Monday, May 13, 2013
A courteous man
Two bits of background are needed for this story.
1). I admire successful people. I have, for instance, always admired Bill Gates -- even when he was the bete noir for most computer users. That he can make a vast computer program like Windows work most of the time contrasts with the repeated failures by big businesses and government agencies to get their programs working at all. The British health service, for instance, spent close to 20 BILLION dollars to trying get a health records system working for their hospitals but eventually had to write it off. And here in Queensland the Health Dept. has spent years trying to get working a program that just does their PAYROLL. It's still not working and is projected to end up costing over a billion dollars.
And other successful people -- such as super-bookie Tom Waterhouse and retail boss extraordinaire, Richard Goyder I admire too. Goyder has come from nowhere to run Bunnings Hardware, Officeworks, Coles supermarkets, chainstores K-Mart and Target plus a couple of coal mines and lots of other stuff.
And admiring success is part of the American Dream. Americans traditionally see success as a promise of what is possible for themselves rather than as something to be envied. I am not American and most of my dreams were fulfilled years ago -- with one large exception that is now unattainable. But I still admire rather than envy success.
Leftists, by contrast, hate success in others. As that poisonous old Leftist Gore Vidal once said: "Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little".
2). With all the blogging I do you might be forgiven for thinking that I have no time to write letters. But I do: Perhaps one a fortnight on average. Being a bit deaf I write letters rather than make phone calls and being a customer of Telstra is good cause for LOTS of letters. Getting Telstra services to work is no joke.
But as well as letters of complaint, I also sometimes write letters of advice -- and that is where we come to the point of this post. I am a shareholder in Mr Goyder's company (Wesfarmers) and I am also a repeat customer of Target -- which is currently the most underperforming arm of Mr Goyder's company.
So I sent him a letter offering my observations of where Target was going wrong and suggesting some quite specific avenues for improvement.
Yesterday I got, by way of a reply to my letter, the courtesy of a handwritten note from Mr Goyder in which he said, inter alia, "Your comments are spot on". And he went on to say that they are already working on implementing the ideas concerned.
I was greatly pleased.