Dispatches from a Small Business
Done with a large bid (pictured below, 42 notebooks!). Now I can stop pursuing trivial tasks like putting food on the table and get back to blogging.
Given that my two firms are involved in ecommerce, and ship atoms around, each will inevitably wind down.
It's occurred to me that it would be kind of fun to print out all of the source code for each firm and bind it as an epitaph of sorts.
I think it'd look something like that picture.
I remember when the computer revolution was going to lead to paperless offices. In reality, we probably generate 10x as much paper output as we used to because computers make it so easy to do.
I'd be interested in experiences to the contrary. (I work for a consulting engineer doing primarily oil and gas production.)
---Tom Nally, New Orleans
Tjic, When are you going to start blogging again? I miss Tjicstan!
I'm curious about the ratio of actual value-added business to regulatory concerns?
I would hope that the regulation is a small part of your bid.
(I wrote that without laughing!)
Had to change out the toilets at one location in one of the parks, did ya?
>>> I remember when the computer revolution was going to lead to paperless offices.
"The paperless office will come about the same time as the paperless toilet."
I forget where I first encountered that, but I've seen nothing to change its validity in the last 25-30 years since I encountered it.
What is in all those binders?
Clearly none of the previous commenters are familiar with the ninth circle of hell which is the public sector procurement process. To answer noumenon's question about what is in all those binders, enough paper to cover hundred's of civil servants butts...
Paperless toilets already exist. It's called a bidet. And they aren't just seperate units requiring a lager bathroom. I have one that can be installed on any regular toilet. The bidet nozzel folds out of the way under the toilet rim when not in use.
By the way. Please stop saying paperless o----e. Every time someone says that the amount of paper work I have to do doubles.
One swallow doesn't make a Spring, but I can at least claim that in my office (Fed. Gummint) we do practically nothing on physical paper. And when I get paper handed to me, I immediately scan, back up, and shred. In 2 years, I've never changed my printer toner. So for me, at least, the paperless office is a reality.
You should be jealous of me. My bids look like this. I will paint your house for $xxxxx.xx Some times I have to list colors but that rarely goes over a page for the whole thing.
FAR compliant and multiple copies. Hooray for our federal government, managing every detail of our lives. /s
Dang, you would think they would take a digital bid, using PDF's (or a similar format) rather than demanding a pile of dead trees.
In my IT world, we've given up on the "paperless office" concept. We've replaced it with a "Less-Paper" paradigm.
AS to what the binders contain, if it's anything like my experience, it's detailed plans for ensuring complinace with all of the regulatory requirements involved in the project, whether they exist in state or federal statutes, regulatory agency rules, or the whim and imagination of the team that wrote the request for proposal. These will be answered with requests for additional information, rigorously evaluated and scored by several different team members, and then once implemented be utterly dismissed as inadequate by the field auditor who has a grudge against the guys up in the office at the state capitol.
I was just thinking about it - All the docs I use are in PDF. But my company has to create two hard copies for government (FAA) - even though they probably use the PDF's themselves. One copy is delivered, and needs to be kept indeterminably in storage.
I had to laugh at the idea of a paperless office. Before I retired in 1990, we got a new VP who was a computer enthusiast. Every month, a huge pile of computer output appeared on my desk with details of every project in the Technology Division. This whole bundle went DIRECTLY from my in basket to the trash. What a waste of paper and time. Everyone already knew where his own projects stood. During the time of this VP, the division overhead (to be added to actual project cost) went from 28% to 81%. The wonders of the computer age!!!! The other humorous part of this was that everyone put their charges where there was money left over. Hence the whole cost picture was a fiction to begin with. We thus had computerized nonsense. Are we collectively nuts or what?
It surely is true that the easier it is to do something, the more it will be done.
On the other side of the coin, the IRS could use computers better. My No. 2 son works for the IRS. I asked him why the IRS could not get together with state and local governments and simplify the tax calculation and collection system. Citizens would just enter their income and deduction data, and the computer would calculate their federal, state, and local taxes and send them a bill for the total. The IRS could then send ONE check to each state and municipality from this total.
I guess paper and bureaucracy are more important than efficiency.
One last point. I believe the paper barrage is just a way of inept management to bury stuff and avoid difficult decisions. Sort of like the congressional super committee.
I'm sure there was no cost to you in creating, binding, and delivering that bid. I can only imagine the maze of regulations you had to deal with. I'm guessing at some point you wanted a single sheet of paper on which you wrote: "Hey Dipwads! We will run your campground better and more efficiently than you can and still make a profit. Furthermore, we have proof that we've done it successfully many times. Just get out of our way and let us do our job."
Our main problem is that only a hard copy print, duly stamped and signed is recognized as a legal document. It is too easy to change notes and dimensions with a electronic document if there is a problem. On the other hand, it is nice to hand an irate customer a drawing that they approved in writing, when they complain that their part doesn't fit, especially when my part matches the drawing.
I had to laugh. Looks like eight copies. Is someone really going to read all this?
I have spent nearly 40 years doing business with National Oil Companies (NOC). World Bank bids all require about 600 pounds of documents, but only about 4 ounces really mean anything. It's the price, dammit.
So when I sent my printing request (binders, lables, and so forth)to the corporate media center, they freaked out. Can't handle this.
So I went outside, hired some guys to do all of this, and paid about $10K plus the materials. And then we had to ship all of this stuff to the customer, who had a reputation of loosing half of what was sent to them. So we made two or three backup copies in anticipation of this event.
This is not really a big deal, but it certainly cuts the wheat from the chaft. It might even be a clever way to cull out the bad guys because there is easier pray.
I just thought this was funny.
I too would like to see tjic blogging again.
The purchasing mgr's brother-in-law must work for Dunder-Mifflin!
dittos on missing brother tjic....
But does it include a clause that you will close the park when there is a budget battle?
Please, please, please promise to publish who asked for this bid?
Was it only one copy?
How many pages per copy?
Have you made any attempt to estimate hours, cost, material charges, etc?