As a no-nonsense east-ender who’s spent 30 years as a particularly hard-nosed business negotiator, I’m none too easily cowed by locking horns with top execs from some of the world’s biggest IT companies when they deign to visit this sceptred isle and look in on their partners. (Or, more likely, when I’m on the lig at a partner conference in Florida or the Costa del Sol.) But one recent encounter I had with a vendor bigwig left me distinctly distressed and discombobulated.
I found myself sitting next to a member of the leadership team of a well-known security vendor at a recent dinner, and thought I should try to engage the chap in some high-level, thought-leading chat about technology trends and market dynamics. Not least because Dodgi had just been crowned as this manufacturer’s EMEA partner of the year.
So I asked him something relatively harmless (but thoroughly insightful) about the impact of BYOD, only for him to answer my query with stony silence and a real thousand-yard stare that seemed to mix contempt, incredulity, and the very real threat of sudden and extreme physical violence against my person. After a very uncomfortable 10-second stare-out (which felt more like 10 years), the fella sighed disdainfully and, without a word, started playing with his phone.
Disgraceful – I’m gonna show him in no uncertain terms that I don’t stand for that kind of treatment. I’ve told Gordon to go to his office and give him a piece of my mind.
I’ve met a few wheeler dealers in my time, dear reader, but not one who’s ever been so brazen as to compare themselves to the UK’s most beloved fence. But that’s exactly what happened to me this week when one vendor started pushing his products my way.
The so-called “Del Boy of the north” Fil Adams-Mercer reckons his Snugg products are head and shoulders above the competition. Now, I know what you’re thinking, why is a tech vendor selling blankets with arms in? But no, a Snugg is actually a cover for iPads and iPhones. Apparently.
Anyway, this Bolton blaggart name-checked a few famous faces in his pitch – apparently the one and only Harry Redknapp is not averse to a bit of Snugg action – and Adams-Mercer himself has also reached the dizzy heights of appearing on Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire (my invitation must have been lost in the post…).
Despite offering wads of his cash to needy folk on the programme, the Snugg supremo said he has no time for malingerers and had to sort the wheat from the chaff when doling out his moolah.
“I’ve realised there are some people who truly need our help, but a lot of people take advantage and are just skivers,” he preached. “I’ve got no time for those people. And it’s quite hard to sort out the skivers from the people who genuinely need assistance sometimes”. A curious stance on “skivers”, coming from the self-proclaimed Del Boy. What a plonker.
Splitting the bill
If you believe what recruiters’ surveys say about IT industry salaries, you would be forgiven for thinking we sleep on cashmere pillows stuffed with £50 notes. But the case of an IT professional I heard about the other day proves that theory well and truly wrong.
Tech worker Kishore Nimmala met up with a lady he had met online and took her to a swanky central London bar, coughing up £54 for just two rounds of drinks in the first few hours of the date. When he suggested she dug deep for the next tipple, she played the chivalry card and said she had expected him to pay for the whole evening. The cheek!
Instead of telling his date to get with the times and go Dutch, he took the slightly more radical step of snatching her BlackBerry and running off in a bid to get her to pay her share of the extortionate bill.
“She took my money, I took her phone. But I never wanted to steal her phone and keep it,” he insisted.
He was swiftly arrested and, despite his acquittal for theft, has since paid £1,200 in court costs, which is one expensive night out. And, being as he hails from my beloved Leyton, his usual dates would cost no more than half a lager and some pork scratchings.
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