Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Marriage of Heaven and Hell

I hadn't really wanted to spend much time on this blog talking about work, but you know, work is where things happen to me most.

A large part of my job is intracompany communication, which is a bit like being the child in a sitcom marriage.

"Tell your dad he can cook his own breakfast."
"Dad, mom says cook your own breakfast."
"Tell your mother to p*** up a rope."
"Mom, dad says..."
"I heard him!"

Anyway, yesterday, I got a verbal agreement from 'mom' to produce an item, and I phoned 'dad's' sales rep to let him know he could contact the client and make the sale. I told him that I'd get it in writing from 'mom' as soon as she was back in the office. To my considerable astonishment, he gave me this spiel about how he couldn't believe I had to get it in writing and he had a verbal to go ahead with the bid and people should be as good as their word and this was beyond belief yadda yadda.

Do other companies really perform hundreds of thousands of dollars of work based on an email and a couple of calls from the sales rep? I don't think so. I mean, I've *read* ISO 9001. "Have a drink with the sales rep and go ahead and produce what you think he was talking about relatively soon in case the client has some timelines or anything though they probably don't" is not a paragraph I remember from the ANSI Standard.

I said, "Look, I didn't know we were hiring extraterrestrials. On Earth, we generally get things in writing before we bank the million plus greenbacks. I advise you to go native in this respect."

Actually, I didn't say that. That's why I'm saying it here.

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