Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Vendors, On enduring

When your boss thinks that it'll be a really swell idea to bring in the most annoying vendor reps to demo a bunch of crap your library would never use, make sure that you make the dude work for it by asking the dumbest questions you can think of. Your objectives are two-fold: to irritate the vendor and to put off going back to work for as long as possible. Ask really hard questions that salespeople would never know and when the vendor squirms and answers the question with a really inadequate response, try not to be too impressed with your evil self. When the vendor leaves, make sure to gossip with your favorite co-worker(s) about whatever tacky thing the vendor said or did (because they pretty much always do.) Bonus points for baiting the vendor into taking you out and paying for drinks on his/her company's tab.

7 comments:

Fer said...

Lather, rinse, and repeat these same steps when at conference - the vendor rep is always looking for suckers, er, potential customers to treat to dinner and what not. Go crazy! Just bring back some brochures for your boss to prove you were a wise investment in the library's professional development funding.

Also, a night out on the town with a vendor rep pretty much guarantees another visit to your library, though, so don't squander all your stupid questions the first time.

mapletree7 said...

What kind of stuff do people try to sell to libraries, anyhow? Racks? Bookshelves? Seriously, I'm having an imagination deficit.

Anonymous said...

Uh oh mapletree7 - you are obviously an interloper. Don’t worry I had one non-librarian friend who thought that libraries received all of our books and journals for free. He thought that publishers just donated them to the library. Cute idea really. And we wonder why we never get the budgets that we need to do our jobs.

Anonymous said...

mapletree7 - mainly databases and other electronic resources. Plus things like QuestionPoint or Metalib or whatever.

LibBusinessMgr said...

We get vendors selling electronic resources, furniture, equipment, and even office supplies (free highlighters--woo!)

MARACimore said...

If you cannot get someone else to pay for your food and/or drinks while at a conference, then you just aren't working hard enough. Vendors can be an easy target, but don't forget that they are people too. Long forgotten classmates and/or professors are also often a nice source of sustenance.

And don't neglect to consider random business travelers not associated with your conference/meeting who have an expense account the bounty of which they are eager to share with less endowed librarians, archivists, information professional people.

Accepting free drinks and food from people who want a position at your institution seems a bit cruel. I hate to get their hopes up when there is no chance that the institution is going to be hiring any time soon.

~k said...

Some of those vendor reps you're enduring are librarians, too.