Entrepreneurs, Beware of Bob
Arman Anaturk

Yup. Long time ago, I got Bobbed, too.

The Bob I fell prey to worked in the Newspaper business as a photographer. He got fired and the story he told me about was from his alternate Universe, in which he lived. He managed for me to take over that position and I ‘owed’ him for that.

It was too late, when I found out that he was originally sacked for faking polls. Polls were always easy money. You’d sell 12 images and You asked the people a few questions about daily politics. A ‘no-brainer’.

My Bob thought that it would be easier to not go out and ask new people, but instead to use archived images and make stuff up they allegedly said.

Until one attentive reader wrote a letter to the editor and enclosed two issues of the paper — one from the day he wrote the letter and one from three years before — showing the same person having different names and coming from different places. Someone searched the entire archive for more of the same and they found scores of people that appeared several times under different names over the years. At the time, 12 images equaled 480 DM (Deutsche Mark). By using archived images and making things up, my Bob saved himself the hassle of going out on the street and actually work for the money.

Another trademark of a Bob is entitlement. They are entitled to scheme others, because others are too stupid to figure out that they are having had.

It got worse, when, together with a friend of mine, we opened up a photo studio for advertising and my journalistic work. I had a dark room in there. In order to make that happened I co-signed a loan for the venture. (Never, ever co-sign a loan under any circumstances was the lesson I learned from that.)

My Bob placed an ad into the classified section, looking for “models needed for Italian photo romances. Involves nudity. Only 18 years and older.” In order to qualify for the photo romances, the (exclusively) young women needed to get a “Model Card” — the kind with images and work history. They were 350 DM for the studio rent, labor and material. A common amount for this kind of model card.

The difference to a ‘real’ model card was, that my Bob did not even have a film in the camera when he was ‘shooting’ the girls. When the girls got impatient and asked for the model cards, he evaded them and made things up as to why the cards were not ready. If nothing else worked, he told them the negatives went bad and they had to do it again — at no cost for the girls — more nudity for the Bob.

Finally, one of the women went to the police and filed a report. I found out what he had done and cancelled the partnership. He took out all the equipment and money in the bank and left Germany. Nothing helped, I had to pay the reminder of the loan back — 35K DM, settled with the bank , writing some nice stories about the bank and its employees — ending up having paid 18K.

Much later I was told (I had relocated to Berlin) that he went to prison after they caught him trying to re-enter Germany.

That Bob was a friend of mine prior to becoming my Bob. It all started when money became part of the equation.

Thank You for Your Bob story. It reminded me of mine that I have made peace with after 30 years.

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