Wednesday, November 25, 2009

On contract negotiations

On contract negotiations

"Right, that's the contract agreed. We pay you three million pounds on successful completion, and your company supplies us with the computer and delivery system as set out in the requirements documentation."

"Fantastic - all we need are your signatures and the whole transaction is formalised. If you'd be so kind to sign here and...”

“Not just yet. There's one more factor to discuss.”

“Are you sure? Our legal people have been through everything with a fine-tooth comb. It's water-tight. We've jumped through all the hoops and all our ducks are in a row.”

“That's as maybe. Our company's long-standing policy on contracts of this value is to demand a hostage exchange.”

“A what?”

“Oh, it's nothing really. Business being what it is these days, we need to make sure we don't get stiffed somewhere down the line.”

“But... but... what if we refuse?”

“Yeah, they all say that. Look – just give us one of your kids, and we'll hand the blighter back relatively unscathed when you deliver on the contract.”

“And what do I get?”

“A spare room in your house in which Nigel from accounts will lodge.”

“Wait – what – who?”

“Only until our final payment clears. Fair's fair, eh?”

“And what happens – theoretically speaking – if the deal goes tits? Will I ever see Julian again?”

“Stop your worrying – you get to bring up Nigel as your own son-and-heir, while it's the kebab shop for your lad.”

“W... w... w... you don't mean *boilk*”

“Calm down man – they're always after serving staff at the Medina – he'd fit in perfectly.”

“I really don't think this hostage thing is appropriate. We may have to reconsider the whole contract in the light of this unexpected turn of events.”

“Heh. God. Had you fooled – there's no way on Earth we'd demand your son as a hostage for a contract of this magnitude...”

“Well – thank the good Lord for that. You really had me going for a minute...”

“...we'd be asking for your wife and seventeen-year-old daughter at the very least.”


"I like a man who can do business."

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