Thursday, 1 May 2008

The day I went to the mailing house

On average, I would say I speak to / email the mailing house four times a week whilst in the office. I have met my two contacts on several occasions – at meetings in the big city and at the boat party last summer.
Yesterday, for the first time in nine years (that's how long I have been speaking to them) I visited their premises. I decided a visit was long over due, and a day out of the office would be a pleasant change of scenery.
I dressed myself in the smartest outfit I own, and set off with my production book packed with lots of important pieces of paper. A few delayed train journeys later (clever me allowed plenty of time for these circumstances) I was met at the train station by the managing director. The M.D. led the way to their offices and to the boardroom. Coffee and a presentation were the first items on the list. I was blasted with various facts and figures, and speeches on integrity and reliability. Next came the grand tour. I shook hands with many people and nodded politely at introductions, and then immediately forgot their names and roles in the company. (Luckily I was not tested on who is who and who does what, so I got away with this.)
I witnessed carrier sheets printing, poly wrap wrapping and lots of complicated data being sorted and routed. That's how a mailing house works. I had a rough idea, but now I have seen it with my own eyes.
One small black mark against them though, my name was boldly displayed on the board welcoming me (nice touch) but where was my lunch at a fancy restaurant? I do not possess a company credit card, and I am the customer after all, so I didn’t suggest buying them lunch once I realised my visit was coming to an abrupt end.
Instead I dawdled around St Pancras train station (it rather resembles an international airport) with a sandwich and a bottle of water, browsing in book shops, gift shops and a toy shop. I never realised a train station could be so much fun!
It was freezing cold, pouring with rain, and full of scaffolding and cranes in the outside world, and that was my excuse for not leaving the station. I was in no hurry to head home either, although I made it my priority to avoid the rush hour.
I could become accustomed to these visits. I wonder when I could do it again? But a friendly word of advice to whom it may concern on my next visit - lunch in a fancy restaurant would be appreciated. I promise not to choose anything too expensive. Honest!

Picture of the day:

Going anywhere nice?


Blur Ting said...

Oh, that's a nice little tour indeed but it would be much better if lunch was part of the works. Oh well. I hope all your other vendors read your blog. Then you'll be treated to a nice lunch from now on.

But sorry to hear about the freezing cold and wet weather. Yikes. I can never get used to that.

The World According to Me said...

Hello Blur

It was a nice little tour, but a shame about the lack of lunch! Might have to drop massive hints about the lunches the printers have treated me to, if I visit the mailers again!

British weather is so unpredictable! It has been known to have four seasons in one day. But during my visit the weather resembled a cold, wet winters day!

Happy Friday. I expect the sun is shining where you are?

Spangleystar said...

It's a difficult one, on one hand you had asked for a tour, so they probably didn't expect that you would have enough free time for lunch at a fancy restaurant, but not even to lay on some sandwiches is a bit of an oversight!!!

But then again you never know the full story as I had the flip side of this once, where my clients had asked to come in for a meeting and then rang and asked me to provide lunch as the meeting was between 11 and 1 - we couldn't accomodate it - as we had client expenses frozen at the time, and so I rearranged it for 3pm instead !!!

The World According to Me said...

Hello Spangleystar

You're right there, not even a ham sarnie and cheese and onion crisps in the boardroom! I've never in all my years of publishing not had a lunch mentioned, whether it's restaurant food or a spread of some sort.

Whoops, that wasn't ideal re arranging the meeting as no expenses allowed!


Spangleystar said...

well no, not ideal - but I actually found their request quite cheeky anyway they asked for the meeting at that time and then rang back and ask for lunch as well ! In that instance you can't feed every single one of your clients - we had over 8,000 at the time ! Considerably different to your supplier situation...

La delirante said...

Sorry to hear those guys didn't offer lunch. How rude of them!

It must have been nice to people with whom one has been working for a long time but never actually seen. I guess it's because of our globalised era :) I am in the same situation as I work with people in Spain but I have never seen them! (Except for one that is)

Amel's Realm said...

Hey, Girl!!!

I've been lazy and enjoying the sun here he he not blogging enough.

Interesting trip indeed and I LOVE that photo! ;-D

Faizal said...

hi there, just dropping by to say hello and to make some new friend of blogger. Nice blog. I realize that you are from UK.

I like UK especially Manchester.

Mike M said...

No matter what, I insist that a nice lunch be part of the visit. I pay for them all the time. They have to pay for me once in a while :)

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Nick Phillips said...

How could they not buy you lunch? Such cheapskates ... LOL!

I wish it was raining in this part of the world right now. It's been a blistering hot couple of days.

The World According to Me said...

Hello Spangleystar

How are you?

8,000 lunches would have been pricey!

The World According to Me said...

I agree La Delirante, how rude of them!

It is funny how you can talk to someone for years and never meet them. I used to telephone the managing director of one printing company frequently, for nine years. I've now found out he's retired so I never will be able to meet him!
(But he's probably the complete opposite of how I have visualised him.)

The World According to Me said...

Hey Amel, how are you?

I too haven't been blogging recently so I have some catching up to do!

Glad to hear you are enjoying the sun, and that you like the pic.

The World According to Me said...

Hello Faizal

Nice to meet you! Thanks for posting. I have to get back to work in a minute but I promise to pay you a visit as soon as I can.

Bye for now.

The World According to Me said...

Hello Mike.

Good to hear from you. How's the not -so-new now job?

A nice lunch should be an essential part of the visit!

The World According to Me said...

Hello Edwin Nguyen

Welcome to Flying Pink Elephants! Thanks for your comment.

I would love to exchange blogs, I shall be emailing and visiting you.

See you soon.

The World According to Me said...

Hi there Nick.

You said it, cheapskates! Not even a chocolate biscuit with my coffee!

Is it still blistering hot? Must drop by and see what you have been up to.

Rebecca said...

hmm. Yes, they definitely should have thought about feeding you if the meeting was approaching anywhere near the lunch hour. Here in New York we have Grand Central Terminal where there are all manor of shops to peruse. All of them are ridiculously expensive, but wow, you can get everything from a cup of coffee to a bottle of wine, shoe shine to face cream, toys to intimate apparel. Penn Station not nearly so grand, but Union Station in Washington, DC is! Love train stations :)


The World According to Me said...

Hi Rebecca

I agree, it was definitely approaching the lunch hour but unfortunately they didn't feed me!
I like the sound of Grand Central Terminal!