She’s smart, she’s funny, she’s cute – but she works in procurement?! No, thanks! Here’s why you should never, EVER, go out with a procurement pro.
“Psst – hey. Hey, bro. I heard you’ve got a thing for Jenny on the third floor?”
“Yeah, man – we’re going out to dinner tonight. First date!”
“Dude. Listen to me carefully. Don’t do it. Find an excuse to cancel and forget the whole idea.”
“She works … in procurement.”
“Let me explain…”
- She’ll be tight with money
“How about we order a bottle of champagne, Jenny?”
“Hmm … how about we don’t.”
Procurement professionals are annoyingly cost conscious. It’s in their DNA. At the first suggestion of “splashing out” with an expensive purchase, Jenny is seeing red flags and starts asking questions. What’s the short-versus-long-term value proposition of that bottle of champagne? Are there some alternative beverages that would lead to a cost saving? What would be the risks and benefits if we ordered the cheapest bottle of plonk instead? How could we better spend this money on something that would really add value for me (i.e. dessert).
- She’ll win every argument
“So … what have you got planned after the meal?”
“Well, Jenny – I thought we’d catch a movie.”
“Hmmm … I thought we might go to the ballet instead.”
“The ballet? No way!”
[Two minutes later …]
“OK, it looks like we’re going to the ballet.”
Here’s the thing about procurement professionals. They actually enjoy an argument. They thrive on negotiation. It’s part of their job, which means that they have the advantage of hundreds of hours of practice. While Jenny’s negotiating at the dinner table, she’s watching you carefully for dozens of nearly imperceptible signs – raised eyebrows, flared nostrils – and rapidly adjusting her strategy as she goes. She quickly destroys every counter-argument you raise, recognises when your defences crumble, goes in for the kill – and you’re off to the ballet.
- She’ll hold you to your word
“Here we are at the ballet, Jenny. I’m so … excited … to be here.”
“But – oh, damn, I just realised I’ve got to be somewhere else right now.”
“Sorry – I’ve got to run.”
“Listen, buddy. We had a verbal contract.”
Procurement and supply management experts know their way around a contract. They also have a laser-vision focus on ensuring every benefit listed in the contract is realised. Jenny knows that after the contract is agreed upon, she’ll need to launch her contract management plan – with check-ins, milestones, risk flags, and the whole works – to ensure she gets every bit of value that was laid out in the contract.
On a related note, Jenny’s also a stickler for regulatory compliance. Thinking of jaywalking instead of using the pedestrian crossing to get to the theatre? Jenny won’t be impressed.
- She’ll constantly expect new experiences
“Tonight was fun, Jenny! Would you like to go out again next week?”
“Sure! What have you got planned?”
“Well … I thought we’d just have dinner in a restaurant then catch another show or something.”
“That sounds like exactly the same date. Can’t you think of something different?”
Procurement professionals are tasked with driving innovation in the supply base. This means that even when her suppliers are delivering in-full and on-time, Jenny is constantly pressuring them to come up with new ideas that will change the game. That’s why a repeat of the first date just isn’t going to cut it. You’ll need to think up some innovative dating experiences. Visit a food truck festival? Go mini-golfing? Try your hand at geocaching? Just remember that no matter how much fun each experience is, Jenny will always expect a new idea for the following date.
Have you ever dated a procurement professional? Or are you (God forbid) married to one? Leave your comments below!