are some really good things happening. After all, the tickets are cheaper than that fashion show nonsense and it sounds like it’s all about Detroit. I mean, they were on the local news, right? Surely the news wouldn’t be duped into promoting something that doesn’t really do good things…right? Especially when their advertising arm is the presenting sponsor?
Of course they can. And stop calling me Shirley. You just got hit by a seagull.
Or maybe it’s just a networking group. I mean, IT in the D is a networking group, right? So networking groups must be safe and okay to dive into, even though…well, sure, I mean, there’s that $20 cover charge at the door…and there sure seem to be a large percentage of the people in the room that have nothing to do with the industry you’re in and are just looking to sell you something…
Yep. Another seagull flittering off to another city for another bunch of suckers to feed off of.
So how do you spot a seagull? How do you keep yourself…and others…from becoming victims of these rats with wings?
Are they invested in the area at all? And look, we’re not part of the “it’s not Detroit enough” movement. Screw that. We’re not saying folks from the suburbs can’t help out in the city. We’re not even saying that folks from other metropolitan areas around the country can’t help the city.
But it’s really simple – is the end goal here to help the metro Detroit area get better, or is it to increase the size of their own bank accounts? Are there action steps people can take afterward? Do they engage the greater community in any way outside of the people who are little more than reflections of themselves? Do the people involved have a track record of charitable and selfless work, or is this yet another grab for glory and gratification of self?
So what happens next? Seagulls aren’t pets, and so no matter how much you feed them and how well you treat them, they’re going to fly away once they’re full. Until, of course, the next time they’re hungry. But do you see them when they’re not looking for food? Do you know where they are, what they’re doing, or where all that money went after they packed up the registration table and headed off into the sunset? Does anything actually happen, or is this just yet another “we can save the world with a trending hashtag” debacle?
The worst part is that they’re not going to be satisfied with just that cracker or piece of popcorn you toss them. No, they’re going to eat until they’re full. And remember that “highly developed social network” and “complex methods of communication” mentioned up during the intro?
Those squawks and squees you hear aren’t cries of gratitude. No, they’re letting all of the other seagulls know that there are chumps to be found in around here, and so come one, come all, and pile on in for some good eatin’.
Thanks a lot.
After all, the only thing that seagulls do better than eat food…is process it and eliminate it.
You know what that means.
So please…remember…don’t feed the seagulls.