Would your best friend tell you if your breath stank?

pressing Social Network iconWhen you’re in a good relationship it’s an unwritten rule (a ‘given’) that honesty and openness are part of that relationship. So this premise can be attached to the relationship that you should have with your accountant, or tax consultant, or solicitor. Or your stocktaker. But it is a two way street – you’d be expected to be open and honest with them in the same way they can be with you. So when they give advice and tips on how best to run your business, if you had a good relationship, you’d take it on board.

Some would say that getting involved in social media, like Facebook and Twitter would be outside the average stocktaker’s brief, it would also be true to suggest that if they mentioned something that would help, or hinder your business, it would be wise to consider it.

Take David Ford for instance, his business was doing so badly he was about to close his doors but decided on making an appeal through Facebook and in one day his business increased 40-fold! What we’re not clear about is where David got the idea to use social media to turn things around. It’s unlikely he had someone like stocktaker, Jon Rutter to help him. But someone gave him sound advice in the same way any good stocktaker would have done.

The adverse effect, however was visited on ex pub-manager Alistair Dempster who, probably acted against good advice. He started a campaign of defamation against his former boss. You’d have thought that over the course of the hate-campaign someone would have told Dempster that his “breath smelled” or something similar. Maybe he didn’t have any good friends. In any event, he ended up paying his ex boss damages and costs!

However, for an anonymous chef, something that really did smell so bad that he decided to blow the whistle about it, was the way one NHS Trust outsourced the preparation of meals to a caterer who delivers the “ready meals” to the hospital. The qualified chef is reduced to operating a microwave instead of preparing and cooking the food. He tells of many patients sending food back as inedible and then it all then gets chucked out anyway.

The whistleblower-chef has decided to remain anonymous for now in case it impacts his career prospects.

He goes to great pains to point out that most other Trusts don’t do this and that their food is fine. It would only be a matter of time and elimination before the responsible NHS bosses figure out who the culinary-mole really is. The query does spring to mind, though – why wasn’t the state of the culinary offerings widely Tweeted and Facebooked by the patients or their families before now? Perhaps they were concerned that their fare would be reduced to bread and water if they complained (the whistleblower hinted that bread and water would actually be more palatable than what is presently served). Perhaps a good friend advised them not to, and they listened.

One thing’s for sure, there was no reluctance of Tweeters to broadcast the news of Gordon Ramsay’s de-starring of his New York restaurant. He went on to say,“I started crying when I lost my stars. It’s a very emotional thing for any chef.” Maybe the Tweets from some of his patrons were also the cause of bringing tears to his eyes!

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