Will I ever learn?

August 14th, 2008


I am a business process consultant by profession, which means I help companies improve their business processes. It’s a job that suits my character and type of intellect in that I am analytical and logical and I am a friendly enough person who likes to help people out. When I am working for any customer, I genuinely want to help them succeed.

I’m not one of those consultants whose ego is more important than the success of their customer and who would rather bluff it than say “Actually, this is outside my sphere of expertise.”

Because the way I act as a consultant is as much a product of my character as my training and professional experience, I sometimes offer free consultancy to friends and even strangers.

Yesterday, for example, I was in a lift (that’s elevator, if you don’t speak English) in the UK, and I was talking to a woman who had been waiting for the lift with me. After a couple of floors, a colleague of hers joined us and shared with us the startling news that she had made herself a piece of toast that morning only to find she had no butter! We were aghast.

That was when the Good Consultant reared his smiley head. Good Consultant likes to help people and where he thinks he can help, he will pipe up and offer a suggestion. So I thought I might offer her some advice, based on my experiences in Spain, that might be of use to her in such circumstances. So I suggested, in a friendly tone, that if she had a tomato and some olive oil, she could cut the tomato in two, rub its juicy innards on the toast, then drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle a little salt over it. A great alternative to butter if you don’t have any or just feel like a change.

How did she reply?

“That sounds tasty, I’ll give it a try tomorrow.” No.

“That does sound interesting, but I’m afraid I don’t like tomatoes.” No.

Any other reply that would demonstrate even rudimentary social skills? No.

Yeah, but I like my butter.

That was the reply.

That’s when Evil Consultant tried to rear his scowling head. Fortunately, Good Consultant held him down.

“You have already stated that you didn’t have any butter, you fucking ingrate! Butter is not a feasible option when you don’t fucking have any!” EC spluttered as he tried to wrest himself from GC’s grasp, “What’s the fucking point of hanging on sentimentally to an old process when you no longer have the means to implement that process?”

Fortunately, Good Consultant clamped a hand over his mouth, smiled at the woman and bade her “good morning” as he alighted the lift.

“Afraid to embrace change! Afraid to embrace change!” EC taunted as his better half dragged him away by the collar.

“You are just too intolerant,” GC gently chided.

“Will you ever fucking learn, you cretin?” EC retorted, “Some people just don’t appreciate help.”

10 Responses to “Will I ever learn?”

  1. Kevinon 14 Aug 2008 at

    No, no, no, you’ve got it all wrong. The ISO certified approach to butter substitution is to take some avocado (smushed, not sliced) and spread it on the toast (one side only, unless it’s Friday and you’re living dangerously in anticipation of the weekend) with a little drizzle of lemon juice if available.
    Though the tomato/olive oil/salt option does sound intriguing; even if it isn’t industry best practice…

  2. wychwoodon 15 Aug 2008 at

    *L* A fable for our times!

    Personally, I go for the oil/avocado/tomato option with a dash of pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. mm, delish…
    But what’s the betting that if you haven’t got butter you probably won’t have delicious butter substitutes either because you’ve no basic shopping skills?

  3. Phyllon 15 Aug 2008 at

    How’s her butt-er?


  4. Declan Chellaron 16 Aug 2008 at

    Excellent use of “phnar”, Phyll!

  5. Phyllon 16 Aug 2008 at

    It’s a stupid comment, mine, but at least I got the “phar” application right, finally.

    Don’t teach the evil consultant any kungfu.

  6. Declan Chellaron 16 Aug 2008 at

    It’s important to practise.

  7. wychwoodon 17 Aug 2008 at

    Don’t think that went “phar” enough…

  8. Declan Chellaron 17 Aug 2008 at

    Shouldn’t that have been “phnar” enough?

  9. wychwoodon 18 Aug 2008 at

    Don’t confuse me!

  10. Phyllon 18 Aug 2008 at

    Obviously, a typo on my part above. To phnar, or not to phnar: that is the question. ~ grasshopper

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply