Yes, this is Planning related
Russell Degnan

[The Scene: A refridgerator store, meaning big and open, with fridges everywhere. In the interests of better comedy you may find it useful to imagine the sales staff as wearing brown suits, and sounding a bit like Eric Idle. Not necessary mind, it is just that seventies clothing and english accents are funnier than nineties suits and smarmy wankers. Where was I? Oh, yeah, a customer walks in...]

SALESMAN #1: Good morning sir.

CUSTOMER: Good morning.

SALESMAN #1: I recommend the R650 for you, definitely the best option for a discerning customer like yourself.

CUSTOMER: Ah, I'm sorry?

SALESMAN #1: Yes sir, I can see you are a smart man sir, interested in the best fridge money can buy, low cost, reliable, safe and energy efficient.

CUSTOMER: Well I guess...

SALESMAN #1: Then the R650 is what you need, a fantastic fridge. The best for you, I can tell. Everything you could want in a fridge sir, everything and more, much better than the others, much better indeed.

CUSTOMER: Oh, well, maybe...

[SALESMAN #2 appears]

SALESMAN #2: Good morning sir, might I recommend the S510 for you sir. A fantastic fridge, the best: low cost, reliable, safe and energy efficient.

CUSTOMER: Wait, he [points at SALESMAN #1] just recommended the R650.

SALESMAN #2: Oh did he, well I wouldn't listen to him sir. The S510 is much cheaper, much better, plus his leaks oil.

SALESMAN #1: [outraged] It does not.

SALESMAN #2: It does too. [to CUSTOMER] You have to out a cup down to collect it, every night, a whole cup.

CUSTOMER: [to SALESMAN #1] Is this true?

SALESMAN #1: Well, it drops a little, but you can pour most of it back into the fridge.

CUSTOMER: Most of it?

SALESMAN #1: Well, there is some you don't want to put back in the fridge, but you pour it on the garden.

SALESMAN #2: You can not! It kills the plants.

SALESMAN #1: I mean, you can use it to grease things, there are always locks in need of a good greasing around my house.

CUSTOMER: Locks? I think you're mad, I don't have enough locks to use a cup of grease every day.

SALESMAN #1: It is not a whole cup! Look, you can just put it somewhere, there is not much oil. Plus, his fridge blows steam all day. Ruins the paint.

SALESMAN #2: It does not! You can't prove that! It could be the water heater, that has lots of steam. Or mist. Lots of mist around these days.

SALESMAN #1: Mist? No mist in my house, or peeling paint, not like yours. Fairly dripping off the walls. [discreetly to CUSTOMER] His whole house is peeling, and his grandma died of pneumonia. All that wet air.

SALESMAN #2: That is not true! She could have got pneumonia anyway. And you can just put the fridge outside.

CUSTOMER: I'm not putting the fridge outside, that's silly.

SALESMAN #2: Oh it is not so bad. At least my fridge doesn't explode.

CUSTOMER: Explode?

SALESMAN #1: My fridge doesn't explode.

SALESMAN #2: It does, just last year, blew up in a house, killed the whole family ...

SALESMAN #1: ... it was only a cat ...

SALESMAN #2: ... oil everywhere, impossible to clean, killed the man next door too.

SALESMAN #1: It did not!

SALESMAN #2: Did too, he died of oil related illnesses

SALESMAN #1: He was hit by a car!

SALESMAN #2: That is an oil related illness.

SALESMAN #1: It wasn't this model, it was one of those imported ones. Much different.

SALESMAN #2: This one blows up too, there was oil all over the door one morning.

CUSTOMER: That doesn't sound like an explosion...

SALESMAN #2: Maybe not, but you can't be too careful with these oil related illnesses.

[SALESMAN #3 appears]

SALESMAN #3: I wouldn't listen to these two sir. What you need is an ice chest.


SALESMAN #3: An ice chest sir. It is the fridge technology of the future: low cost, reliable, safe and energy efficient. And versatile, you can take it camping. You like camping don't you sir?

CUSTOMER: Well yes, but...

SALESMAN #3: See, perfect. Can't take those fridges camping. Too bulky.

CUSTOMER: But I don't want to go camping with it, I want it for my house.

SALESMAN #3: Well nothing beats an ice chest for home usage sir. Easy to use, no electricity, just pop the ice in and you're done.

CUSTOMER: Where do I get the ice?

SALESMAN #3: The what?

CUSTOMER: The ice, for the chest.

SALESMAN #3: Oh that. Well, we expect in the future sir, that ice will be delivered to your door, every day.

CUSTOMER: But what about now.

SALESMAN #3: Well, I take ice out of my freezer.

CUSTOMER: But I don't have a freezer. What do I do then?

SALESMAN #3: Well, you'll need to ask those gentleman [waves at SALESMEN #1 and #2] about freezers, I just sell ice chests. But they are great value sir, much cheaper than a fridge.

CUSTOMER: [looks at ice chest] They aren't very big though.

SALESMAN #3: That doesn't matter sir, you can stack them. [puts another ice chest on top, then another] See, sir, just like a big fridge, tons of space and very cheap.

[SALESMEN #1 and #2 begin to snicker]

CUSTOMER: But if I buy three ice chests and a freezer it is more expensive than a fridge!

SALESMAN #3: Not true sir, not true, the ice chest is your best value for money for your refidgeration needs, and much safer than the others. Plus, [conspiratorial whisper] I think they get paid to sell those fridges.

SALESMEN #1 and #2: [outraged] I heard that, that is not true!

SALESMAN #3: Is too!

SALESMEN #1 and #2: Is not!

SALESMAN #3: Is too!

[SALESMAN #4 appears while SALESMEN #1, #2 and #3 wrangle in the background]

SALESMAN #4: Can I help you sir?

CUSTOMER: Well I hope someone can, all these gentlemen want to do is argue. I am looking for a fridge, and I want it to be low cost, reliable, safe and energy efficient.

SALESMAN #4: Well, don't we all sir. What I really need to know is how big you want it and how much you have to spend. We'll worry about the trade-offs later.

CUSTOMER: Oh, well, I think maybe 500L and about $1000.

SALESMAN #4: We can do that, come this way and I'll show you what we have...

Sterner Matters 9th June, 2006 00:55:01   [#] 


Script 4 film
We could make it into a short film?!
BridgeGirl  9th June, 2006 11:36:34  

Yes, this is Planning related
Oh heavens no. It is bad enough having it clog up the internet. If we are going to do a film script it needs more than one idea, and should probably be written outside a generally haze of tiredness and incoherency.
Russ  9th June, 2006 16:22:43  

The salesmen have got to be Indian born surely.
Andrew  9th June, 2006 22:58:36  

I know what you're on about...
But I don't think anybody else has figured it out.

To talk in terms of fridges; all I've ever argued is that you shouldn't prevent people buying the fridge they choose because some people reckon Salesmen #1's models are too expensive; that the risk of exploding fridges and oil related illnesses be fairly compared to the risks of peeling paint and grandma's pneumonia, and that Fridge #2's propensity for causing peeling paint be taken into account when making purchasing decisions.

Oh, and I'd like to clobber the various salesmen for #3, who happily claim that #1's products are uneconomic when their own are far dearer.

Once that's sorted out, I'm happy for people to buy the fridge they prefer.

Clear as mud?
Rob  14th June, 2006 01:18:29  

Oh good, I'm glad somebody does
Andrew, if you think that works I am happy for you to perceive them howsoever who wish.

Rob, I don't think we really disagree on this issue. You'd think it would be obvious that comparisons need to be fairly constructed, but then you read this.

My main point is that, like in transport, we also need some idea of what we want -- apart from some general un-disputable aims -- before we start proposing solutions... or in software engineering terms: never let a manager write systems requirements.
Russ  14th June, 2006 09:32:57