As I pointed out recently, this is the second anniversary of the hugely popular populist publishing venture known to an audience of tens (OK, so I'm talking up the numbers - everybody does it) as 'My Blog'.
The straw poll I solicited above (which was received with such enthusiasm - many thanks) identified certain key topics on which you were all keen for me to focus, and - after much deliberation and strict adherence to the democratic process - I have decided to follow your prompts and write about the burning issue of the day.
In true European Union style, I have agreed to accept the will of the people... and then ignore it and take the opposite course of action.
So this year's blogiversary post will be on the world of work, and a microcosm of that particular field called customer service. Rarely can the not-so-fine distinctions within this ultra-fine art (exemplary and, er, illustrative) have been so clearly displayed as in recent times by two contrasting service delivery entities as Mr (or should I say Dr.?) Brown and President (or should I say Suh?) Obamamama.
Here in Blighty we have been blessed with the continuing saga of the fucked up mess that is the expenses fiasco (if you download the pdf files, they look like Rorschach tests. Amazing) Each day seems to bring a fresher and more egregious PR disaster to match the scandalous attempts to get away with and cover up the daylight robbery perpetrated by the great and the good of Millbank, SW1.
Nothing new there, some might venture to add; the toffs only wore toppers so that they could be knocked off, and the urchins only had dirty hands so that they could leave a more visible mark on the fine shirts of those foolish enough to risk a trip to the Clerkenwell bookshop of an afternoon, their hankies dangling invitingly out of their waistcoat pockets. But the current situation, amid scenes of mass resignations and suicide watch on MPs (a bit of a pointless use of resources, some might say - unless the watch was to ensure that t'were done well) I would venture, is plumbing the very depths of depravity.
Compare and contrast with the mega-slick operation oozing out of Washington D.C. There's a dirty fly (I refuse to apologise for the quality of humour in what follows, because of the reference to Kim Jong-Il)
feeling the lightning sharp edge of El Presidente's immaculately manicured hand.
There's a little girl who's bunked off school to come see me; so let's make immediate political capital out of it! Don't worry about General Motors, Chrysler, Afghanistan, North Korea, Pakistan, Iran, or any of that dull crap. A twinkle and a nod from the crest of the surf, fish and chips in the pub, and an obsession with the wife's dresses (I mean from the media, not from the husband, naturally...) and everything comes up smelling of roses and daffodils.
So, where are the crucial differences? How does Gordon keep getting it so tooth-achingly wrong, and Barack keep getting it so goddam Colgate right? On top of that, how can it be that there is no correlation between a customer service success and a successful service delivery?
I wish someone would bloody well tell me.
Happy Blog Day to me. I am still alive.