Tuesday, 17 July 2012

You cannot polish a turd

TP was out of the door early this morning as he is away on his Duke of Edinburgh overnight hike. I am lead to believe that he is tramping around the Cotswolds and will be returning sometime tomorrow. I don't wish to appear cynical but his preparation seemed to be a little, shall we say, half arsed and I have an expectation of them succeeding but only by the skin of their teeth. It probably doesn't help that both 30% and I have a background in project management and hence natural parental interest rapidly becomes a critique of their plans. It is fair to say that we have to remind ourselves that he is a fifteen year old and therefore incapable of any real thought ... he is much like a barely house-trained cat ... comes and goes as he pleases, demands food noisily and spends much of his time curled up in a favourite spot.

I settled down at my desk and early in the day "walked" a couple of Sales Execs through the bullshit estimates I had been working on and, surprisingly, they were impressed.* The cynic in me thinks that they were delighted because a) they don't have to think, and b) they now have someone to blame when it all goes wrong. Taking full account of item "b" I requested some feedback while they were still happy and am pleased to say that I have been blind copied on a couple of glowing reports. I then spent the rest of the day polishing off the guesstimates and adding a long list of "cover my arse" type statements.

I think it is fair to say that I have almost enjoyed pulling this rough estimate together but I am now getting very frustrated by the Sales Team that seem to think that it has substance and can be scrutinised or tweaked. I now seem to be repeatedly reminding them that it is a "bucket of cost" and that they need specialists engaged to validate it or revise it.

As the title clearly states "you cannot polish a turd" but the Sales team seem to want to.
* To use yet another culinary analogy, I had presented them with a cake that had been cooked by someone wearing a blindfold and with one of their hands tied behind their back.

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