“They’d make you laugh if they hadn’t made you cry!”

Despite folklore, SEX AND THE SALESMAN DON’T MIX.  Sex and consultants don’t mix either.  There is never a better shade of grey when it comes to this subject.  If you want the sale, messing around is a good way to mess it up.

Salesmen can get to know personal assistants or administrators pretty well.  On the phone to the boss regularly.  Get to know quite a lot about private lives. Quite easy to suggest a drink after work, particularly if you are condemned to an overnight stay in the crappy local business hotel.  Same with consultants.  They can live on the client premises for months, weeks away from home for 2 or 3 nights a week, weeks away from the wife or girl friend.  Can make the routine of project analysis quite exciting at times, too exciting at others.

I can think of 2 incidents during my business life which could or did impact on revenue flow, both in the area of consultancy and consultants.  With one, the affair began brightly enough.  A welcome break from the tedium of living away from home.  Nice to have someone to see after work.  Makes the hotel quite cosy.  The trouble is the girl wanted more, like to go back to his place, to spend the weekend together.  But this would bump into his alter life.  Not in the plan.  So the rot sets in, cars are scratched, tyres let down. A lone figure waiting for recovery trucks in the car park soon drew the attention of management.  And the story came out.  Fortunately, for this consultant whose company banned such behaviour on pain of dismissal, the client Managing Director forgave and the project continued.

Not such luck for our second consultant.  He started an affair with the Managing Director’s secretary.  It was a brilliant thing.  He loved the project.  He loved being there.  He loved the time away from home.  He even thought he loved the girl.  That is, until the Managing director found out.  The fly in this particular ointment was that the Managing Director was also sleeping with his secretary.  No forgiveness this time.  The project was ended on the spot.  He was out on his ear. And he was out of his company as well.

Here endeth this lesson.