A and I are getting married later this year. It's not going to be a massively lavish do, but with all our friends there it's gonna be one pretty sweet party.
Given there are more than 6 months to go, we are pretty organised too; we've booked the church, hall & caterers, A has found her dream dress under budget (best not to ask what the budget was though!) and I have nearly nailed down the bestest student band in the world to play at the reception.
Hopefully it's plain sailing all the way now. Just filling in around the edges, if you will. So last week my job was to try and find a company to set up and run a bar at the venue.
A and I are both fans of real ale and we had hoped to have one of the local breweries run the bar for us, so that we could show off the best local ales to our guests. So imagine my joy when walking home from the station last week I spotted an Abbey Ales van driving through Bath, with the slogan "Mobile Bars - We Bring The Beer To You" (or something to that effect) written on the side. Woo Hoo - I'm in luck here, and I don't even need to dig out the yellow pages.
Next day I rattled off an e-mail with my details asking how much they charge for their services. Hoping that all breweries ran the same service I also fired off an enquiry to Bath Ales, who, in my humble opinion brew superior beers to Abbey ales, and would be my first choice beverage provider.
Two days past and I heard nothing. So I consulted the yellow pages and fired off e-mails to four more companies, this time specialists in providing bars at, what would otherwise be, dry social events.
That was last Thursday, and I've heard diddly-squat from them too.
Six companies; none of whom have even the courtesy to e-mail me back and say "Sorry we can't help you". How do businesses survive if they don't even reply to enquiries from people offering to pay for their services?
I know you always get a much more satisfactory answer from actually phoning people and speaking to them, as e-mails are very easy to ignore, but this is the 21st century, people expect to get replies to e-mails. It's just rude not to.
Pictures from flickr.com