Let me talk about Tony.
That’s not his real name, I’ve changed it so that if he finds this post he’ll not kill me. He’s called Antony. Ha.
Tony is a dear friend who helped out CarbonCube Design on many occasions when a technical hand was required or we needed a business type to steady the ship.
Now, CarbonCube Design has been producing these bespoke holders for years but the company is always trying to find new things to offer to clients. You’ll probably have read the previous post about the projects I’ve tried to start over the years and the lessons to learn from them all. Tony is the man who comes in and makes sure the business is going well while I go off and try to get the new projects off the ground.
So a man with a great knowledge of Oyster Card Holders and a love of anal-ness. Now this isn’t a crass joke on his sexuality, that’s always going to be questioned, this is about him making things over complicated.
I, and most of the CarbonCube Team, like to just get things done easily, amybe not efficiently, but when they need to be done and with the least effort, while ensuring the client comes first.
As I’ve mentioned before, you can be laid-back and chill and still be ‘professsional’, all you need is a desire to do the best for the client and know everything about what you are doing. When it comes so easily, you can still do amazing designs and produce holders in short periods. Just have a great team behind you and an open mind.
Tony doesn’t like that. He’ll come in an without fail with moan about the structure of our electronic folders. He’ll bemoan the accuracy of our reports and poo-poo the records we have on past client orders.
2 weeks into his tenure (I think he’s done 4 stinks now) he’ll, without doubt, have revamped every document we have and included a vast array of complicated reporting features that no-one else will ever touch or know how to use.
He’ll spend the months frustratingly seeking the tiniest pieces of information on our clients so we have a robust database of the client, their employees, the sectors, their clients, their clients cats name, their bathroom habits and if they prefer gouda or wensledale. It’s always wensledale.
Tony has left us recently. Not because he died, because I came back from a project and he couldn’t handle working with me. He’s left in his wake a long list of changes that must have taken hundreds of hours to implement.
Oyster Card Holders aren’t easy to make. There are a lot of aspects in the manufacture that need careful checks before production. There are lots of pieces of information which are needed to ensure an order goes smoothly. There could be things the client has requested in the design, or specific changes to the specification. There could also be items to be inserted in the travel wallets (a request we get often).
All these things are always handled perfectly well, but when Tony is here, they take 3 times longer. Designs are done, and in fairness, done better, but are slower. Orders are placed, and in fairness, complete with all parameters included, but are slower. Communication is done but in fairness, is done with bizarre lexicon that would confuse the most hardened of Barnsley locals.
And that’s his charm, and why I keep getting him back. He emails clients and tells tehm they are being ridiculous. He calls clients and explains they can’t have a discount, just because he doesn’t feel like it. He will be called from production explaining the deadline can’t be hit and he’ll scream like a girl until we have all changed everything so his order of 250 cute fluffy pigeon oyster card holders, which he designed himself for a project of his devices, can be in place for the weekend.
He’s an oddball but we love him. The clients love him too! He makes oyster card holders seem rather fun! I’ve seen the email chains and he rarely even mentioned the holders or the designs, he just asks if they had a good weekend and (maybe jokingly) explains how his was filled with late nights paddling up the canal or early mornings hunting squirrels on the heath.
So, next time he comes back, I’ll post about it and you can get your order in. Trust me, ignore the benefits of creating an amazing design and printing some beautifully creative and inspiring travel card holders, just email to have a chat to Tony.
Thanks Tony, you loon.