August 18, 2006

Enroute to Amarillo

It is the nature of my work and my life. A long time client called yesterday afternoon. We talked a bit about some equipment problems - and the upshot is I will be heading out to Amarillo TX next Wed - Fri. Of course, this does not absolve me from dealing with my normal clients, finishing up the conference paper and presentation, and getting things kick started with two new OEM clients. Still, its nice to have the work, and to be headed out on the road, even if its to an unknown part of Texas. Travel gods, be gentle.

Whilst searching for alternate airports (initial checking, the fares were pretty high and the flights pretty icky, but I found a hotel and airfare combo that was pretty reasonable, on American, with flight times and itineraries I could live with) - I looked for alternate airports. Amarillo is 3-4 hours away from everything. Albuquerque. Santa Fe. Oklahoma City. Lubbock is closer but not any better, airport wise. So Amarillo it is.

An interesting new client, perhaps. This company has sprung phoenixlike from the ashes of the old company. The Borg Collective purchased the old company. First, qualified but undereducated (no MBA's) people were demoted or let go. Then, the properly educated persons they did bring in had no idea how to run the business. This impacted me personally; I had been hired to go in and find magnetic field problems that prevented sales, and did so successfully 3-4 times a year, over a 5-6 year period. When the Borg came along, the edict of "no outside consultants" was enforced. Unfortunately, the inside consultants who do what I do were not able to do what I do. So they walked away from these sales. I imagine this sort of mindset crossed over into a number of facets of the business.

Eventually, the Borg tired of the business, cut loose the product. So all of the undereducated folks they drove away rebanded, connected with a spin-off from the cut-loose supplier, and reconstituted the company - servicing the old products, and selling the new ones. Business as usual, with a new cast of owners. Presumably the old owners took their gold-pressed latinum and are living a life of ease.

Good ol' American business know-how. Buy a company. Shred it and dismantle it. Leave enough pieces lying around so that it can rebuild itself. And (presumably, once it has rebuilt itself to the point of being worth something) buy it again.

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