I recently received a meeting invitation from a new contact that included this message: "I had Charlie, my assistant, gather some research on the meeting attendees.” I quickly realized that Charlie was a virtual assistant; basically, an app. 

I eagerly clicked the "Information about Gary Forman" link to test it out. I was pleased to see that Charlie grabbed the headline from my Twitter profile. It was all downhill from there.

The “news about Gary Forman” section was filled with recent articles about Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) referee Gary Forman, whose “questionable officiating” may have contributed to a fighter’s eye being gouged. There was also a 2013 blurb about Gary Forman of New City, NY being inducted into the Point of Purchase Advertising International (POPAI) Hall of Fame.

Turns out this virtual assistant was very virtual but not of much assistance (other than providing material for this Mind Mint). A good reminder to make sure the technology tools we use actually perform as promised. 

Follow-up: to drive home the point with my new contact at our meeting, I gouged his eye out with my POPAI award.