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The Dog Ate my Blog, and why you should not trust the quiet ones....
- AuthorRichard Carter
Magna Carter is late this time round and I have a good reason. The dog eat my homework is not an excuse I can use with the marketing department monsters as they know I do not have a dog. At the risk of alienating anyone still read this weekly blog/guff I am not a big dog fan. A lot of staff ask me when is our “Bring your dog to work day”? My reply is always “Same day as last year – 25th December”.
Anyway this week’s blog is late and the excuse is Zak Crawley’s batting. I usually write this nonsense on a Thursday evening but last Thursday I spent the evening watching the Ashes on a continuous loop as I watched England put Australia to the sword and local Kent batsman Zak Crawley hitting a magnificent 189. This excuse does not wash with Ilaria who is Italian and has zero interest in cricket. I notice she has taken to wearing Dr Martens recently so, fearing a kicking, I have come up with this version. Apologies for lateness.
One of the most enjoyable things about being a Managing Partner is the occasional ability to treat staff. We have made a habit of rewarding some staff with a trip to Wembley. Usually a small group of say 6 and we’ve been lucky to see the great and the good in recent years with Ed Sheeran and Coldplay serenading us post Covid. This year it was Harry Styles and we had a really lovely group of staff to take. Whilst I am an admirer of Harry, who seems like a multi-talented young lad who can sing and act well, his music is not my scene. I am not sure I can take seriously someone who dresses like children’s TV presenter Mr Tumble but the staff on the trip see other talents in Mr Styles.
I take the ladies to lunch in London and transfer the tickets to them. Lovely lunch and drinks are had and it’s time for them to depart for Wembley. I need to give someone the Firm’s corporate credit card to buy drinks at Wembley as it’s our treat. Of course I trust the very dependable one who has worked brilliantly for us for over 15 years. She’s held various positions with us and done them all faultlessly. She is popular, responsible, and dependable -what could possibly go wrong? It seems that the Harry magic cast a bit of a spell. She enjoyed the evening, got into Harry’s singing in a big way and had a few beverages. So much so that on the train home she’s singing away and despite the fact it’s past midnight I have it on good authority (the others in the group) that she’s imploring them all to go to a nightclub when they get back and asking others on the train to join them “As I have the company credit card….hic”. As it turned out the others were tired and no harm was done, but you have to watch the quiet ones when Harry is in town.
My gatekeeper system to avoid annoying sales calls is pretty good. Every law partner gets them on phone systems, IT software and now of course anything that mentions AI as a business buzzword. However there was a recent spate of calls that did get through using a cunning technique.
Caller: “I need to speak to Richard he asked me to ring him today – it’s Ryan from XYZ.” (why do they always seem to be called Ryan by the way???)
Colleague: “What’s it about please?”
Caller “I spoke to Richard a few weeks ago and he asked me to ring back today to go through things further”
Call gets put through and I ask Ryan what it’s about. He seems surprised I do not remember- “We spoke in January and you asked me to call you back today to discuss things further”. This mildly surprises me as I do not remember a thing. I know I am getting older but I don’t think I’m totally senile (yet). He then rabbits on about his phone system. how he can help us as he knows our exchange was recently upgraded etc etc. I stop him there knowing this is untrue and I have never spoken with him before. I have no wish to be rude to cold calling sales staff as we all have a job to do and I am sure theirs is a tough one but really – lying just to get contact? How is that ever going to result in someone saying they want to do business with you?? If you’re going to be innovative in trying to speak to a decision maker don’t destroy it by being dishonest. Gatekeeper system now amended.