Archive for May, 2010

Art Theft

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

It appears that a thief cut through a padlock and broke a window and stole about $124 million dollars worth of art. First off, who knew that that much valuable art work was that easy to get at? If you watch art thefts in the movies you would expect that this sort of thing (large value art theft) was really really difficult. But apparently a large bolt cutter will do the trick. Yet another case of real life and the movies being out of sync I guess. From what I read all of the high powered security devices that the movie thieves by-pass can not really be by-passed using the tricks in the movies either.

The director of another art museum said "These five paintings are un-sellable, so thieves, sirs, you are imbeciles, now return them." In the movies such art works are unsellable at least in the open market but are sold to rich collectors who have secret collections. I have no idea if such secret collections exist but if they do I suspect this art thief knows about them and we’ll never see those art works again. After all the art stolen from the Gardner Museum in Boston have never been seen again. According to that article the recovery rate for art is about 5% and for high profile art only about 20%. So apparently all this stolen art goes somewhere.

Did someone steal this art for themselves or under contract for a private buyer? We’ll probably never know. It’s pretty amazing though that thieves get a way with it so often.

Who are these people?

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

So my Dad is staying with me for a while. It’s always interesting when the phone rings because he and I have the same name. Some people on the other end handle this just fine. Others? Well not so well. Example:

ME: Hello

Them: Can I talk to <our name>?

ME: Can you tell me what it is about? There are two <our name> here.

Them: Oh I’m sorry. I’ll call back later.

Say what? Clearly I went too far off script for them.

The other problem lately seems to be people who don’t understand English very well. I can’t believe how much spelling out of simple things my Dad has been having to do. And his frustration as people seem to fail to grasp that he is actually changing information on them. He was staying at my brother’s home for quite a while but we’ve switched off and he’s staying with me now. Both my brother’s town and my town end in “ville” and some people seem to not hear the first syllable.

Are companies really saving money by hiring people who struggle with the language and/or who have poor listening skills? Somehow I doubt it.