Conversation Cramp

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If you’re somewhat familiar with the twitterati of this world and read #fail linked to the alleged name of your company, you will know what effect this has on a person. Feverishly I went in search of what could cause a fail, and in my worst dreams would take on epic proportions. Before the end of the evening ONE would become a trending topic of the wrong kind, and all marketing efforts over the past six months would have been for nothing. I found the clip, but couldn’t find anything wrong with it, not in the least because the music genre is not really my cup of tea anymore (too old, too grey, you know). There was no other choice but to accept the challenge, and keep a number of our developers in the highest state of readiness. I sent a tweet to the avenging angel who had got the ball rolling; @awaumans (there is no reason not to mention the man, five minutes of fame, everyone’s entitled to them, and actually he did me a favour, we smiled derisively afterwards), asking him to be a bit more explicit as regards the fail. I received an answer which immediately made me feel like a moron… surely I could hear that the beats per minute (yes, he was polite enough to write it out in full, sensing that he was addressing an old fogey) were not right.

For the first time in my life I didn’t know what to say, and now I did exactly the thing that I would drag any client representative through the telephone for and tear him/her to shreds. I said something like “We’ll look into it”…. “We’ll look into it”, the hallmark of incompetence, the inability to give useful answers to your customer. I am scared to death of it. People can sense when you’ve done your homework and they’ll be happy with any answer, but “we’ll look into it” just doesn’t cut it… My panic grew by the minute, all the more because our boys were unable to give an immediate answer either. In fact, they couldn’t even find an error (because it needs to be said, just to blow our own trumpet, the development team at ONE does not really stick to office hours).

Whereas I was trying to win time and was in fact discrediting my organisation by giving meaningless answers to the public forum of a twitter stream (post factum analysis), the team was feverishly looking for an answer. With one eye on possible retweets and a spread of the ‘scandal’ and the other on the telephone, I was given a taste of what communication managers at NMBS (Belgian Railways), Telenet, and other Belgacoms (Belgian Telco suppliers) probably face every day. No fun! In my case: conversation cramp.

Suddenly salvation came… and a curse. ONE did not refer to ONE Agency but to the song of the same name by the Swedish House Mafia. To me a totally unknown, but apparently funky band. The scorn of the developers was now linked to the shaking of the head of the alexander waumanses (DJ & part-time geek) of this world… We couldn’t do anything about it, I had caused a commotion and made trouble for nothing… Slightly depressed I went to bed, convinced of the fact that I had outgrown the digital generation.

But still, I picked up on it, I responded, I mobilised my organisation, and remedied the misunderstanding, I must have picked up something on the way? Or not?

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