This article originally
appeared in MEHSTG Vol. 2 Issue 10 (November 1999)
|Top business tycoon Al
Saccharine answers your letters on business mattersÖ
|Dear Mr. Saccharine,
I have recently installed
air-conditioning in my company showroom and am a bit worried by the cost
of running it. How can I reduce these costs but retain the goodwill of
my workforce and customers ?
Your name seems familiar. Goodwill? Youíve got me there. I donít see
why you are bothering with air conditioning. In the ticket office of one
of my businesses we just open the door on hot days during the summer
when lots of potential customers need to purchase our products. Anyway,
after paying our prices our punters canít afford holidays and itís
nice for them to bask in these high temperatures.
Have you any vacancies in the THFC ticket
office? I am very good at handling cash.
Mr. V. Tenables, Dagenham
Dear Mr Tenables,
Thank you for your application. These
days we donít handle much cash in the ticket office. Iíve discovered
that we can wangle another £1 per ticket for payment by credit card.
Whatís more itís another cost that can be raised year after year.
Didnít I ban you from this ground once ?
My customers are always complaining that
they are not informed about developments in my business. Should we tell
Mr. C. Roa, Buenos Aires
Dear Carlos Kickaball,
The secret is in pretending to be open
but really disclose nothing. Why donít you set up an internet type
information service which you can portray as a way of informing your
customers of company developments. Iíve heard that you can buy
computer software (I think itís by Amstrad) that automatically logs
denials after every press story on the website.
P.S. The software is not millenium bug
proof, but then that wouldnít matter to you would it.
D. Peat says: I deny that we are
interested in this software
I run a skip-hire business and would like
to know how I could increase my profitability.
Mr. N. Claessen, Brussels
Dear Mr Claessen,
Did you once work in one of my
businesses? Perhaps you could make an appointment with me via my
secretary. I think your experience in disposing of rubbish could be of
use to me in one of my businesses.
I run a small Public Relations business
and am looking for more business. Can you help?
Mr. A. Gilzean, Dundee
Dear Mr Gilzean,
I rather feel that PR is an area in which I have excelled in the past.
When handling subjects that you have little or no knowledge of it is
important to make brash statements as arrogantly as possible giving the
impression that you are an expert in the field whilst in fact having
little grasp of the subject. This approach has worked for me in one of
my businesses where I am seen as a popular and much admired figure in
this particular industry. By the way, didnít you once play for
I am writing to apply for a job in THFCís
ticket office. I feel that I would be ideally suited to the needs of the
job. Whilst I am not naturally surly I am disinterested in the plight of
others and feel that my attitude could be developed particularly when in
the contact of the other members of the team. I feel that I could work
well within a team environment and would be well able to dispense a
number of different excuses at all times. I have no experience of modern
ticket distribution methods. My previous company would organise the
sending out of tickets by just putting them in cardboard boxes in no
particular order, thereby causing endless delays for customers. I gather
that you run a similar system which I would have no difficulty in
getting used to. I have two GCSEs - Grade G in Woodwork and PE - and
therefore surpass the educational requirements. I have a lot of friends
to whom I could sell tickets which although I realise will further
deprive genuine fans it would also lessen the workload for the ticket
office allowing the staff even more time off.
You could be of interest to us. Are you married to one of the Spurs
This article originally appeared in MEHSTG Vol. 2 Issue 17 (November 2000)
Am I being victimised
where I work? They hadn't tasted success for eight years until I came
along, and now wherever I go, they boo my entourage and me. People are
always chanting about standing up, and saying that I am boring and
negative. My boss won't give me any money to invest in new labour (not
New Labour) either. Have I got a case?
Sir Al replies Ö
Unfortunately, this is
part and parcel of your particular job. May I suggest that if you have a
hearing aid, to turn it off, and that this kind of abuse/victimisation
will lead you to a) Having a thicker skin b) Being a better person c)
Leaving your present employer.
The PLC that I work
for keep sending me on overseas trips. These trips are always first
class travel, eating in top restaurants and staying in 5 star hotels.
The problem is that they insist on me watching a football match and my
passport is nearly full of visas. What do I do?
David, No fixed abode.
Sir Al replies Ö
I know exactly what
you mean. Get a new passport; get out of that PLC and apply for the
England managerís job.
I've been with a
particular company for many years (man and boy). They are a big company
with a huge following and if you know your history they have been
successful. But recently a fellow worker left and moved up north. There
he has told me he has been rewarded with lots of money and great
treasures and medals. He said that I would never get the same if I stay
with my present employer. What do I do? Stay with current employer and
stay loyal or move and earn more money, travel around Europe and the
world, work with world-class individuals and win medals.
SC, Stratford, London
Sir Al replies Ö
At the moment, I only
work every other week, which involves watching a football match (from an
executive box), free meals (before, during and after the match), mixing
with millionaires and I get paid. However I have to put on a silly
costume and parade in front of 35,000 people. Am I out of order asking
for a pay rise?
Mr. C. Cockerel,
Sir Al replies Ö
You are out of order,
and is your name George?
Sir Al Saccharine,
I am one of the 12% of
customers who travel long distances to sample a particular product. I
feel that am I not regarded as highly by the company I visit as those
who get the same service at home. Have I the right to complain about the
Mrs. Ann Away-Fan.
Sir Al replies Ö
What makes you think
that just because you travel long distances, spend lots of time and
money trying to find satisfaction that you will get it ? If you want
success, then find a product that will never fail you. There are always
people willing to take your place you know. Anyway, if I make the
capacity of the home customers larger, then you will be one of an even
more minority faction.