A tale* from the frontlines

I\’ve been scouring the world of likely companies (that\’s scouring the world of companies likely to have this stuff, as well as the world for companies likely to do so) for those who might have some of my favourite metal just lying about. You know, in the rubbish left over from some other process sort of thing.

The company in Thailand which is owned by Brits and managed by an expat Brit hasn\’t bothered to respond at all.

The Americans have fired all of their secretaries and telephone receptionists in the name of efficiency so it\’s impossible, from outside a company, to work out who might be responsible inside the company.

The French Canadians are still in shock at my French accent (that is, not my sounding French accent, but my accent in French) and are arguing about who should deal with this perfidious Alb. Not so much Zut Alors! as alors, who should deal with the zit?

The Brazilians have sent off for a testing kit which will take at least 30 days to arrive.

The Brits in Britain agree that it should be there but they can\’t find it.

So, I call the Germans.

\”Ja, ja, but ve have zer problem. I am in zis factory and der vaste is in zat factory. I vill hav to contact my colleagues at ze other factory. But zey do not hav ze analytical eqvipment to do ze analysis. Zo, I must get zer sample to my factory and do zer analysis. Zis vill take time.

I am zo zorry Herr Vorstall, but it might take az much az ein veek for zer results!\”

So, err, perhaps there is something to this idea of German efficiency then?

*A certain poetic licence has been taken with the telling of this tale including the fact that Herr. German speaks better English than I do. But the underlying actions and timescales are all absolutely true.

7 comments on “A tale* from the frontlines

  1. I like working with Germans very straight and they can be good fun.

    On a project I was doing a few years ago I ended up having to write a load of processes because, surprisingly, they didn’t have any and the mobile network roll-out was going pear-shaped very quickly. After a while I mentioned to one of the managers that I was surprised that, as Germans, the didn’t have all the processes written before they started. Ah, he said (I can’t do your German accent) we would but nobody gave us a process on how to write processes. I still can’t decide if he was being serious or having a self deprecating joke.

  2. Once upon a time I was traveling through Germany and I got lost and being a bit on the thick side I had to keep stopping as I kept forgetting the instructions I had been given, this happened six times and on every occasion the German I spoke to spoke English. It may have been a coincidence but was profoundly awe inspiring all the same.

  3. As a matter of curiosity did you try writing a letter ( on paper) – might have an impact.

  4. The company in Thailand which is owned by Brits and managed by an expat Brit hasn’t bothered to respond at all.

    Yes, based in Phuket which has no industry whatsoever. It’s the equivalent of the American connection being in the Florida Keys. The Brit is probably still shocked that somebody wrote to him about this alleged business he is supposed to be running.

  5. A “process” is one of those Zeitgeist things that New Labour latched on to: a documented set of rules that removes any discretion or common sense from a situation, mostly because the process for processes is for a lazy tosspot to dash of any old unchecked shit in between office banter and games.

  6. Pingback: Britblog Roundup #273 – Malcolm Bracken

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