A letter to the CEO of Landrover….

Dear Mr (and from the treatment we received at your showroom I am assuming that you are a ‘Mr’)CEO

The other day, my mother and myself visited one of your showrooms to have a look at a Range Rover Evoque and a Freelander, as her convertible is not suitable for family life or another winter sent straight from the bowels of Siberia. I think it would be fair to say I was somewhat less than impressed with the service we received from your showroom staff.

When we arrived we had a look round the outside and admired the Evoque, it’s a very attractive car, no doubt about it. We also had a look at a couple of Freelanders. All shiny and lovely. So far so good. It’s when we went inside that things went downhill.

We went to sit in one of the Evoques but it was locked. So we look around, a few sales chaps walk past and ignore us entirely. Have I suddenly become invisible? Do I have ‘I am a psychopath, please pretend I’m not here’ written on my forehead? No, I am not and I do not. Shall I tell you what the problem was, even though I suspect you know? We were two women and there was no man with us.

Let me let you into a little known secret – women have money these days. We have jobs. Hell, they’ve even given us the vote and let us drive. This means that at some point we will need to buy cars, a fact that was recognised by the very pleasant, helpful and forthcoming staff in Volkswagen and Volvo. We do not require the husband to approve a purchase and negotiate the sale while we wander around the showroom thinking about shoes and fluffy clouds. If my mother can run a mental health unit without a man in charge, I’m fairly sure she’s capable of looking at some metal boxes on wheels without personal injury or her tiny, girly brain imploding. I don’t know how many women you people have coming in to just randomly have a sit down in a 4×4 but let me assure you, we weren’t just there to fill a gap in the day until it was time to get dinner on the table for him indoors.

Anyway, I digress. We’re looking around at the sales men and does anyone come to ask if we require help? No, they do not. So off I go to locate assistance myself. In the private office marked ‘sales’ that I barge into, I find two men doing what looks like chuff all, so I request to be able to look inside one of the Evoques that are in the showroom. Apparently the battery is flat in the nearest one but they tell me they’ll bring the keys for the other. Ten minutes later a man appears, presses a button, ignores us and marches off. Charmed I’m sure. Any information on the car? No? Fine, we’ll just sit in it then shall we? After we’d inspected how much space there was in the vehicle, mum wanted more information so off I go back to the sales office to find the grumpy looking chap who had grudgingly opened the car.  There was another chap in there who said he’d come and help. 5 minutes later Mr Helpful turns up again. And he’s not looking cheerful.  We ask him some questions and to be fair, he does answer then although he’s not exactly specific. Then he makes another error.

He informs mum that he’ll show her how to ‘build’ the car she wants on the computer because she can read brochures all day long but she’ll not ‘get it’. Pardon? Did you really just inform my mother that she’s too dim to understand a brochure? And might I suggest that if your brochure is too complex to be understood by anyone who doesn’t have a PhD in Automotive Engineering, it might be an idea to simplify them slightly? After all, how often are you going to be selling a car to the head of R&D at Mercedes or James May? I work in civil engineering, if I can understand the testing and inspection certificate of a 360° tracked excavator, I think I can probably work out how to add ‘sat nav’ to the car she’s ordering. And if I can’t then your system is not fit for purpose and needs reworking. After showing us on the computer how to ‘build’ the Evoque, he tells us there’ll be a wait on them until May and if we want to test drive one to phone him. Really? There is more chance of us ringing Liam Fox for tips on successful career management than ringing to arrange a test drive from here. He’d probably spend half an hour telling us about how you have to put the key in the slot to make it go and that the big round thing on the right is the ‘steering wheel’. And while we’re about it, are you going to offer to show us a Freelander or give us any information on one? Even one of your allegedly incomprehensible brochures? No? Can we assume that Mr Judgemental either doesn’t want us to buy one or doesn’t approve of little ladies driving cars that big? Fine, we’ll just leave then shall we?

All in all, I can state that our experience in your showroom was not what we had expected and your sales team’s attitude to women can be summed up perfectly by the fact that the ladies toilet didn’t even have any toilet roll in it. You may find it useful to know that a person’s attitude to a product can be seriously affected by the treatment they receive during the purchasing process and for this reason, my mother is giving serious consideration to a limited edition Volvo X60.

Oh and for the record, I wrote this myself, I didn’t get my husband to do it.

Yours, Vicola

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In which I fall out with the bean counters again.

So I’m driving down the road in the company car, heading for a company site using my own sat nav to get there when suddenly the light on the charger goes out. It’s broken. I try something else, nope, the power supply has blown and it’s taken my cable with it. Bugger. I can’t find my arse from my elbow with a map and a signpost, in a job that requires me to travel from site to site, sat nav is a must if I am to arrive there instead of driving round the countryside swearing like I’ve got Tourettes for the rest of the week. There’s nothing for it but to go and get the fuse in the power supply fixed (local garage, cost £1) and the cable replaced (Halfords, cost £18.99, robbing fuckers). So I duly put my receipt for the cable in with my expenses and think nothing of it. You can see where this is going can’t you?

I get this:

Hi Vicola

 Was the TomTom Power Cable that you bought on 01/09/2011 from Halfords for a company Sat Nav or for your own?, Regards, Bean Counter’s Glovepuppet.

I reply with:

Hi Bean Counter’s Glovepuppet,

It was for my own sat nav but I had to buy it because the power socket in the company car overloaded and blew it and without the sat nav I can’t find the sites I have to go to.

 Cheers

Vicola

Little Miss Jobsworth replies with:

Hi Vicola

I have checked your claim with Bean Counting Bastard, unfortunately you cannot claim the expense of the cable because the SatNav is your own.

Oh right. Is that so. You really want to play ‘who can be the most pig awkward’ do you? Fine, consider this then. You have managed to save the company £18.99 in cable. Well done you. However there is a slight catch. I am under no obligation to use my personal sat nav for work, so I’m not going to anymore, I’m going to order a shiny new one on company funds and since you’ve bought one for two other advisors you can’t refuse me. So that’s £18.99 saved, £140 lost. Fucking cracking, well done. I send her back this:

Hi Bean Counter’s Glovepuppet, 

As my property was damaged by company property while on company business through no fault of my own I have to say that I find this conclusion objectionable.  Were the brakes on the car to fail and it to plough into someone’s wall, the company would be expected to make good the damage, I fail to see why as an employee I should be subject to different rules, particularly since I was only using my personal sat nav to save the company the expense of purchasing an item for me to use that I already own. If the company will not do me the courtesy of replacing the item damaged by company property while on company business, could I please have my receipt for the cable back?

 Regards

Vicola.

Wankers. As Best Friend pointed out, there is a special circle of hell reserved for these pedantic, bean counting twats and if they want to play ‘Who’s an unhelpful fucker?’ then I’m not doing them any favours by using my own kit to save company money. What’s that on your desk Bean Counter? It’s a shiny colourful A4 photocopy of my arse with the word ‘fuck’ on one cheek and ‘you’ on the other. Enjoy.