17 December, 2004

When Crazy Men Attack

We put out an RFI (Request For Information) a couple of months back for an organisation-wide antivirus, anti-spyware solution. An RFI is like going to tender, only without even the hint of a suggestion that we might be willing to consider committing to anything that someone might try to sell to us.

The results came back, and most of them were pretty uninspiring. I was given the licensing terms to review and then, because the accountant to whom it was given claimed it was "too hard", I was also asked to do a cost analysis of the proposals. And then, because it's the end of year and we're really, really busy, I had to put it all to one side to keep up with everything that was more immediately relevant to my job.

So yesterday I began trying to make sense of the assorted dogs' breakfasts that various resellers and vendors had returned to us, and discovered that the accountant was probably being quite accurate when he threw the cost analysis into the "too hard". God knows that after spending seven hours on it today I was more than willing to throw it someplace, too, after trying futiley to find some way of making a valid comparison between the offerings that upper management could understand with minimal hand-holding. The only reason I kept at it so doggedly was that I'd been told that our director needed the information by the end of today for a meeting on Monday, and I was expecting to be set upon at any moment by minions demanding reults now! now! now!

After another stroke-inducing hour of trying to compile information, I took a break outside this afternoon and ran into the Crazy Man. He asked how things were going, and in response I groaned about my day and a half of cost analysis.

"Oh, that reminds me," he answered. "I was speaking to the director the other day about that and we've agreed to just skip the RFI and go straight to tender with more stringent requirements on how we want the responses structured."

"So I don't need to worry about this anymore?"

"No, no. Don't waste your time on it. I need to e-mail everyone reviewing the RFI responses and let them know, but haven't gotten around to it yet."

I wasn't just relieved, I was elated at the unexpected reprieve from battering my brain against the monolithic nightmare of irreconcilable proposals I'd been working on since 8am this morning. This was the best news I'd had all week.

In fact I was so overjoyed that it was at least five minutes before it occurred to me I should have brained the now vanished Crazy Man with a potplant for not telling me (or anyone else) a day ago and saving me much from much suffering...

1 comment:

G_E said...

Your accountant is either lazy or doesn't know what the hell they're doing. A more believable excuse would be "it's year end". Cost analyses are part of the job (I should know - I am one!)