Best Communication Skills Ever!
Monday, March 31, 2014

A client, a vendor and a provider have a conference call to kick off a project.

Client (to all):  I want Foo.
Vendor:  We donít have Foo.  We have the other things you want, though.
Client:  Okay.

A few days later, the client sends project requirements to the provider.

Client:  Here are my requirements.  They include Foo.
Provider:  The vendor doesnít support Foo.
Client:  Yes, they do.
Provider:  No, they donít.  They said so during our kick-off meeting.
Client:  Yes, they do.
Provider (realizing itís pointless to argue):  Weíll check with the vendor.

After a few confusing emails, the vendor calls the provider.

Vendor:  Do you have any idea what the client is talking about?
Provider:  Yes.  They want Foo.  Do you support Foo?
Vendor:  No.
Provider:  Thatís what I thought you said.  Could you please work that out directly with the client?
Vendor:  Sure.

That conversation never happened.
A couple weeks later, the provider attempts to follow up and finalize requirements.

Provider (to all):  So, how did that conversation go?  Did you work out the issue with Foo?
Vendor:  We donít support Foo.
Client:  Yes, Foo would be great.  Vendor, you give us Foo; Provider, you can give us an estimate for implementation.
Provider:  Didnít the vendor just say that they donít support Foo?
Client:  Yeah, I get it.  They donít have Foo.  So, just give me this thing that looks and sounds exactly like Foo.
Provider:  Isnít that the same as giving you Foo?
Client:  No, “Foo” is something infinitesimally different.  I want “Foo”.
Vendor:  What you just described is Foo.
Client:  Oh.  ... So then, you donít support Foo?
Vendor:  No, we donít support Foo.
Client:  Oh.  ... So then, if we use your services, we donít get Foo.
Vendor:  Correct.
Client:  Oh.  Okay, I understand.

Provider does face-palm.

Leave a comment

Banning guns only ensures that law-abiding good citizens are disarmed, not the killers.
— John R. Lott
"The War on Guns"