Michael Winner, the man who has done for films what nail bombers have done for community relations, made the news last week after falling out with the management at Cliveden, Britain's most elegant hotel.
Mr Winner complained of being treated like a tourist from a coach party.
Perhaps it was the uncouth manner, or perhaps it was the knotted hankie on his head, but Cliveden staff appear to have confused Mr Winner with a pompous, overbearing oaf.
Referring to Bill Gates' part-ownership of Cliveden, Mr Winner told the Daily Mail: "If Bill Gates ran Microsoft like they run that hotel, he would be living in a bedsit in King's Cross on state assistance."
So, if Microsoft ran hotels, what would they be like?
"Good morning, sir. Welcome to Microsoft Travelodge. How may I help you?"
"I'd like a room, please."
"Certainly, sir. What had you in mind?"
"A double with en suite bathroom and a view."
"I'll put you in 98, sir - a single with a bathroom just down the hall.
I'm sure you will find it to your taste."
"I asked for a double."
"Yes, sir, but all our rooms are the same."
"And the view ...?"
"Windows in all of them."
"Is there someone to show me where to go?"
"No need, sir. It's intuitive. Just follow your nose and you'll find it."
"Okay, but I could do with some help with my luggage."
"Hmm. It appears that your luggage has been used at a non-Microsoft hotel.
It's unlikely to be compatible with our porters and you probably won't be able to get the cases open when you get to your room. You will find more suitable luggage on sale in the hotel shop, just around the corner from the lifts."
"This is ridiculous. You can't give me the room I want, you won't tell me how to get there, and you expect me to unpack my bags, buy new luggage then stagger upstairs with it on my own. I'm not staying here. Please direct me to another hotel."
"Certainly, sir. You could try the Microsoft Holiday Inn across the street, or head west for about a mile until you come to the Microsoft Sheraton ..."
Drugs have been in the news again. This only serves to hasten the introduction of US-style corporate thought police with their drug testing kits and personnel management diplomas. This is a deeply unpleasant prospect, but it's also unnecessary. Forget blood tests and urine samples. There are more logical and cheaper ways of drug-testing your employees. Try asking them whether they play rugby or whether they can find the "om" symbol using Windows' UK keyboard. Those who can perform the latter function probably first saw the symbol on a tab of acid known as "purple om", or they are long-time hippies who listen to old Genesis albums and smoke home-grown grass in bongs. In either case, appropriate action can be taken - whether it's dismissal or promotion will depend on prevailing company policy.
A fine example of conference nerves was seen at last month's Novell BrainShare, where Novell chief executive Eric Schmidt was interrupted by a PR executive with the immortal words, "Er, excuse me, Dr Shit". This wasn't the only PR gaffe at the event. It is well known that PR people keep profiles on journalists for the purposes of briefing their clients.
It is also well known that these documents must be kept hidden from journalists at all costs. But someone forgot this basic rule. The journalist who found a confidential file on a chair was a tad upset to read (about himself) that he "can be hard work" and "has no personality to speak of".
If you had to identify the defining characteristics of software companies, never getting anything finished would be high on the list. This trait is evident not just in their software, but in their marketing literature.
In Microsoft's information pack that details the benefits of moving from Windows 98 to NT, the Web address for a description of the latest security enhancements to NT is given as "http://tbd need location of paper on Web".
Later, readers are referred to a CD with the helpful instruction: "For more information see ".
If you want to dine with Bill Gates it will cost you. The going rate is $1 million for the privilege of dining with His Billness and Mrs Bill at the Gates family residence. The instigator of the scheme, Mrs Gates, is hoping to raise $100 million for Duke University. Bill himself is bored silly by the idea of having to entertain a hundred strangers earnestly bleating about education. The P of D dropped out of college because he knew that girls weren't interested in chaps with brains, they wanted fellows with their own software companies and hundred-billion-dollar fortunes.
With any luck, Gates will hit the Chardonnay early on, become argumentative, get in a few fights and end the evening by dropping his trousers to display a tattoo of an om symbol on one pallid buttock and the flying windows insignia in full colour on the other.
Disillusioned with IT? Bored, demotivated? If so, don't bother getting in touch with Mole. If, on the other hand, you have something interesting to say, send a message.
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