If you are a supplier wanting to do business with me, know this: I take a very dim view of offers of free gifts.

I don’t care if it’s the way business is done.

I don’t care if every other school is doing it.

I believe in better.

The money I spend is not my own. In my current position, it is taxpayer’s money. If I accept something from you that is only of use to me, in return for money that is not mine, that is theft. There is at least one person in my school that takes part in this kind of bribery, and I have been extremely critical of it. I refuse even to look the other way, let alone be party to it.

By all means knock some money off my order. If you waive the next-day delivery charge, you bring yourself that much closer to ‘best-value’, even if your goods prices are no better than the next guy. Offer me, personally, anything more valuable than a promotional mug or pad of Post-It notes, and you are only hurting your chances of me using you as a supplier.

About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

3 responses to “Graft”

  1. Giles says :

    I couldn’t agree more – I’ve never flagged this when other members of staff have taken part in this but I feel like I perhaps should…

    It’s not right.

  2. mrsmith says :

    Couldn’t agree more.

    I will happily accept gestures of goodwill from an account manager (thoughtful, personal gestures that say ‘I am a nice human being who actually enjoys my sales work rather than caring more about a bonus’, eg Christmas card) but if my order depends on it, it’s nothing short of bribery that, in the long run, screws over the taxpayer, and should actually be illegal.

    I like your views on morality: refreshingly humanist.

  3. Emanuel Crisp says :

    I find this especially irritating. This has been rife in education for so long now… how long have we seen:

    Free PS2/nintendo wii with this projector (priced about £350 over the odds)
    Free £50 M&S voucher with product X

    and the worst of all, the telephone conversation containing

    “If you go with us on this deal I’m sure we can sort you out with a gift for yourself”

    Cringeworthy and offensively wrong. Such offers usually get filed in the bin straight away, if only to protect myself from any allegations.

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