Many corporate, non-profit and public sector organization Web sites feature wonderful pictures of their offices/factories/mines/etc to suggest the substance and durable nature of their activities. Even in this era of virtual everything, there remains something comforting about knowing that our suppliers, customers, partners — really all of our trading partners — do indeed have the wherewithal to maintain, even require, physical premises.
Conveying corporate substance and immortality are surely behind the massive headquarter campuses of Oracle in Redwood City and SAP in Walldorf, that well-marked turn onto Workday Way, and Ultimate headquarters’ reflection in its very own Florida lake. So I thought it might lend substance and a sense of permanence to my own small business, Bloom & Wallace, to give you a perspective on our very own albeit modest headquarters right her in Paradise.
- First, I’d like to introduce you to our legal counsel, Mr. Eagle, who maintains a dignified stance no matter the circumstances as long as he remains on his lakeside perch. Preferring dead trees, both to perch and build their nests, our resident eagle family have been here since well before our arrival in 1999. No amount of disruptive behavior by new home building, rambunctious teens or the middle-aged to senior motorcyclists and Corvette owners seems to disturb their aura of calm watchfulness.
- The only time the eagles have left us, and who can blame them as we were all running for our lives, is when Hurricane Charlie came straight at us. They returned as soon as the rest of us did to assess the damage and rebuild. But until you’ve seen an eagle swoop at full speed into the lake and soar upwards, fish in claws, you haven’t seen the power and determination of our legal counsel. Best not to mess with him as those claws are huge, sharp and NOT removable once he’s got you in them.
- Next, I’d like to introduce you to our customer service department, also known as our cracker cattle herd. Just like with our corporate counsel, our customer service “department” is outsourced, actually owned and maintained by our neighbors across the lake. But just imagine that, when you’re on the line waiting for the IT support people for one of your freemium smart-phone apps in Hindustan or your laptop disaster recovery person in Cucamunga, instead of the horrible elevator music you’re hearing the lowing of cattle on the gentle, tropical night air.
- That’s what you get when you call Bloom & Wallace at sunset with the windows open almost no matter who answers the phone. Those cattle make themselves heard, well they are a herd, even as the backdrop to a couple of Webinars that I’ve done. Walk up close to their pasture and stand at the fence, and you never met a friendlier group of customer support folks, and certainly none that will lick your face if you’re foolish enough to get within range. But don’t even look like you’re annoying them or Johnny their wrangler will intervene promptly and memorably.
Finally, I’d like to introduce you to the sales team. They’re a tad on the aggressive side, but that’s to be expected under the circumstances. Actually, they’re not our sales team but rather that of one of the HRM software vendors which isn’t at all pleased with how I view their products. But not to worry, unless it’s mating season. Then our local gators can be quite unpredictable. And please don’t believe that old wives tale that you can outrun a gator on land by zigging and zagging because they can only run in a straight line. Tell that to the several people each year who aren’t around to tell their side of that story. But there’s nothing so serene as watching our sales team basking in the sun at the end of our garden, looking for all the world like they’re asleep until something catches their attention and then they’re off like a freight train. Here’s a great picture of one of the sales team leaders trying to work the doorknobs from the lanai into the pool bath during one of those always too long briefings on my HRM software architectural preferences.
Yup, we’re well-staffed here at HQ, and ready for your visit. It’s much more interesting to take vendor briefings and demos in person rather than online, so do consider Fort Myers as a stop on your tour. We’ll do our best to make you very welcome and see that you leave unscathed — your person, but not necessarily your software/solution.
- Customer service team picture through the generosity of the Florida Cracker Cattle Association.