June 23, 2012

Well, it’s now been about a week since The French Job finished up.  It’s also been almost a week since I began catching up with my blog entries!  It’s a little strange to write about days past in present tense.

There’s been a couple more ‘contests’ over the Internet lately, and after The French Job, got me to wondering some things.

Even though I did mention a couple of things about The French Job after the announcement of the winners, now it’s going to seem like I’m finding faults with the contest.  I’ll let you judge for yourself.

After having read through the rules and regulations, and finding out that multiple voting seemed to be allowed, the people who were registered initially, had many votes.  There was nothing indicating that only one vote per day or per person was allowed, and since the system also allowed for it, I must admit that I voted for myself several times over.  Then again, so did some of my friends voting for me.

About a week later, there were several other people registering who were getting, not just hundreds of votes, but literally, thousands in a very short period of time.  One person in particular, was able to get over 1000 votes in 1 hour!  After doing an extensive search on the Internet, there was absolutely nothing about this person mentioned.  His name did not come up in any sort of search at all.

My friend, Gary, sent an email to the promoters about this strange accumulation of votes.  They replied that it was a glitch in their system, and they were working on it.  Apparently, no one had mentioned this ‘glitch’ to the promoters, and for at least the first couple of weeks, the votes were allowed.

After this email and response, suddenly certain registrants votes were readjusted.  The one note in the rules and regulations, indicated that the number of votes was only to determine the top 10 registrants to compete for each category.  Okay.  Fair enough.

Then, during the final week of the contest, one registrant was able to register in two separate categories.  As I mentioned in a previous blog, I too had tried to apply in two different categories.  However, my application was blocked indicating to me that each registrant could only compete in one category.  This ‘double category’ applicant, was also the ONLY person written up and recommended by the promoters.  Very strange.  The funny thing about it though, this person was recommended in a category in which I had not applied, and wouldn’t apply.

This person, upon contest closing, had won the position in MY category!  That was how I discovered that she had applied for two different positions, and was allowed.

Before the decision was made, each of the ten top voted people were sent 23 questions to answer, and return via email or fax.  It took a while to complete the questionnaire, but I did get it done and sent back as quickly as possible.  I waited for hours, all day, all night, and most of the wee hours of the morning, before the announcement was published on The French Job’s website.

I at least figured, I had a chance, and if not, then one of the other people in my category would win.  But when I saw that the winner, who had been recommended in another category, had actually won in my category, over and above all the other applicants, got me a bit upset.  Hell, I was pissed!

Once the trip started, and up until it finished, I did follow The French Job.  I was actually surprised that there was very little written about any of the world record attempt by Sebastien Murat.  I would have expected, at least one blog entry per day from each of the bloggers.  With so much hype about this, the other thing I was surprised to find out, from another source living in France, that there was very little to almost no coverage of Sebastien Murat, the world record attempt, or The French Job in France!

This person wrote on the website, that since all this was taking place in France, why there was no French Blogger, why there was no media coverage, why there was virtually nothing reported in his home country.  You’d think, that if any coverage were given, that France would be all over it!

Now that everything is completed, there is nothing.  I’ve searched and searched, gone through the other bloggers sites, done the translations, and even watched the 4 or 5 little videos that the Video Blogger completed, and there’s nothing indicating whether the record attempt was even attempted!

When I look over the blog entries for the 14 days, all I really see, is 8 or 10 people having fun, visiting the marina and various tourist sites, and only a couple of times, was anything mentioned in regard to the dive attempt itself.

I think if I were the promoter, backing up Sebastien Murat, obviously footing the bill for the whole event, that I would want to see something for my money.  I can’t even imagine how much all this cost the promotor, Maurice Lacroix Watches.  And from what I’ve been able to search for on the Internet, as well as getting the links directly from the website, as the promotor, I’d be very, very upset.

It was indicated in the questionnaire, that this would be a working trip.  I don’t begrudge the fact that the winners got to go on little trips and visit places, but the whole idea was to report on Sebastien’s world record attempt.

Funny thing is though, when searching Sebastien’s name, and the world record attempt, I’m only coming up with something in Bali, Indonesia.  There are very few links to The French Job and France itself.  So, it makes me wonder – was all this a farce?  Was it a way to garner some publicity at the expense of a world-recognized watch company?  Was the attempt even made?

I’ve also searched Guinness World Record’s website, and there is nothing about The French Job.  Of course, they wouldn’t report on it unless it happened, but there is no mention of them even sending someone to France to follow the event, even though I was told (or rather responded to in an email) that someone from Guinness World Records was going to be there!

It would have been a great holiday, and it would have been fun to be part of The French Job, and it would have been wonderful to receive a unique and new watch, but the more I think about it, I’m kind of glad that I wasn’t involved in something that was, in my opinion, bogus.

So, in retrospect, the old saying that goes, “… if something looks too good be real, it probably isn’t…” holds true.  I’d like to hope that the promotors had good intentions, and as well, that Sebastien Murat had good intentions as well.  It’s unfortunate that the people chosen, didn’t do a better job at reporting the two-week event.

That’s it, that’s all… for now!



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