This was the first one of these ridiculous requests for bids that I received. The original request for a quote simply said:
From: "Mwalule Chileshe" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: Bob Cromwell Subject: Stainless Steel Urinals & Sinks Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2002 08:45 am Bob, Please find attached our requirements and grateful if you confirmed receipt. Best regards, M.C.Chileshe
Attached was this Microsoft Word document explaining that they would eventually need 46 lots of the following, all made of stainless steel:
- One-man urinal to drain on the left-hand side, including all fittings.
- Ditto, but a two-man model.
- Two hand wash basins including "waste, bottle trap, and Cobra pillar taps".
- Two lockable toilet paper dispensers.
This is my reply:
From: Bob Cromwell To: "Mwalule Chileshe" <email@example.com> Subject: Re:Stainless Steel Urinals & Sinks Date: Sat, 30 Mar 2002 16:52:37 -0500 On Tuesday 12 March 2002 08:45 am, you wrote: > Bob, > Please find attached our requirements and grateful if you confirmed > receipt. Best regards, > M.C.Chileshe I'm delighted, if a bit puzzled, to receive what would appear to be your request for proposals for the provision of one- and two-man urinals, w.c.'s, and wash basins, all in stainless steel, enough to equip forty-six toilet sites in Zambia. Your request specified delivery via road freight to Lusaka, but as I don't have a ground freight representative in Lusaka, I could only handle air drops there. It's a good thing that you're asking for stainless steel, because let me tell you, air-dropping 46 loos worth of porcelain two-man urinals, toilets, and sinks could add up to quite a bit of shattered porcelain. Here at headquarters we're still talking about our rather disastrous Armenian operation where the customer insisted we proceed despite our warnings to the contrary. From what we've heard they're still picking bits of shattered porcelain out of the shrubbery. So thanks, but no thanks. Bob
They had the good sense to immediately realize that an error had been made.Other forms of nonsense