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Cheryl the Samba Lady wasn't 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 site? 

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 googled her name.

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.



 -----Original Message-----
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 comes up.

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.

Letter from Joye P to Judy Archer
February 14, 1999

Dear Judy,

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 the studio.

Your prohibiting me from taking the Swing dance class as a "lead" is a form of sexual discrimination.  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 that time.

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 article.

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


December CS 20: Redneck Vacation - A S

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 different?"

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 pretty worried. 

From: A S
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Subject: Blast from the Past!

Hi Rick!

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 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.



-----Original Message-----
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.

Ted P

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 the sunset.

Ted always worked faster than any man I had ever been around.  Every woman I introduced him to, he hit on.  And usually succeeded...

You know, I sure have a lot of stories to tell.  You have no idea.

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 ever met. 

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 Captain

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 understatement. 

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 at Cozumel. 

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 story.

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 ships. 

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 the Mediterranean.

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.


The Curse of the Jewel

Throughout the 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 cursed.


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 enough. Instead the gigantic ship is forced to anchor somewhere out in the harbor and 'tender' their passengers to port.

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 again. 

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 a poorly-trained 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 hours.

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.


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 treated.

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 to date, the other trips have been very positive.


Here is the happy face of the Royal Caribbean marketing arm. 

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 across it.

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 Google.

If you look at the red box, you will see my story about the Jewel is currently listed on Page Five. 

Depending 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 there". 


-----Original Message-----
From: A T
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2007 11:32 AM
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 unbelievable. 

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.

Sincerely, AT

-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Archer
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2007 1:13 PM
To: AT
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 positive.

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, isn't there?

Another Final Look at the quote from Thomas Friedman's article.

"When everyone has a blog, a MySpace page or Facebook entry, everyone becomes a potential publisher.

When everyone is publisher... everyone else becomes a potential public figure.

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 transparent."  



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.


Comments:  Rick Archer

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