Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Too good to be true?

About time for an update. After the heady heights of going out the previous weekend, last weekend was dull by comparison. On the plus side, though, I took two trailer-loads of rubbish to the tip, including the washing machine which has been sitting on the driveway since it packed up just before christmas.

The electrics still aren't right on the trailer. Well, they are, but it takes a lot of fiddling with the connection before all the lights work properly. I don't really understand since it is quite a tight-fitting plug.

So yesterday was our ninth wedding anniversary. Very low-key, but at least this year we both remembered. Jacqueline, of course, got her fleece (in the end, including conversion rates, delivery, duty and VAT, the pair of fleeces cost in the region of £300 - somewhat more expensive than I had hoped!) Complaining about how difficult I am to buy for, we went into Waterstones at the weekend, where my present became Nelson Mandela's Long Walk Home, something that has been in my Amazon basket for years but which I've always "saved for later".

On the subject of books, I have read a couple of excellent ones recently, which deserve their own post at some point.

Funny thing happened at the clients, almost out of the blue they offered to increase the fees they pay for my consultancy services. Basically someone has terminated, so the client is recruiting. During the course of this, some dozy agent called me to pitch the work to me, and of course I seized the opportunity to find out what they were offering. Turns out it was quite a lot, especially considering the rather menial services any consultant would be required to perform.

Anyway, I mentioned to the client that someone had pitched the role to me. Then, two things happened. First, not entirely unexpected, they got in touch with the agent in question, had a right go at them and ended up pulling all the roles. More surprisingly, they obviously realised that I'd been told the rate on offer. So they said to me, "If I were you, I'd be really pissed off that we're prepared to pay that much for services that are far inferior to the ones you offer." To be honest, it hadn't really crossed my mind - the fees that consultants command are, in my experience, in no way proportional to the services they offer. There are lots of other factors involved, and to be honest you'd end up slashing your wrists if you let these things get to you.

But, off the back of this, they offered a rise. Of course, to a certain extent it is blood money, inasmuch as their main concern in all of this, even though they underplayed it, was to make sure that the fees information did not become public knowledge. This in itself tells a story.

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