By Nancy Friedman, Keynote Customer Service Speaker; President, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training


I was a young girl when I got my first taste of ‘fake news.’ They didn’t call it that then, but that’s what it was. It simply wasn’t true.

The other day someone shared something with me they had heard. I asked, “Were you there?” “Well, NO, I wasn’t” they said. “So, in effect,” I replied, “it’s FAKE NEWS? In other words, you cannot swear to it, can you?” They couldn’t. They had only ‘heard’ about it.

Well, I was there at this FAKE NEWS story. It has no sex, booze or drugs in it. Just good old FAKE NEWS.

I learned a lesson very young. You might want to share this one to explain the point, or non-point, of FAKE NEWS, especially to the younger set.

When I was about 9 or 10 years old, living in an apartment in the South Side of Chicago, we were awoken by the Fire Department coming into the adjoining building. Separate entrances, but the buildings were connect.

We ran downstairs out front and saw the fire coming out of our neighbors apartment in that building. It was scary. Firemen carrying big hoses, giving out directions and we were watching with baited breath.

About 10 minutes into the fire my mother noticed our neighbors, whose apartment was the one burning, and walked over to them and said, “Come on over to our house and get something to eat. You can even sleep here if you’d like.” So that’s what they did. They came into our apartment, got warm and ate.

Turns out the fire in their apartment wasn’t as bad as everyone thought and they were able to return to their own place that night.

The next morning the newspaper had a front-page story reading: NEIGHBOR SAVES NEIGHBOR IN APARTMENT FIRE.

No one saved anyone. All my mom did was say, “Come on over for something to eat and get warm.” They were already out of their apartment. FAKE NEWS.

I’ve always remembered that experience when I hear a news story I have doubts about. I’m not weighing in on either side of what’s going on in the world today. I’m just saying: Be a FACT CHECKER. Be a double checker!

What personal FAKE NEWS story can you share?

Nancy Friedman

Nancy Friedman

Nancy Friedman, customer service keynote speaker, is founder and chairman of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training and a featured speaker at franchise, association, and corporate meetings around the world. A popular TV guest, she appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, as well as hundreds of other radio, television and print outlets around the world, including the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. The author of 9 books on her chosen topics, Nancy helps corporate America improve their communications with their customers & co-workers.