A Western Tale – CIPS Congress and the Pony Express

The tumbleweed blew down the broad, dusty main street of the little western town.  The heat haze still shimmered through the dusk and around the cacti out in the desert just beyond the town, and the occasional bark of a half-hearted dog broke the quiet.

Miss Kitty strode out through the saloon doors to take in some of the warm evening air. The cowboys inside were getting to the raucous stage of the evening, so she was glad of a few minutes break. Next door to the bar, old man Smith was sitting on his porch, chewing his tobacco and humming gently to himself.

“You still up, Pa”?  asked Kitty.

“Why sure I am”.  The old man smiled.

“A’m expecting a letter, I heard the pony express might be gettin’ into town tonight, didn’t want to miss it”, he explained.

“Sure must be an important letter, keep a man from his bed - or his whiskey in the tavern for that matter”.

“Well, might not mean much to you, missy, but when it’s the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply who wants to tell you somethin’, then I’m always up for listening”.

“The Chartered ...what”?

“My Institute. I wasn’t always a idle old man, y’know, in a deadbeat town like this. In my day, I negotiated contracts with the best of them. Managed stakeholder compliance, wrote category plans. And CIPS – well, that’s my Institute. And they’ve got big news too. They might be a goin’ and a-changin’ their name! And makin’ us Chartered Members! Why, doggone it, it’s the biggest news for years for us purchasing folk”!

“But why do you think there’ll be a letter tonight, Pa”?

“Well, I reckon the Congress meeting was a month ago, where these things was discussed. So someone has to write it all down, get it to ... Liverpool, I think the place is, in England, then put it on the boat. That’s another two weeks to cross the Atlantic, then another 2 days on the train to Louisville, then the Pony Express out here only runs once a week... So should be any day now by my reckoning. I don’t want to miss it when it arrives”.

Miss Kitty looked surprised.

“But .. if they had this meeting a month ago, couldn’t they have just put the information on Facebook? Or blogged on their website?  Or why didn’t they just send you an email”?

Old man Smith smiled, and spat a gob of tobacco onto the hard ground.

“Dammed if I know, Miss. Dammed if I know”.


Exciting late news - Yes, the Pony Express arrived! Today I got a copy of the "Briefing for Branch Chairs on discussions and outcomes of CIPS International Congress – March 2014"!  

We'll report back on anything interesting when we've had a chance to read and digest.

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  1. Nick @ Market Dojo:

    Ha, ha, I was three-quarters the way through this post when I caught myself reading in a thick Sou’west draawl! Glad no one called me at the time, I might just have answered in the accent!

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