I'm so good, in fact, that I used to be able to tell my boss who would be getting fired next. "How do you know?" he'd ask. "I can smell it," I'd say, and I'd be right. Really, all you have to do is pay attention to what's going on around you and what people are saying here and there and you can piece information together fairly easily.
The other day one of my colleagues looked at me and said "you keep your ears open and your mouth closed, don't you?" She was right for the most part. I do have a history of being verbose, as my mother will be happy to prove by telling stories about my behavior in church, but I know how to keep other people's secrets. I think my ability to dig up a good story is equally valuable, though.
It is precisely this skill that got me a compliment at work the other day. Part of my job is to do research on possible jobs to see if there is something scandalous lurking in the background. My love of the internet and nose for news told me something was up with this one particular person. So I snooped and snooped until I found it - a good old fashioned scurrilous scandal. The information was so scandalous, though, that my bosses decided not to follow through with the deal. This has not happened in all the time I have been involved in doing this research, so I was shocked when I got the email. The phone rang a few minutes later. "Who did that background research?" my old boss from LA asked. "Was that you?"
"Yes, " I admitted, figuring I might be in some kind of trouble.
"Good job. Thanks," he said.
"That was a really good catch and we wanted to thank you. Good work."
And for once I was kind of speechless. But not for too long.
Oh, what's that? You want to know what the scandal was? Sorry. See above. I am a big talker, but an excellent secret-keeper. Get on the interweb and dredge up your own scandal.