In my profession, I deal with many large corporations. Many of them are household names that everyone has heard of. I buy products from these corporations, mark them up, inventory them, and resell them for a profit. I am a middleman, in wholesale distribution. I suppose you can call me a relic that made it – I remember a long time ago many companies warning their distributors that with the dawning of the internet age that we would beome obsolete. Nothing could be further from the truth – but I digress.
Consumers, by and large, see the frontsides of major corporations, or their retail marketing arms. Very few people would know the ins and outs of GE’s locomotive division, but are very familiar with GE appliances such as washers and dryers. It is very difficult for the average person to comprehend how large some of the companies in the Fortune 500 are, how they go to market, and how diverse many of these companies are. Everyone who likes golf knows Titlest, but nobody knows who Fortune Brands is.
What I am getting at is the fact that, by and large, most consumers do not see a companies backside, but usually are familiar with their frontside. I deal on the backside.
Today I received a shipment of heating and air conitioning components from a Fortune 500 company. If you saw their website (I won’t torch them) you would think they are the greenest of the green companies on earth, and their marketing to the consumer side stresses this. Below is a shot of my PO, with most information redacted. As you can see, it is one sheet of paper, with 15 line items that I faxed to an order entry center. Click photos for larger if you are interested.
I received 14 of the 15 line items in one shipment, and here is the packing list I received for these 14 line items.
An astonishing 13 pages of bullshit. They had a separate piece of paper for EACH BOX, along with a master packing list to boot. So who is the environmentally friendly person in this scenario? Well, it is ME, of course. Things like this make my head spin, and when I complain, the complaints usually fall on deaf ears. At times, the way that companies operate on the backside is 100% contrary to the image they project on the frontside. When the rubber hits the road, things sometimes aren’t as they should be.