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Chairman’s Blog Thursday 19th December 2013.
I am very busy at the moment wrapping up before Christmas. So, rather than sending out my usual Blog, I thought I would share with you all a letter I have received from a visitor who was present at the meeting but I suspect very few of you spotted. I set it out below in full:-
Dear Mr Chairman
I wanted to write to you to express my pleasure and appreciation following my attendance at your Christmas meeting on the 19th December 2013.
As you know my name is Nicholas S Claus and I am a toy salesman. I have been interested in networking for some time and I am very interested in joining a group that meets regularly. I have to say I was most impressed with EBF.
I appreciate this particular meeting was slightly different from the usual, but I was impressed by the positivity of the members, the usefulness of the discipline engendered by formal referrals and the recording of business passed. The 60 seconds was the most enjoyable and interesting part of the meeting.
However the highlight of the meeting for me was the opportunity to sit down next to one of my footballing heroes . I have been a lifelong Arsenal supporter, (it’s probably their colours) and the revival in their fortunes has a lot to do with their recent signing Mesut Ozil. Imagine my surprise and joy when I found myself sitting next to the great man pretending to be someone called Dean Caldon of Redstones Estate and Letting Agents. He finally admitted his subterfuge after I had promised I would not reveal his identity to a soul. He obviously recognised me as a man of my word. Nonetheless I think I must have made him rather nervous which was demonstrated by the fact that his 60 seconds was sung rather than spoken to the meeting. I do think it is a sign of an intelligent footballer who makes sure he has another career to fall back on, you never know what’s round the next corner! Also I did manage to get his autograph.
I then forced myself to concentrate on the other members who were present in order to see what business connections might be available to me. I was not disappointed. There was a chap called Mike Rogers who seemed rather deaf and kept ringing a bell. Apparently he does mortgages… I am looking for fresh premises and he might be the person to approach. Then there was Neil Lewer who seems to be a carpenter and joiner, I never have been quite sure of the distinction but I have a rather fine wooden sledge that needs some repairs, I might approach him on this.
Then there was a lady called Kim who seemed to be quite fearsome and, probably not being aware of my presence, declared that she had had a “crap” week and went on to relate a series of disasters that occurred in her business in the last week. There was Jeni from Barclays Bank who seemed to want to give a trivia quiz rather than a description of what she did. It would seem the Barclays name speaks for itself.
And what about the man with the glistening head, I think his name was Michael Adelizzi, who declared himself nice, sweet, and short. He then however went on to describe the bathroom equipment that he sells which would certainly help you if you were taken short. I have to say it might be worth while paying a visit to his St. Mary’s Lane Shop in the very near future.
I was much taken with a lady called Dawn who, whilst trying to fit a moustache to her upper lip (unsuccessfully I might add), spoke darkly of introductions to accountants in the New Year. I could not really work out what she did. The same however was true of Alan Shaw who I understand is an Architect. He seemed rather vague but I gather he is like that every week.
Next up was a gentleman called Nike Cooke who very precisely summarised what he did. With his resplendent white beard and silver hair, I have to say, I liked the cut of his jib. Apparently he makes sure, amongst other things, that chimneys are structurally safe. This is something of which I wholly approve . He needs fattening up a bit but I saw something of myself in him.
The Builder called Kevin Brooks and the Plumber called Peter Hood both seemed to be trying to avoid work although Peter Hood did say he could be available for emergencies over Christmas. He then slightly back tracked by indicating that this would not mean he was available Christmas Eve, Christmas day or Boxing Day. His idea of Christmas seemed to cover 3 week period.
My eye was next caught by the gentleman with a very garish pullover who said his name was Graham Thurston, I did not quite catch where he came from, then I think he lost interest and sat down. One of the really interesting people who stood up was Howard Bullock, a financial adviser, who apparently had been trying to arrange a group pension scheme for Elves but had been put off when he was given to believe that Elves are immortal. That might be true for some of them but, they are such rigorous and dedicated little people that many of them work themselves to death and I have to say I might be interested in a pension scheme. I think I will approach him, it might give him comfort to know that all his current research has not been in vain.
The only person at the meeting who looked like an elf was Terry Maylin, but I understand he is a solicitor and that you, Mr Chairman have some connection with him. Apparently you complement each other a lot, a rather nauseating concept if I may say so.
One of your more curious members was Ed Crocker. He arrived in leathers with a yellow crash helmet. He took those clothes off and donned a pullover that was far too small for him and then declared himself to be a courier…. seemed nonsense to me but if indeed he is a man who can deliver on the same day I might have some work for him at my busy times of the year.
I was intrigued by another silver haired fellow who delivered an interesting little poem; I quite took to him. Apparently he is an insurance broker. I always had them down as dull and boring people. He seemed more like Father…. maybe not !!
One of the more interesting speakers for me was Scott Griffiths who apparently sets up websites and explained why it is important to have them set up properly. As my business gets more complicated I think I might be in need of his services.
Yet another silver haired old gentleman stood up (you have quite a lot of those don’t you!) I thought that he would be addressing upon the subject of decorating but apparently “painter” is his name rather than his business. He was rather generously offering to help people give up smoking but when he started to explain that this would help pay for the cost of Christmas I realised he charged for doing this. I can only assume that he sells those nicotine patches.
I thought the most interesting of you members was the last speaker of the 60 second round – Paul Booth. In the great scheme of things, if insurance brokers are boring, accountants are mind numbingly tedious, or so I thought. However his pullover depicted rutting Reindeer, “two on one” or was it “three on three”. He then made some suggestions as to what to say around the Christmas Dinner table when the conversation flags. “Child Benefit” was one of his suggestions. My own suggestion is that he shouldn’t wear that pullover to Christmas Dinner.
Once the 60 second round was over I wondered what was going to happen next. That decorating chappy who hands out nicotine patches had apparently compiled a quiz and promptly had everybody reaching for their pencils and paper. Often the questions were more difficult to understand than the answers but everybody seemed to enjoy it and I was disappointed that my hero, Mr Ozil didn’t win, it was very close.
My ears really pricked up however in the Referrals and Testimonials Round. The meeting had hitherto been full of good cheer, but even the serious stuff was cheerful, lots of referrals passed, expressions of thanks from many of the members for all the business they have received over the year and apparently £90,000.00’s worth of business passed in what I understand is only the third week of this month.
There was then some mention of a Secret Santa. I decided it was time to go at this stage, but with a final comment addressed to you Mr Chairman. Whilst Nick Cooke needs fattening up if he is going to fulfil the role of a Santa, all you need to do is to grow the white beard.
I hope to visit you all again.
Now that has saved me a job. Until the next meeting…..