Saturday, 13 June 2009

Costa fortune!

Had my pocket picked and my wallet emptied in Costa Coffee's New Row cafe nr Covent Garden yesterday. To be fair, they had got a sign saying 'pickpockets operate here' but could they do more to prevent their customers getting robbed?

CCTV would help, as would approaching people who come in and sit down without buying a drink. After all, if you need to steal the money for your cappuccino then why are you there?

The staff reaction to my sudden poverty was rather worrying. It's clearly something that happens there every day. I began to wonder if they greet the regular pickpockets with a cheery wave; simply another London worker going about his daily routine.

I wonder if they'd show more interest if I'd been assaulted or mugged instead?I got the feeling that if I'd been stabbed, the staff would just drag me outside so I didn't make a mess on their floor.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Means tested consultancy quotes

I saw a brilliant example of consultant greed the other day. It was a piece of PR work for a charity. The organisation's Chairman, a wealthy entrepreneur had agreed to foot the bill.

The proposal outlined a fairly unimaginative list of tasks, including copying names of accountants out from the Yellow Pages. (Something most of us gave up doing ten years ago!)

The consultant, who shall remain nameless, priced this project at more than £20,000. I'd say it was worth £3,000 and only then if I didn't know that there was no point in chasing editors of weekly papers when all get their news feeds from their group HQ.

There's nothing wrong with discounting your day rate for a voluntary organisation. I do it on my website where I publish my day rates for all to see. But to inflate your day rate because the guy paying is wealthy? That's robbery!