Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Is this any way to do business?

LA Grafitti
At work, we're working with a local businessman who is collaborating with another local business. We're providing a venue and services for a short-term project of theirs.

Business A is a repeat customer of ours. We've been doing business with him for the past 10 or more years. The final result of the project is wonderful. The methods used to get there....not so great.

Business B is Business A's most recent collaborator. Over the years, we've seen Business A work with other collaborators, and, in some cases, have been witness to the rather ugly dissolution of the partnership.

This year was not much different than most. We've had to argue with Business A; negotiate the terms of the contract. Because he's had the ear of the boss of our parent organization, we've allowed him privileges that we normally don't - like breaking certain deposit payments into installments. We've had a difficult time finalizing details, and have had to hound his insurance provider for the correct documents, but in the end, we've managed to stay on top of things. We're only two days away from the unveiling of the project.

The head of Business B just came into my office, looking all serious, and asked to sit down privately. He had a request. Would it be possible, he asked, to change the name on the contract from Business A to Business B?

I could tell he was geared up to explain and plead, and provide all kinds of justification for what he considered a rather startling request.

I think he was a little surprised when I said, "Sure, we can do that. Here's what I need from you...." And I provided him with some sample documentation.

You see, Business A has done this before. Oh, yes, and much more than this. We've been involved in so many complications of his.  Hiding from process servers. Insufficient payments. Once, we had to collect on a past-due bill after he stiffed the Police Department. We've already learned to accept only cashiers' checks from him. Wonder what it is this time?

The one good thing about my job going away is that I'll never have to deal with this guy again!


Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Sheesh. Is it just me, or am I not alone in wondering if there is a connection between businessman A's behavior, the boss of your organization, and the need to downsize your department?

Aunt Snow said...

In general, we prefer to work with Business B instead of with Business A, so it's usually a "win-win" when this happens.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

In my time as a commercial real estate underwriter, I found that "Business A" behavior was typical.

smalltownme said...

That graffiti says it all.

Anonymous said...

It has surpised me whenever you discuss work stuff here. Most employees are not allowed to discuss clients or internal affars outside of the office or at least it is frowned upon. Seems weird and unethical to me. Not that I think you mean to be unethical or anything but where is my thinking awry? Am I just too old-fashioned, too cautious, or just an old stick-in-the-mud?

Aunt Snow said...

Sheila is right to point out the perils of posting about work. Work is a big part of most of our lives, and sometimes it really shapes our moods and feelings.

I only post about work when something really emotionally crazy has happened and I need to vent. I try to walk a careful line and keep identifying details out of the post. Perhaps that's still too risky?

Even so, in less than six months it will be a moot point, for me.

DaveyWaveyGoodAsGravy said...

Do you know that the graffiti is the image of a character named Meatwad?