Lorenzo Pirisino

Wednesday 6th September 2005 - Bulls on Parade

Posted on 2005/09/08 11:26:01 (September 2005).

Apart from a very lazy day at work, the only thing worth reporting is the usual fight with my boss. I think that I should make a new section on this very site, listing the numerous attempts of destroying common sense by people who are supposed to be above you.

This time the fight has been on numbers and sales targets.

In the textile industry you are required to come out with sales targets on collections that you haven't even seen yet, basing the target on what clients buy normally and how well the market in general is going.
I have a very "safe" approach to numbers, I always give figures based on what I think I can sell in the next 6 months, keeping it very "real", maybe a bit pessimistic sometimes, but generally (at the end of the season) pretty close to the final result.
My boss has a different view, I need 10 to survive so we must do 10. No matter what happens outside. No matter in what condition the market is. He loks at the past (when numbers were better) and there you go! You must do it because we did it!
After all it's too hard to re-structure the company so that it makes money, changing the way everything is done (his job). Better push on sales!

Boss: "You have to give me your budget for Thursday (tomorrow), but everyone has to do at least 10% more than last year."

Lox : "Well it's not written anywhere that we'll do 10% more just because we are nice people, the new collection is very different from the past, unsuitable for some markets. But we are not changing the way to make the product or sell, so the 10% can only be fluke, or a very good collection (but we haven't seen it yet)"

Boss: "This is not the way you do budgets!! The company has needs, then you must comply to satisfy thoose needs in terms of sales!"

Lox: "What?!?"

Boss: "Yes, you write 30 and I need 40, at that point we negotiate and maybe we do 37, but then you must grant the result!"

Lox: "When I give a sales target I give something that I feel I can grant. Using all the weapons available. I can tell you 100.000 if you like, but it's unrealistic."

Boss: "This is not the way, everyone must grow otherwise the company doesn't survive."

Lox: "Well maybe it doesn't have to survive, we are structured like an elephant, we have more paper shuffling than IBM and there's only 90 our us! Maybe you should work to change the way we work and the way people are employed, instead of going around selling while paying salesmen to do this job!"

Boss: "If you give me a lower budget this season then we have to cut the spending on your areas, so I am forced to do less special designs, less trips, less everything!"

Lox: "Very clever, in this way the market will not be there in 2 years! What do we owe this stroke of genius to? Do you understand that it I could do more I would, or do you just think that I sit on my arse just for the fun of it?! I don't think that it's professional to give a sales target that it's out of reach, it's like lying! Plus I am measured over an impossible target, so no bonus or anything, ever heard of motivation theory?"

Boss receives a phone call (as usual) and walks away.

Note that I always refer to a sales target. A BUDGET is something that I perceive as given, so it's there, while here we are talking about what we want to sell tomorrow.

Comment 1

Is it really what you told your boss? God, you've got a nerve! Wonder how he would feel if he were to read your article...

Posted by Sheri at 2005/09/08 14:54:24.

Comment 2

Just beacuse a person is in charge doesn't mean they know what they are doing!

Posted by Kev at 2005/09/08 15:03:58.

Comment 3

One time I walked away from him while he was speaking, I couldn't take his crap anymore... The result was a blast of swears and screams, but I didn't care to be honest, I was gloating at my little defiance of power!! :P

Posted by Lox at 2005/09/08 15:50:07.

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