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September 22, 2005

Winning Work - losing friends

It has been an ugly two weeks.

One of the reasons for slackness in posting.

The contract I am working on ends soon. The client put out the Request For Proposal and its associated Performance Work Statement...

Which means that in addition to keeping up with the client work that pays the bills, we had to take the time to convince the client that they *really-really-really* don't mind the excessive compensation we get and *really-really-really* like the quality and quantity of brain-sweat we produce, and convince them to continue spending millions for our brilliance for 5 more years. All while quietly and indirectly dissing those hosers who are competing for the work (not a chance, bubbas!).

Let's just say it's ugly. The client writes the RFP by committee, so in many respects it resembles the proverbial horse-designed-by-committee... the camel.

We have no choice but to write the proposal by committee... only it really has to be a horse.

Ugly ugly ugly. Especially with a lot of FNGs on the prop-writing team. Many Big Defense Companies maintain prop-writing teams. We don't. We're privately held, so that kind of overhead comes directly out of our pockets, not the investors, and we're exactly the greedy-guts Beltway Bandits the anti-globalist protesters think we are.

We have a process to do this... but like all good processes, we don't always follow it - and immediately remember why we should.

Our prop manager neglected to account for all the FNGs, and many of us experienced writers had new roles in addition to our writing assignments (I had compliance).

And boy did we pay the price for skipping some of the preparatory steps, painful as those would have been. Would have saved us much grief later when we finally came to understand the structural/organizational flaws in the RFP that were going to make the prop a real pain to write coherently, yet follow the form and pattern the client has come to expect over the years.

We set a GICOD, a Good Idea Cut-Off Date. Intended to cut off the jaw-jaw and get the thing written. After you pass the GICOD, no new ideas are to be floated. At least not by munchkins. There comes a point when you just have to sit down and write.

I detest the Good Idea Fairy. Especially when he wakes up and waves his magic wand two days and thousands of words *after* the GICOD. I especially hate it when he's senior enough to ignore the GICOD. But, it is balanced by the fact that he was *right*.

Good thing SWWBO has been on the road, as I haven't been home much more than she has.

The Interior and Exterior Guard have not had the tender loving attention that they desire and rate.

The Exterior Guard is okay with that. A treat, tummy rub, pat on the head and they're cool.

The Interior Guard... well, Praetorianism raised its ugly head there.

The Interior Guard has been particularly restive, as their very-precisely-determined mess schedule has *not* been adhered to.

And, as SWWBO has been gone and I've been doing the procuration of comestibles... well, suffice it to say that quality has not been up to snuff.

And since we're all dieting, quantity has been right out.

And quality worship-by-Armorer has been lacking.

It all came to a head last night.

In the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry, you can see what I was greeted by when I came home.


I swear I don't know how they opened the can of AK ammo. The loose stuff is in the safe. And I trained them better than that. I trained them to aim, not just hose things off in a general direction like some ragamuffin jihadi.

H/t Captain H for the pic.

I *do* think it's a good prop. Let's hope the client jumps on the Bus to Abilene with us!

In a good way, of course! No Paradoxos here!

John | Permalink | Comments (21) | Furry Family Members
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