I managed to catch some sleep on the train down to Paddington and crossed the city without delay. At around nine thirty I walked in through the electronic security barriers at one of Dante's principal Circles of Hell and found myself face to face with the Imps, Daemons and Clients** I was there to meet... Perfect Timing.
Let's forget sequential event recording here and drop back to the end of last week. There was an extreme lack of clarity over the need for me to be in London. The main driver for my attendance was a series of Client workshops held over four days and it was hoped, note HOPED, that these meetings would clarify the changes they require to their service. There was no real detail on objectives or outputs beyond the first two days. The net result of this lack of clarity was that the Lead US Sales Exec had already declined to attend and I responded by reducing my hotel booking to a single night with the intention of taking stock on Tuesday ...
... I am so glad I did. Today's meeting was attended by more than a dozen senior client and Dante's managers and executives and featured the standard, unimpressive, corporate sandwiches and nibbles. The hourly cost of the attendees must have been colossal and was inversely proportional to the output of the session. It most definitely did not identify required changes to the service and was actually a mothers' meeting of uninformed individuals recounting half truths over historic service issues. At the end of the day not one actual action or direction had been set to address any of the problems. It had just been a lot of hot air. It became apparent during the meeting that the Client Team had no knowledge of the what they had procured and expected a completely different range of services to be delivered. To use an analogy they had bought a boat and were now wondering why they couldn't use it to drive in luxury from London to Birmingham in two hours. Dante's weren't getting away from the session without criticism either. It was apparent that they had made no effort in educating the client in what they had and, more importantly, hadn't procured and also had made no effort to assist the customer in rectifying the gulf in expectations. During the day there were also intimations that the some of the individuals running the service had been derelict in their duties.
I did my best to remain to attentive and, during breaks, to negotiate an escape route back to Worcestershire tomorrow evening. I have to report that, so far, I have made no significant progress but the hotel is fully booked for Tuesday night ...
... I am not yet sure whether that is a good thing or a bad thing.
---* I may have mentioned before that she is NOT one of nature's Larks
** I suppose I should use an alias term for Clients and Customers. I can think of a particular word beginning with c that might suit