Organize Speech - What Not to Do When the FBI Knocks at Your Door?
Another speech completed in the Toastmaster competent communication book. This time I tackle how to organize a speech. In this true tale about what no to do when the FBI knocks at your door.
One cold, foggy fall morning as I brushed my teeth and got ready for work I heard a knock at my door. Toastmaster, fellow toastmasters and guests have you ever talked yourself into an uncomfortable situation? I would like to tell you in four simple steps what not to do when the FBI comes knocking at your door.
#1. Don’t assume you know why the FBI is at your door
Who could be looking for me at 7am on a Tuesday? I had just moved into my own condo no one knew my address and certainly no one would care to come to my door at 7am. Robe clad, I opened my door to find two strangers in dark suits claiming to be from the FBI. As I pulled my robe tighter I asked from some identification. Oh ya, they were the FBI and they were at my door.
I immediate decided that I knew why they were here. I told them all I knew about the crack house in Dorchester that I formerly lived next to. In detail I described events, people, and random stories about the presumed crack house, without the FBI ever asking me one question.
Turns out they didn’t care about the crack house they wanted to know more about me. What did I do? Nothing, but why was I acting like I had? This brings me to my second point..
#2. Don’t act like you have done something wrong especially if you haven’t and the FBI are at your door
I wish I could tell I was calm, cool and collected. I wish I could tell you that I looked those feds in the face and told them with Clint Eastwood strength ‘Go ahead. Make my day’. But I can’t, I was visibly shaking, pale, and had sweaty palms.
Finally, the silence broke and the tall one asked me to tell them about myself. Well who doesn’t like to talk about themselves? Talk I did. I talked myself into another story about why the FBI was at my door.
#3. Again, don’t assume and ramble when the FBI is at your door
As I went down the road of birth to high school, college then onto my travels I assumed to know the problem once again. Don’t do this.
In a previous speech I told you about some places I had been one being my time in the Republic of Korea. After living in Korea for 2 ½ years I came back to the USA and landed a job working for the Korean Consulate in Boston. I was a former American expat working for the Korean government and two FBI agents were at my door. I figured that had to mean something sketchy. It didn’t.
The smaller one started to get frustrated with my chaotic rambling. She asked did I have any trips abroad planned soon. I couldn’t think of anything interesting aside from visiting my parents in Ireland for Christmas. Then clearly they both showed interested in my upcoming trip to the old country and I didn’t know what else to say.
#4. Listen and let the FBI say something when they are at your door
They both started to ask me about my travels to Ireland, not Korea, not the crack house, but Ireland???
Turns out they wanted to know why there was a record of a Colleen Carney who always left Ireland, but never entered. Reason being, I’d use my Irish Passport to enter and my US to exit. I had done it so many times over the years that it flagged me on the FBI's radar. This according to the FBI is not legal and can lead to the FBI coming to your door.
I hope this talk has prepared you for your next visit from the FBI. Remember: don’t assume you know anything, don’t act like you have committed a crime especially when you haven’t, again don’t assume or ramble, and finally listen and let them do some of the talking. With those four simple steps you will avoid talking yourself into an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation when the FBI comes knocking at your door.
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