Over the past week and a half I have become suspicious about the abilities, or more accurately lack of abilities, of the Sales Exec I am currently assisting. The first inkling that there might be issues was when we first spoke and she advised that she had only recently joined the ranks of Daemons at Dante's Nine Circles of Hell ... at this point it might be useful to imagine a bell tolling across a misty, monochrome landscape to give a sense of atmosphere ... I cast doubts aside and thought that she would be fine and would have the appropriate support and mentoring in place to deal with any gaps in her procedural knowledge. I carelessly assumed that she would have basic skills.
The next strike of the bell was heard when she mentioned that she was not good with spreadsheets and was not certain of how to apply a profit margin to some cost figures I had provided. Hmmm, I'm was starting to get a little worried at that point... BONG. Today the final proof of her skill level was when she advised that she was unable to embed spreadsheet in to a document and was also unable to locate the "button" that would show comments inserted during a review ... BONG!
So far on this engagement I appear to have developed the outline costs and walked a team of Executives through them gaining their approval, I have documented our approach and this document has been miraculously become our Proposal, presumably using the MS Excel formula advice given on applying a markup to a cost figure. I have reviewed and commented against a set of contractual T&Cs, I also appear to be to repository of all knowledge especially when a tricky question comes up. At this point I am wondering what the fuck the Sales Exec has actually added to the mix?
The final e-mail of the day contained a PowerPoint presentation that needs to be polished. There is no way I am going anywhere near it.
On a completely different set of tracks I noticed that we were short of bread and took a few minutes out of my working day to chuck the ingredients for a loaf in to the bread maker. Fairly early in the running order is a need to add 30g of butter to the bread tin. I wandered over to the fridge and checked the shelf ... no butter. I searched the other shelves ... still no butter.
At this point I did what any desperate person would do and tempted the wrath of 30% by 'phoning her at work. She advised that there was most definitely butter in the fridge and I advised that I had searched high and low and found no churned, milk fat products. 30% advised that it was definitely there but if I couldn't find it she would buy more. If I am totally honest here I think we were both a little terse by this point. After hanging up I wandered back to the fridge and carried out a forensic search. About four hours in to the search I noticed something lurking behind the Muller Lite Yoghurts ... it appears that 30% is now buying Ninja Butter that has the ability to blend in with it's surroundings making it almost invisible to the casual Butter Hunter.
It looks like I will be having toast for breakfast tomorrow after all.