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Unfinished Sympathy


The worlds gone mad!! it’s the only conclusion I can come to, lets be honest, we have all sat at or desks and read news articles on the web, or sat on a bus or train reading the paper, and seen  either PC gone nuts, (I mean political correctness not Personal Computer Gone Nuts, although some days this damn thing won’t do a thing it’s told),just plain stupidity or even lazy journalism.


As you can guess, this week is no exception, I was sat at my desk having some lunch, browsing through the news columns on the BBC website, only to come across what I can only describe as a slow news day article.


You know the type, British MP’s are on holiday at the moment, they get the same amount of summer holiday as school children six weeks, lets be honest, have you ever listend or watched PMQ’s,(Prime Minister Questions), it is like listening to rowdy teenagers in a play ground tyring to start a fight.


No Celeb is doing anything stupid, although Lilly Allen gets my vote for getting the most amount of column inches, without apparently wanting to get the most amount of column inches, if you don’t know about this, think Janet Jackson wadrobe misfunction, but twice in a day.


So anyway, there I am scanning the pages, to find an article on a British band called Iron Maiden, let me make something clear, i like the band, one of my favorite bands of all time, so, i see an article, i think hey, the BBC have an article on the band i like, lets have a loook see.


I turns out, it is because the band have turned down an award for best live comeback!!, this is a band who since the late 70’s have been touring, making albums and generally been doing the heavy metal band thing for a long time, and embarked on a tour last year for the current album, and in the wake of bands such as The Police, Take That, Boyzone even the Spice Girls, my all time hated group.

Sorry, I thought the point of getting back together was to show the fans that you still have what it takes in the music industry, but are choosing to take it slowly at the moment, seems this lot did it for the money, and when ticket sales didn’t go well, pulled the plug early, cancelling half a dozen shows, because, ‘they wanted to be with their children’.

They signed up for the tour, they knew what the dates where, but sited school holidays as a reason to cancel the tour.


Sorry girls, this doesn’t cut it for me.


Anyway, even in the wake of Led Zepplin kind of getting back together, Iron Maiden got short listed for this award!!!


But they turned it down, on the basis that they never went away.  Now in my book, even if you don’t like the band, you have to say this is a bold move, refusing an award on the basis that you don’t actually deserve it.. and the news media on the whole seemd to support them on this, except for the odd one or two who decided that IM where to big for there boots, and it was a snub in the face of the awards board.


So next time you see an award going to someone who clearly does not deserve, think of this moment, and ask yourself, best Album/Song/Guitar Solo/Acid Come Down, what ever, is this really the best, or have they just got a better PA guy??


That was the week that was


This week, we had the senior customer service guy down from our software supplier for a chat, nice bloke, knows his stuff and really does the flannel well, certainly better than a couple I have spoken to recently.


Back end of last year, we where looking to purchase Crystal Xclesius additionally with some software to help us run some predesigned reports from our database, after much debate, managed to get a sales guy down from one company for a demo with myself and also a couple of other people, my boss, his boss and manager of another department, who might have found the demo interesting.


The guy was nice enough, and the demo he put together was very polished, he brought along someone from another company who had used and bought the package to show and tell how good the product was and how much help they had got from them.


As he left, he pulled me to one side and started saying things like, so how many of the predesigned do you think you will buy, we have 8 ready now, or if you can wait, we will have the another 4 ready in about a month.


It was made clear to him more than once during the meeting that we would not be willing to buy until we had seen a full breakdown of costs, taking different levels of packages and predesigned reports etc, so this was a little grating, but I took it as an eager salesman trying to see where i thought the land laid.  I told him that my own personal view, was that so long as the costs came in at a resonable level,we would be looking at almost certainly taking the full package, I had discussed this with my collegues prior to the meeting, and this is what we had agreed, so I wasn’t talking out of turn.


Again he pressed, and again I said the same thing, although he didn’t seem happy with this, he left saying he would get the quotes done over the christmas break, this was about three days before christmas, and have them to me in the new year.


Great, I thought, give me something to sort out when I get back.

During the christmas break, i picked up three voice mail messages on my work phone from the guy, telling me he has almost done the quotes, and if we can sign the paper work early in the New year, he will make sure that the quote we sign up to, he will reduce by 20%.


Brilliant, except, I had a message on my phone both mobile work, plus out of office, to say i wasn’t dealing with anything work related until Jan 3 at the earliest.


So, I expected, when i got in, to have in my inbox a series of 5 quotes, nah, nothing, zero, Three weeks later do we finally get them, then he’s on the phone every day seeing how we are getting on making our minds up, then he starts the, ‘I am only going to hold these prices for a couple more days’, we have only had the quotes for a week, they stated 30 days, ‘We are raising our prices next week’, etc etc, I am sure you know the drill.


Needless to say, we didn’t go with them, not just because the price was too high, but I don’t like being bullied by salesman that are more interested in getting the % in the paycheck, rather than the actual sale, also during this time, the 4 missing reports, never got finished, always next week, next week….


Thanks for listening, and in the words of the late great Ludwig van Beethoven, ‘No need to shout, I’m not deaf you know’

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  1. Jeff, I hear you about the sales guy. This behavior is not unlike the one of a used car salesman. “The car won’t be on the lot tomorrow”, “the price is valid for the next hour” – been there, done that. Look up “badger car commercial” on YouTube – lots of fun. 🙂

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