a bucketful of saccharine.....

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 ?

Mr.J.Metgod, Amsterdam

Dear Mr.Metgod,
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

Dear Al,

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 ?

Dear Al,

My customers are always complaining that they are not informed about developments in my business. Should we tell them more?

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

Dear Al,

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.

Dear Sir,

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 Arsenal?

Dear Al,

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.

Tracey, Essex

Dear Tracey,
You could be of interest to us. Are you married to one of the Spurs players?

Dave Fuller

This article originally appeared in MEHSTG Vol. 2 Issue 17 (November 2000)

Dear Sir Al

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?

GG, Hampstead.

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.

Dear Sir Al

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.

Dear Sir Al

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 E15.

Sir Al replies Ö


Dear Sir Al

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, London N17.

Sir Al replies Ö

You are out of order, and is your name George?

Dear 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 management ??

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.


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