Well. We didn't win the European Excellence Awards award. It must have been fixed or the jury was got at, since we should have done.... and we didn't win that project that we were hoping to win just before Christmas. Must have been fixed in advance....
Actually, I am joking. We didn't win at the Awards, but someone else did. And we didn't get the new project because another agency did a better pitch. End of. The problem with living over here is that so many things are not quite straightforward and on many occasions, unfortunately, it is easy to think that results have been fixed, contracts have been given because of money under the counter, people have been chosen or overlooked because of something underhand, rather than just accepting that that is how it is. Paranoia is still part of the Czech way of life, and it seems that if we work over here for long enough, we all run the risk of it rubbing off on us!
Last week, a member of an association that I am involved in resigned as he felt that he had been overlooked for a promotional opportunity. There are more than 100 members, any one of which could have been chosen, and the decision made on that particular promotion was made in a matter of a few seconds. But he felt that something underhand had gone on, so resigned on principle. Then, also last week, one of my friends began a market research campaign where the first three to fill in a questionnaire and return it would win a prize. The questionnaire was on his own website, sent in the mail and posted on Linkedin. Within minutes, comments were sent into Linkedin that questioned my friend's company's willingness to actually give the prize (and the integrity of the company at the same time) that suggested that the prize, if it existed, would be given to the bosses's 'friends' and that warned everyone else from taking part......
Then today, to cap it all, I was asked how much we had paid to get a particularly effective piece of coverage into one of the main media for a client, something that I, personally, had been working on for months.... and the worrying thing was that it wasn't asked in an accusatory way, but matter of fact; i.e. you must have paid... because that is what is done.
It seems to me that if someone asks this sort of question or makes this sort of statement, it may well be because that is how they, themselves, would behave in the same circumstances. And since I am of the belief that, whatever we do, we have to be able to sleep at night (and I, personally, wouldn't be able to sleep if I did anything that wasn't, in my own rule book, correct), then I wonder how well some of these people manage... or perhaps they don't.
Time for a nap.