Stupid Corporate Tricks

I responded to a tender request easlier today at work. Nothing weird about that, it’s a common event, but this particular one was an eye-opener. Now, most Requests For Proposals (RFPs) are slightly anal about responses – you need to make sure that you accurately answer all their questions, and ensure that you meet the terms of the offer, etc. But this one … well, you had to reply using their specific format. And not exceeding the space they’d provided. And best of all, ONLY USING THE MS WORD STYLE THEY APPROVED OF. And any variance from this would result in the response being rejected.

I mean, what the fuck? I’m all in favour of processes, but if you’re in business, you need some flexibility, or you’re losing out on useful stuff. I can see the petty bureaucrat who wrote this taking special care and great passive-aggressive joy to respond to companies who don’t meet his arbitrary and anal requirements…

“Yesss, your proposal is timely, comprehensive, very aggressively priced, backed by solid customer references and overall is utterly perfect for our requirements and service levels …. but I’m afraid you wrote it in Times New Roman, and we’re strictly a 12pt-Verdana business. So sorry! Thank you come again! Next!”

Fuck that shit, Silent Bob. If you let something stupid like a font choice[1] or document margins or other ephemera detract from what actually matters, you’re really not doing yourself or your company any favours.




[1] I make an exception for MS Comic Sans. Aliens could offer to make me[2] an omnipotent sex god superbeing, and if they made the offer in writing using Comic Sans, I’d still have to think about it.

[2] …more of…

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