Men From Mars – Women From Venus But As For Wag …..

12 Apr

After a further frustrating week trying to work with wag food and other wag departments, I think this analogy should apply to the private and public sectors here in Wales, do you feel the same?

You are all aware that I have been waiting impatiently, and impatient is the polite description, for wag food to send through their funding list through for this year. The latest news was that we’d get the list w/c 1st April, but it was more likely to be Friday 5th. Well Friday arrived, but no list. As the day passed another reminder was sent through which brought the response that the list was now awaiting Ministerial approval – and no idea when it would be rubber-stamped.

Now being bright – well bright ish? Right ok then, let’s agree not totally stupid, I do get that the Civil Service cannot ‘work’ without their paperwork being rubber-stamped by those in the hot seats of power. But the point I’d like them to take on board is to communicate, yes communicate, talk to people and journalists that are talking to them. Wag food know I’ve been champing at the bit to get this list. I’ve asked and asked and asked, even for a simple timescale. Then they do give me a timescale, they then don’t stick to it. Of course they’ll have their reasons but that isn’t my grumble. With Welsh Country magazine, if we have promised a client something by a set date, we know the onus is on us to deliver as promised. If for some reason we can’t do as promised, then we know it is our duty to make contact and explain why things have not gone according to our plan. It is not down to our clients to chase us. So why does that differ with the government? Couldn’t wag food simply have sent me the briefest of emails on Friday 5th saying the list is awaiting Ministerial rubber-stamping and is likely to be sent through some day soon? Couldn’t they then keep me in the loop? What is difficult or time-consuming about that? Have they got hundreds of journalists across Wales wanting this information from them? I guess not, but keeping me in the loop, keeping me happy or in my view, behaving profesionally  is not how it works on wag food.

As you well know, this lack of communication from wag in all departments really riles me, basically because there’s no reason or excuse for it in my book. I’m frequently offered the ‘we’re very busy’ excuse, which is very insulting as it actually means you are not a priority for me to deal with, just wait. Whereas in our small company we bend over backwards to help clients in any way we can, but the difference is, if we don’t offer superb, friendly service our clients might just walk away and go elsewhere. I only wish I had this option with wag food. Wag food continue to make me feel that’s I’m the enemy, which surprises me as it’s a lack of brain power and a lack of forward thinking, which should be to keep us on side as we can not only make your life easier but we also might be able to help each other – which will make life better for our food producers.

So as I post this, mid Friday afternoon, a further week on, I still don’t have the food festival list. I’m left reeling with wag’s lack of customer service and customer care. Mars, Venus, public or private sector, I cannot believe how we will ever relate to each other, despite the fact that they are our civil servants and we pay their wages………now when have I said that before????

Best Of Welsh & Borders producers can rest assured that whenever wag food deem it fit to send me the full list – I’ll forward it  through to you.

Sorry not able to do a better job for you and you’ll understand when I say I feel like giving up…………            


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  1. producer

    April 15, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Initially this report made me chuckle because the feeling with producers is wag food are not from this planet and never have been!
    We thought much needed miracles might happen when wag food staff changes came around, but from our side we have seen nothing positive.
    We still wait to be told OFFICIALLY of new man, but at least you’ve told us. But we’ve no hope that we’ll see changes that will really help us as grass roots level, as you keep saying no-one from wag food talks to us and it seems haven’t got the sense to listen to you and your people. That again makes me grin because your team are the only ones we talk to outside our companies because we trust you.
    After the amount of work you have had to do to try and get festival funding, it can only be the civil servants who have no idea that we really do want this information. I agree with you that we all should have had it last year.
    I am appalled at their lack of professionalism, I really think they are rude and disrespectful. You are trying to help them and they couldn’t care less.
    It’s easy to understand that you feel like giving up with wag. I think you’re wrong but as you’re treated so badly I get where you are coming from. But if you give up, we’ll have no-one fighting our corner. They carry on imposing their views on us, they’ll carry on winning and bullies should never win.

  2. admin

    April 15, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Thanks for comments
    of course I can see your side and our Best Of Welsh & Border producers but it’s hard work banging your head against a brick government food wall
    maybe I need to try other tactics…….

  3. BG

    April 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    No smiles from me it’s wag behaving as they usually do
    Once you’ve asked for this list, why do they then make it such a big problem? It’s pathetic that you have had yet another runaround compliments of wag. Sounds like this list is still as big a secret as the new man is supposed to be.
    All I can say is that you couldn’t run a business like they run food it’s a
    shambles, a total shambles.
    I’ve had details of festivals I attended last year sent through but would have liked to have known months ago what else was going on
    I’ve a limited tradestand budget and wanted to plan much more carefully this year. But there’s no reason at all why wag should understand my thinking on that, why would I matter to them?
    you just send Kath the list when you’re good and ready chaps, after all it’s no skin off your nose, not your livelihood on the line

  4. Tess

    April 16, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    The only thing I’m convinced of is that wag food is not of this planet
    I cannot believe the effort that Kath has put in to get the list of festivals wag are funding and to no avail as they block her at every turn but for what reason? Why are they so unhelpful this info is now out their but because they are so inefficient she’s kept waiting and waiting
    If these people worked in the private sector their attitude would have to improve to survive.
    I’ve never had much faith in wag food so this poor performance is to be expected.

  5. cupcake

    April 16, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    You’re right on the mark with most things on food side but sorry you were wrong with your high hopes for new broom even though only temp chap.
    Pleased to get your take on new man coming in, but not really sure you’re impressed with him??

  6. admin

    April 16, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I’ve been told off quite a few times about my high hopes for new temp broom but I always judge as I find. I’ve been pleased with the chats we’ve had and he does listen. The bonus is he appears to understand where I/food producers are coming from, he’s just not had long enough there. It’s sad he had much to do when he arrived, that can’t have been easy to do. In my view he should have been kept there.
    I’ve had only little gossip on new chap, and no news when he arrives, but why should I expect that from wag until he’s been in post for weeks?
    I’m not holding my breath there though and as I’ve not got high hopes on this, it means they can’t be dashed and squashed!

  7. traderman

    April 17, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Nobody could have worked harder than you and the guys there. Yet using the mars and venus example does some it up.
    As a producer I know I’ll lose out on such a lot of news and info, but I’d suggest you give up on wag food. Call it a day. They haven’t got the sense to listen to you much of the time and when they do, I bet you don’t get credit for it. I’m betting too that wag must still pay food advisors, consultants and pr people unless all those budgets have been cut, so why do you waste your time, energy and effort offering your help?
    It aint your fault wag fail to grasp what they keep doing wrong, forget them they aren’t worth your time.

  8. admin

    April 17, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Thanks for leaving a comment.
    I keep asking myself more and more now why I bother, it’s frustrating and annoying.
    Wag haven’t given me credit, you’re quite right, but I’m not doing it for that, if I was trying to get in their good books my nose would be a different colour.
    I’ve no idea which so-called advisors are still on the wag gravy train, that’s not of interest as I’m sadly unimpressed by many of them, otherwise we wouldn’t be in this mess. I’m fighting for our food producers, our organisers and for Welsh food in total but without wasting so much money!!!!!!!!

    I think you can take a horse to water but can’t make it drink sadly applies here.

  9. producer too

    April 17, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    My daughter has just read this post with peals of laughter until I reminded her that this is the lot that head our industry, no more giggles
    Anyway daughter thinks wag are on planet zog, wherever that might be, but she says wag’s not in our world and never has been. That follows with the feedback you’re getting on this one
    If only wag would listen and change their attitude to us and you.

  10. Tom

    April 22, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Give up, just give up.
    We have the wag food we deserve. We should fight wag ourselves if we’d the courage, but we haven’t.
    We need a union.

    This couldn’t happen in the private world. But in the public sector they have their own rules
    and it’s in order in their rule book to ignore journalists, even one that’s been supporting Welsh food for years and years. If it makes sense to wag it sure don’t to me and other traders like me.
    I don’t understand how this can happen, but then wag rule Wales, or the civil service do. You and me just pay for them.
    It’s a hard life in the private sector but how can public servants know anything about that?
    Are you doing lots of food festivals this year?

  11. admin

    April 22, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Kind of you to leave a comment and right now it’s more than tempting to give up and let them win.
    Not sure how many festivals we’ll do this year. I think, but not sure Miller are doing their wag paid for check on festivals, so at the moment not actually feel like doing any, but of course no idea of which are being funded. If I do any I shall not be blogging about them and helpging Miller yet again. You know you can always call or email if I can help further with anything.

  12. admin

    April 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I agree with Tom
    waste no more time and energy on this shower they are just not listening to you
    wag knows best
    but if that was the case we wouldn’t be having such a tough time

  13. trader

    April 24, 2013 at 11:15 am

    it’s not the mars – venus difference, it’s as you’ve said many, many times, it’s the difference between the public sector and private business.
    No private business could be so sloppy and hope to survive, because they couldn’t. That’s a fact.
    We have to bend over backwards for our customers, otherwise they’ll vote with their feet.
    Producers and you don’t have this luxury with wag.