Saturday, June 13, 2009

The VIP Visit

Some light reading for a Sunday. I wrote a while ago, on how we, in India, sometimes go to ridiculous lengths to receive a VIP. Click here for a chuckle.

Here’s another instance. We were receiving a potential customer group from overseas and our sales guys were going bonkers. Part of the visit preparations was to choreograph their return drive from our office back to their hotel. This was in this wonderful city in India where the roads are lovely and broad and where the 15 km journey was only 2 hours long.

The problem was, what to do if any of our honoured guests was to , ahem, feel the need to pee.

An one hour conference call across three time zones was set up to discuss this extremely important matter.

Various bright suggestions were aired and discussed in all seriousness. One worthy suggested that in Bangkok of the past, where traffic jams were notorious, a roaring business had started in er, portable loos. Apparently two wheelers were circulating on the roads offering distressed car occupants this service. When you felt the urge, you flag down one of these guys, who passes you a contraption through the window. You do the job in your car and he’ll take back the contraption for a fee. Our worthy wanted to know if we could import a couple of these magic gizmos from Thailand for the visit.

Another wonderful suggestion was to map out the various hotels along the drive and , if the need arose, be able to turn off into one of those and ahem “provide the service”. This was shot down on the grounds that when stuck in the traffic , this was unlikely to be very useful to our squirming guest.

Finally the solution agreed was not to provide bottles of water in the car, make the statutory warning before they left the office, and hope for the best !!

Oh, the nonsense we sometimes do in business …….