Monday, 5 October 2009

The Peter Principle

Nope, nothing to do with Family Guy (sorry guys) but instead the prinicple of promotion to incompetence. Wikipedia here. I guess it could fit Family Guy's Peter quite well although I don't know where he would be promoted from.

Anyway this was inspired by both an interesting (if light) FT comment piece on diversification to incompetence and its role in the current crisis (article here) and by an experience at an estate agents this weekend.

I had arranged on Thursday to view two properties with said estate agent on Saturday. The agent (lets call him Jason, it is his name) phoned me on Saturday morning about two hours before the viewing to say he couldn't show us one property as the keys were with another estate agent and he hadn't been able to get them. Possibly excusable although surely if you're acting as an agent for a landlord you would get your own f-ing keys. Surely that's a basic recquirement for acting as agent. Surely you don't rely on your competitors providing you with access. Anyway I accepted his apologies and agreed to see the other property anyway, we arrived to see Jason. He seemed happy to see us, got ready to head off and then . . . couldn't find the other f-ing keys! Apparently the plumber had them. Now why, when you've just not been able to get one set of keys would you not go and look for the other set and make sure you had them?

Anyway suffice to say we left with the understanding that when Jason came accross the keys we would still be happy to see the flats. Incompetence is not exactly uncommon amongst estate agents and so you can't just cut out those who are.

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