MORE ABOUT GOOGLE
Cheryl the Samba Lady
the only woman to ever traipse around the studio showing off her
body. Once upon a time this voluptuous beauty that I nicknamed the
"Zephyr" taught Belly Dance
Lessons here at SSQQ. Her Belly Dance class was incredibly
popular with 50 women who shimmied and undulated the night away. I
could have sold tickets for all the men who asked to watch.
It seemed to make perfect sense to use her picture from an
SSQQ Halloween Party in my Newsletter to help promote her class.
Indeed, the picture was very effective. Her class continued to
grow in popularity.
Belly Dancing wasn't the Zephyr's only talent. In
addition to charm and beauty and her sassy personality, this woman was
quite intelligent. At
the time of this picture, she had recently earned a PhD. Her
career was starting to take off.
One day early in 2006 this lady emailed to ask a favor.
Would I mind disconnecting her name from her picture on my web
Huh? Why do that? I thought it was a great picture. I didn't get the point.
It turned out that in her professional role, she was doing a
lot of training. She really preferred not to have this
particular picture showing up whenever her students
I saw her point and readily complied. This lady thereby
received the honor of being the first person in my life to recognize the
power of Google... and she did it way ahead of time.
I guess it is safe to say
the Zephyr was not only
well-curved, but well ahead of the curve.
Since the Belly Dance incident, requests to become "De-Google-ized"
are starting to become more frequent. One lady appeared in an
SSQQ cruise picture in her bathing suit. She wrote to have the
picture and her name removed because she had recently become a
Christian. I have received several requests to have pictures
of former lovers removed from cruise pictures. I received a
request to change a name because someone was taking a vacation when
she was supposed to be teaching school.
As the years have passed, the list has gotten extensive. I
haven't really kept track of each request, but here are three more
examples to help emphasize my point.
EMAIL ONE -
THE JOYE OF SAME SEX DANCING
From: Joye P
Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2007 3:13 PM
Subject: Please remove my name from your website google
Dear Mr. Archer,
When my name is googled, your web site is the first one that
I am asking you to please take my name out of your web site. I
do not authorize you to use my name.
Thank you, Joye P
I had to smile. It was the return of the Pit
Bull. In my opinion, Bossy Joye was the single most aggressive
woman I had ever met in the history of the studio. SHE'S BAAAAACK!
The last time I had heard from her, she was bullying her way
into dance class. Without bothering to ask permission, one
night she automatically began dancing the "lead" role in a group
dance class. What made her position ironic is that she also
insisted in paying the lesser 'female' rate. Why not have your
cake and eat it too?
I took one look at the horrified female
students and could see they weren't happy about Joye's unilateral
decision to involve them in her Same Sex demands. When we told her to stop, she threw a
temper tantrum and demanded to continue. We refused to let her
get her way.
So Joye stomped out of the studio in a huff, then turned around and
wrote this letter to the studio.
from Joye P to Judy Archer
February 14, 1999
I apologize for forcing you to take a "just because…" stance
regarding your prohibiting females from taking dance classes as
"lead". There are a few more thoughts I want to express.
You said that the studio loses business because women are
unhappy when they have to partner with another woman.
Because no one pointed
specifically to dancing with a woman-lead as their reason for
not returning to SSQQ is not a reasonable assumption.
During the course of taking a group lesson, someone may have to
be led by a poor dancer, a rough dancer, an old person, or an
ugly person, or someone who smells; however this is not
sufficient cause to prevent them from leading (Note:
Joye meant 'leaving') so
why should one's gender be?
I have been a very regular customer at your studio. I have taken
Acrobatics, Mambo, Lindy, I have participated in the Swing
Extravaganza and many regular parties. I have been a faithful
supporter financially and feel that my request should be
considered more seriously.
My partner and I go out dancing very frequently. We are almost
always asked by people where we learned to dance. In the past we
had always referred to SSQQ and said positive things about our
experience there. In the future, I will no longer
recommend SSQQ to interested parties. In addition, I will
share my latest experience and discourage them form attending
Your prohibiting me
from taking the Swing dance class as a "lead" is a form of
Because you have claimed to have
had negative experiences in the past with individuals (i.e.
women) you allowed to lead doesn't necessitate your creating
this sexist rule prohibiting females from taking the dance of
their choice (i.e. the lead role).
I feel that the stance you have taken is both unfair and based
on spurious assumptions. This is my current opinion until I hear
that the current policy of prohibiting females from taking a
dance class as "lead" has changed. Please contact me at
Although I may not be a part of your Lindy Dance Team, I have
been a positive asset to your studio both by regular attendance
and by increasing awareness of the studio among new dancers and
bolstering your reputation with the dance community.
I hope that we can resolve this issue and continue to have a
mutually beneficial relationship.
Sincerely, Joye P
Then one day ten years she was hired to be on
the staff of a Texas Representative in Congress. She was on
her way to a career in Washington politics. Only one
problem... she had this Google incident hanging on her neck like an
albatross revealing a dark side of her character.
You know what? If I were this woman, I too would want my name
disassociated from that story just as fast as I humanly could. That
story shows the entire world exactly what kind of person she is -
pushy, arrogant, self-centered.
I was tempted to leave her name on that letter as a warning to the
rest of the human race, but decided that publishing this story was
more important. So I did remove her name from the Same Sex
Her letter asking to be de-google-ized does raise an interesting
issue. Can someone DEMAND to have their name removed?
After all, she wrote a complaint letter to the studio and she signed
her name to it.
What if I had published her letter without her name? Then she
could have complained I omitted her name deliberately.
So why shouldn't I be allowed to use her full name?
If anyone out there knows the answer, please share. My own
internet search did not turn up one piece of information pro or con
on the subject. Seems like the use of a person's full name is
a Google issue that will be coming up more and more frequently in
the days to come.
In the meantime, if you
would like to read the entire story, click
JOYE GOES TO CONGRESS
EMAIL TWO -
December CS 20: Redneck Vacation -
Billy Bob and Luther were talking one afternoon when Billy Bob
tells Luther, "Ya know, I reckon I'm 'bout ready for a vacation.
Only this year I'm gonna do it a little different. The last few
years, I took your advice about where to go. Three years ago you
said to go to Hawaii. I went to Hawaii and Earline got pregnant.
Then two years ago, you told me to go to the Bahamas, and
Earline got pregnant again. Last year you suggested Tahiti and
darned if Earline didn't get pregnant again."
Luther asks Billy Bob, "So, what you gonna do this year that's
Billy Bob says, "This year I'm taking Earline with me."
What do you think about
the joke? Is it funny? Is it controversial? Would
it make you less likely to hire somebody for telling that joke?
Well, one person was
From: A S
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Subject: Blast from the Past!
I don't know if you remember me. I took classes at SSQQ from the
mid-90's to about 2005. Then I moved back to New York.
This is probablygoing to be one of the strangest requests you've
gotten in a long time, but let me explain. I am currently
looking for a job. The field of teaching is non-existant, so I
am trying to get into office work.
Anyway, I have taken a lot of workshops on how the job market
has changed and what you need to know and do in the age of
Social Media (You would be amazed!). It seems that a lot of
employers look up prospective candidates on Google before they
call them for interviews to see if they have done anything - or
posted anything - inappropriate. My advisor over at the Career
Center told us to Google ourselves and see if anything
potentially damaging comes up.
Well, when I did this I was expecting maybe my old Match.com
profile, but instead I found a link to the SSQQ website. It
seems that a while back (and I don't even remember doing this) I
sent in a joke! Even though it is on the "clean" side of the
joke board, it's titled "Redneck Vacation," and is about a guy's
wife getting pregnant - not really the impression you want to
send out when looking for a job.
I saw on the website that you sold the studio, but was wondering
if there's any way you could take the joke, or my name, off the
website. I was thinking that other people who have jokes with
their names attached to them, and are looking for jobs, may not
be aware that many employers are checking Google and other
sites. I read on the top of the page how the ssqq website was
being blocked at some companies, because of the "adult humor."
I hope this isn't too much of an inconvenience, but I would
really appreciate it if you could find a way to get my name, at
least, off the site.
Thanks so much, and good luck with the travel business. Say "Hi"
to Marla for me - she may not remember me!
Thanks again, A S
So I took a
look. Sure enough, Alyssa's name came up loud and
clear. Her unusual name wasn't buried on page 20... it
was the very first listing for her name.
So, yes, I
removed her name from the joke.
By the way,
Google doesn't read names in pictures... since that is a
picture and not script, I can list her name with impunity...
or at least I think I can. Correct me if I am wrong.
I don't blame
Alyssa for wanting to remove that listing at all. If I
am going to see my name in print, I would far rather be
known for something more important than a stupid joke.
EMAIL THREE - GOOD TIMES TED
From: Ted P
Sent: Wednesday, August 22, 2007 12:32 PM
Subject: to Rick Archer
Rick, I hope you remember me - many moons ago, we used to play
volleyball at the Houston JCC and eat brunch together at the
Hyatt. Reason I am e-mailing you is this:
When my name is Googled, I show up on your website under
"weddings pictures past" as being married to Mary. I am also
mentioned a few other places. I was only married to Mary for two
years (and that isn't even her correct last name).
I have been married to my current wife, Roxane, for 20 years and
we have 6 children.
Additionally, I have been fairly successful in my career and I
am Googled all the time and I really don't want people reading
about Mary and I. I'm sure you understand. With that said,
could you please remove my picture from your website and all
references to me. I would really appreciate it.
Of course I remembered Ted. I met him
playing volleyball. We used to hang out together back in the
Eighties. In fact, he stole a girlfriend from me. I was
strictly 'hands off' where she was concerned. I was feeling
protective of her because she was going through a divorce. I didn't
think it was fair of me to pursue her until she got her defenses
back up and running. That didn't stop Ted though. Hmm.
Still, all's well that ends well. At my encouragement, that
same woman started coming to the studio and soon met the love of her
life. She got married happily ever after and disappeared into
Ted always worked faster than any man I had ever been around.
Every woman I introduced him to, he hit on. And usually
You know, I sure have a lot of stories to tell. You have no
Here is another Ted story. Ted holds the distinction of being
the only guy in the history of SSQQ to meet his wife here at the
studio without knowing how to dance.
Because Ted was new to Houston, I invited him to come by a dance
party one night. He knew how to play volleyball, but he didn't
know how to partner dance. He wanted to drop by and see what
it was like.
During a John-Paul-Jones, every person in the room except two people
got out on the floor and danced themselves crazy for ten minutes.
Meanwhile, the only two people in the room not dancing were Ted and
Mary. They didn't get out there because neither of them had a
clue how to dance. That didn't keep Ted from noticing how
pretty Mary was. So Ted asked Mary to split and join him for a
drink. The next thing you know, they were gone.
The next time I saw Ted, he said they were engaged. I am not
exaggerating. Like I said, Ted worked fast. He didn't
need to learn to dance because he had best lines of any guy I have
It's like I always say - In life, for some men in the fast lane,
they have looks, money, and/or personality to help them meet women.
For the rest of us, there's dancing. slow slow quick quick...
Ted's name is now permanently removed from the SSQQ Web Site, but
not the smile on my face at his memory. He was one of a kind.
I think you can see from the stories of Cheryl
the Samba Lady, Zephyr the Belly Dancer, Joye the Same Sex Dancer,
and Ted the Girl Chaser, there are a lot of people out there who are
concerned these days about their Google Reputation.
And it all makes perfect sense.
Adventures with The
In September 2004, Marla and I got
married aboard Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas.
We stayed aboard the Rhapsody to enjoy a very wonderful honeymoon.
On Wednesday Night in the middle of the trip, out of
the blue Marla and I were invited to have dinner with the Captain of the Rhapsody,
Charles Teige. To say we were flattered would be an
After dinner was over, I stopped to thank the Captain personally for
inviting us to dine with him.
To our surprise, he smiled and invited us to
join him on the Bridge the next evening for a chat.
Marla and I were absolutely stunned. Of course we accepted.
We had no idea what we had done to deserve this second honor, but Marla
and I were thrilled. Wow! At first we thought it was because we
had gotten married aboard the ship or because we had organized a group
of 125 guests, but it turned out that neither reason was correct.
The next evening, Thursday, we watched from the
Bridge as the Captain skillfully maneuvered the ship out of its dock
The Captain then invited us inside
for a tour of the Bridge
and to have coffee with him.
After showing us the various charts and
instruments, he reassured me a repeat of the Titanic episode was
unlikely due to modern technology. I was still skeptical, so
the Captain reminded me that
icebergs were rarely spotted in the Gulf of Mexico. Now hurricanes,
on the other hand, were a different story. Next year would
bring us Rita and Katrina. But that was in the future.
For the present, we sat down in a corner to have a chat.
This is when Marla and I discovered the real reason
we had been invited to dinner with him the night before. It seems that
the Captain Charles Tiege and I had a very unique connection.
At that time - 2004 - the only place on the entire Internet where the name
of Captain Charles Teige showed up was on the SSQQ Web Site. That made
Marla and I pretty special as far as he was concerned.
As he told us the story, it seems a friend of the Captain's was also an
Internet buff. One day she ran a serious
Google Search on his name which turned up only one hit - the
SSQQ 2004 Mardi Gras Trip.
Marla and I had taken that trip aboard this same vessel seven months
earlier in 2004. In other words, we took two trips aboard the
Rhapsody in 2004. During that trip there was a serious accident in
the Mississippi River which caused our ship to be diverted to Gulfport
instead of New Orleans. (The reason was there were missing bodies from
the accident that had not yet been recovered).
You mean we aren't going to New Orleans on a Mardi Gras Cruise?
That news caused a lot of frustration aboard the ship.
There were a lot of angry people.
The disappointment among the passengers was so intense that Captain
Teige offered to meet with the passengers and listen to their
complaints. For an hour, he bravely faced a great deal of anger as
he conducted his open meeting with the passengers. At the time, he
displayed poise under pressure and managed to calm everyone down.
I was so impressed I had gone out of my way to compliment him in my
The Captain said he had read my story and was very grateful for the
praise I had given him.
That evening during our half hour meeting with
Captain Teige on the Bridge, I learned he is definitely not an
extrovert. The Captain possesses an Engineer's personality; he is
a quiet, reserved man by nature. Making small talk does not come
easily to him.
So given his quiet nature, I was further impressed that he had even been
willing to face the hostility in the first place. Let me tell you
something - having the main guy step right into Fire and ask what he
could do to help made all the difference in the world. I will always
remember this lesson that Captain Teige showed me. Even though
public speaking was not even remotely a strength, his willingness to
meet the public anyway made all the difference in the world.
I admire someone who grows past the natural limits of their nature to
become a more well-rounded person. In Captain Teige's situation, I would
venture to guess that his decision to become more outgoing even if it
killed him was one of the secrets of his success.
It is now 2007. The Rhapsody is now gone from
the Gulf of Mexico and so is Captain Charles Teige. The
Rhapsody has been moved over to Asia while Captain Teige has
continued to move up the ranks to take command of larger and newer
I do not know if my Mardi Gras story has ever played any role in his
rapid advancement with Royal Caribbean, but I will say his career
appears to be skyrocketing. Right now Marla says he is over in
I am sure our paths will cross again. Or at least I hope so.
I would like to meeting this talented and
thoughtful man again one day. He is a remarkable guy.
Curse of the Jewel
20th Century, large
corporations with effective media outlets
were able to effortlessly tell their side of the
story while the little guy had trouble
getting his or her side of the story heard.
However in modern day times,
the Internet has begun to seriously change the
rules of the game. No matter
how hard a large corporation tries
to protect its public image, in
Today's Google Age anyone like me
can post a story. With a little
effort and some key words, there is
always a chance someone else can
track it down.
In October 2006, SSQQ took a
cruise to the New England area
aboard the RCCL Jewel of the Seas.
The ship was fabulous, the
location was stunning, but
unfortunately we got the crew that
couldn't do anything right! In
fact, so many things went wrong I
began to wonder if the ship was
Today's modern cruise ships are
colossal in their size. In
certain ports, they are simply too big to
dock close to shore. The
waters near shore aren't deep
the gigantic ship is forced to
anchor somewhere out in the harbor
and 'tender' their passengers to
A "Tender" is essentially one of a
cruise ship's life boats that does
double duty by ferrying passengers
from the ship to shore and back
Tenders can usually carry about 100
or so passengers at a time.
Tendering is a laborious process in
the best of situations, but can be
excruciating when done poorly.
Aboard the Jewel, due to
Staff and an administration that chose to
save some bucks by ignoring the chance to
line up some outside New England boats, the passengers had
the two most important visits of the
trip badly ruined.
For two days in a row
2,000 people were stuck in never-ending
lines that prevented us from visiting the
areas we had come a thousand miles to see.
What should have been a
SEVEN HOUR visit to Martha's
Vineyard was reduced to 3.5 hours.
What should have been a TEN HOUR visit to
Acadia National Park was also reduced to 3.5
These two negative events poisoned what should have
been an exquisite trip.
While I was still on
board the Jewel, I made a serious attempt to
meet with the management. I naively thought
all Captains were created equal. In a
meeting with the Hotel Director, I
suggested that if the Captain of the Jewel
were to speak to people and explain what had
gone wrong with the Tendering Process, a lot
of hurt feelings might be calmed down.
This did not happen. The Captain of
the Jewel stayed totally out of sight and
allowed the morale of the entire ship - both
passengers and crew members - to dissipate.
That is how I realized just how much courage
it had taken my friend Captain Teige to face
the hostility on his own ship. One
Captain had the guts to face the music. His
trip was rescued. Another
Captain stayed hidden while his own ship
sank under the negativity.
WROTE A SCATHING REVIEW OF THE TRIP
When I returned to
Houston, I wrote a scathing review of the
Jewel's problems (Curse
of the Jewel). Warning
- Don't read the story if you are in a good
mood. Everyone who has reviewed the
story has reported to me they were
infuriated at the way the passengers were
In fact, my write-up was so filled with acid
that some of the readers asked me why I
would bite the hand that feeds me (SSQQ does
a thriving cruise business). I pointed
out that for people to trust my word on
future cruises, they need to know I tell the
truth. Fortunately, to date, the
negative Jewel experience has been one of a
kind. Out of twelve cruise adventures
the other trips have been very positive.
OF TWO PICTURES
Here is the
happy face of the Royal Caribbean
I get stuff like this in my email
box once or twice a week.
Some marketing genius thinks spam
will magically erase the bitterness
from my Curse of the Jewel Trip.
Ain't gonna happen.
Meanwhile my poison pen "Curse of the Jewel"
story sits out on the Internet patiently waiting for people to surf
While Royal Caribbean's Advertising Arm churns
out one exciting lure after another, my 28 page story about the
problems makes its way up the charts on
If you look at
the red box, you will see my story about the
Jewel is currently listed on Page Five.
on what words you put in your search query,
my story can appear instantly or be buried
on Page Twenty. But my story is clearly "out
GOOGLE LEVELS THE PLAYING FIELD - My
From: A T
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2007
Subject: jewel of the seas
I was recently offered a job with RCCL but
decided to do a little
internet research before
signing a contract.
Your story was
I thank you very much for
writing it, it made me think twice
before working on a ship that is so
hectic and unorganized. Good luck on
your upcoming travels.
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2007 1:13 PM
Subject: RE: jewel of the seas
Ah, the Curse of the Jewel strikes!
It was my understanding a year ago that
the Jewel had been given the poorest performance
ratings in the fleet.
But I can't condemn the entire
organization. My experiences with the
RCCL Radiance and Rhapsody were all
If they are going to assign you to the
Jewel, I would double-check to see if
the same captain and hotel director are
on board. If so, that's when I would
definitely look elsewhere.
In parting, let me say 'Thank you' for the compliment.
It means a lot to me. It shows a
little guy like me can get the truth out
in today's Google Age.
If you stop and think about it, my story
made public figures out of the two people
most responsible for the debacle - the
missing Captain and the Hotel Director who
felt the long wait was acceptable.
Will my story have repercussions in their
lives? Will Google come to visit them
someday and tinge their Reputations?
Based on what happened to
Cheryl, there is always that chance now,
Another Final Look at the quote
Thomas Friedman's article.
"When everyone has a blog, a MySpace page or Facebook
entry, everyone becomes a potential
When everyone is publisher... everyone else becomes a potential public
We must get accustomed to the thought that we are
all public figures now.
The blogosphere has made the global
discussion so much richer -
and each of us so much more
As of September 2007, this
is the current end of my Nine-Chapter Essays on Reputation.
As you may suspect, I am fairly sure there will be further articles
in the future.
I wrote these stories with one thought in mind - to remind all of
you (and myself) to behave in public.
We all see the Celebrity Horror stories like the Paris Hilton sex
video or the David Hasselhof home drinking video and we think to
ourselves this could never happen to us.
Or could it?
You never know when someone might be looking, photographing, taking
notes, or filming everything you say or do. And just where
will those pictures show up? And when? Will someday your
child come to you and ask you about a former wife you never told
them about? Or a kid you put up for adoption?
Thanks to today's technology, practically anything can happen and
you will have little or no control when it does.
As they say, An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
So be careful.
And now for the grandest
arena of all... Politics. Nowhere does a person's Reputation
mean more to him than Politics and nowhere are there more people out
to destroy that reputation.
This makes for very
interesting reading indeed.