I didn’t want to have to do this, but…
I’m often contacted by potential clients who seem to be a bit perplexed by my screening practices. I know that they may seem odd to some, but as I’ve said elsewhere, this is a necessary process. Now, you’ve probably either already noticed–or have been directed to–my list of accepted screening methods on my FAQ page and my Booking Page. But just to reiterate, here it is again:
Screening is required for all new friends. I accept the following methods of verification (choose one):
- -2 provider references (links to her ad or site, and email), OR
- -Employment Verification: Your full (real) name, the name of your employer, and your company email or direct phone number, OR
- -If you’re on P411, you may contact me through my P411 profile.
- -I accept Date-Check as part of my screening process.
Most clients who are sincerely interested in meeting with me understand that, by employing these methods, I am both ensuring my safety and prioritizing discretion, and they are therefore happy to supply this information.
Lately I’ve gotten a number of emails from clients who tell me to simply Google their names. I’ve typed up several polite, well-thought-out explanations as to why this is not an acceptable substitute for my screening process, some of which were met with understanding and acquiescence, others of which were never answered. So, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve left my reasoning ambiguous, and I might better serve my clients by explaining what may seem to be an arbitrary list of requirements here.
“Here’s my name. Just Google me, Baby!”
The suggestion, “Just Google me” may seem logical to a client. After all, he may Google his name and find out even more than he’d like me to know, and therefore believe that the info on Google is more than sufficient.
But it’s not. First off, remember that I’ve got a couple Master’s degrees under my belt, so I’m well-versed in research methods, and if Google covered all aspects of client-screening, trust me, I’d be teaching classes on it.
Yes, I can find out a lot about a person just by using Google (probably more than most people realize). The problem arises when I need to verify that I am actually speaking with the person I’m Googling.
Here’s an example of a typical email exchange with a “Just Google me!” client:
- To: Annie@NOLAcourtesan.com
Subject: Appointment with you tonight
My name is Bob Ross. You may have heard of me. I’m a painter, and I used to have my own TV show. Remember “happy little trees?” Yeah, I started that whole thing. Anyway, I want to meet with you tonight. I know it’s short notice, but I’m sure you can accommodate a slick guy like me.
Talk to you soon,
Bob Ross the TV Painter
- To: BobRoss1965@gmail.com
Subject: RE: Appointment with you tonight
Thanks for contacting me. While I’d love to meet with you, I have not yet received your screening information, and I’m afraid I can’t schedule an appointment with you until I do. Please review the accepted screening methods I’ve outlined on my Booking page.
- To: Annie@NOLAcourtesan.com
Subject: RE:RE: Appointment with you tonight
I did see that list of screening methods, but like I told you, I’m Bob Ross, and all you have to do is Google me. There’s tons of info about me on the internet. I’m a very important person.
Bob Ross, the TV Painter
- To: BobRoss1965@gmail.com
Subject: RE:RE:RE: Appointment with you tonight
Hi again, Bob.
I did in fact Google your name. Despite the fact that I do indeed see a lot of information related to Bob Ross, I can’t be sure you are actually him until I’m able to use an email or phone that is traceable to you.
What I need is an email address that is associated with you publicly and professionally. For instance, if you work for PBS, and the PBS website lists Bob Ross’s email address as BobRoss@PBS.org, that will work perfectly. You can either shoot me a quick email from that account, or I can contact you through that address and you can reply that you’ve received that message. Then, I’ll know that you are really Bob Ross, the TV Painter.
Alternatively, you can supply a phone number that is traceable to you. Let’s use the PBS example. PBS lists Bob Ross’s office contact number as (504)555-5555. I can call that number and ask to speak to Bob Ross, and all you have to say is “Yes Annie, it’s me,” and I’ll know I’ve been emailing back and forth with the right guy. However, if you only supply me with a phone number for a prepaid phone, or a number that, when Googled, is not attached to your name or business, that doesn’t really help me.
And if neither of those methods works for you, you can also provide references (names and contact info or websites) from two established professional companions/providers/escorts you’ve met with in the past. I’ll contact them to make sure you’re safe and a gentleman. When they respond positively, I’ll get back to you and we can set up an appointment.
Thanks for understanding, Bob! Hope to hear from you soon.
In this hypothetical, I’m betting Bob doesn’t respond, lol.
I hope this clarifies things. If not, maybe I can show you what I mean with a little example. Let’s pretend this is the first time we’ve encountered one another. Here’s what I’ll say to you:
My name is Julia Roberts. You may have heard of me. I’m an actress–a pretty famous one. Go ahead and Google me; you’ll see lots of information about me and what I do. Now you should feel 100% confident that I’m Julia Roberts, the famous actress who is not dangerous or creepy.
Absolutely, Positively, Without-a-Doubt, the Real Julia Roberts®
Now you can be 100% confident you’ll be meeting with Julia Roberts, right? ;)
OK so that’s a pretty ridiculous example, but the truth is, you’d be surprised how often random weirdos on the internet have contacted me claiming to be high-profile local businessmen or surgeons or whathaveyou. You might seem like a reasonable, respectful guy, but I can never be too careful with my safety.
Thanks so much in advance for understanding!
By the way:
If you do choose the professional email address route, and you’re concerned about my email address raising a red flag with your employer, I’ve got a solution. When I use this method, I use a separate, unassuming email address (the word “courtesan” is absent, so this email address doesn’t sound sexy.)
Here’s a copy of the email I send:
Please respond to this message for verification purposes.
If you are not the person who requested this message, please reply to this message with the word ‘Remove,’ or simply disregard.
But Wait, There’s More!