Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Bloody Cheek!

We have just received a call from a consultant working for one of the UKs leading Public Affairs companies. He pompously informed me that his firm had been retained by a leading Housing Association and he needed details of Kent Members of Parliament. He wanted me to send him "a spreadsheet of all Kent MPs, their constituencies, office address, email, phone number and the name of "the most efficient person in their office who will do something, not just hit the delete button."  

I told him that the information he needed could be easily obtained online by visiting each MPs website. "Mostly, yes. But it would take me quite some time visiting each one and populating a spreadsheet. It would be much simpler if you could just email it to me."  

Why he thought I would use paid time and Conservative Party time to assist a commercial organisation did not seem to have entered his thoughts or trouble his conscience. 

I told him that I would be happy to provide the information he wanted, all of which is in the public domain, but that I would invoice him for three hours of our time at our standard rate when we work as consultants. This did not please him at all. "What, you expect me to pay you for it...?" "Yes", I replied, "just like you charge your clients when they ask you to do work for them!"

He seemed somewhat affronted by the fact I was not willing to jump at his command and told me I was "unhelpful".  In turn I told him that he had a "bloody cheek" and that I considered his ilk part of the reason Public affairs has such a bad public image.

Drain the swamp!   

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