Wednesday, 18 July 2012




Hi Marie,

As you can probably tell I am extremely excited today, hence my use of a disproportionate number of exclamation marks!!!

After an interminable wait, it has finally arrived!

I had originally planned for this to be a surprise when I wore it to interview - it was to be my 'secret weapon' to show that unlike other candidates, I am always thinking A HEAD, and thus the job would be in the bag, but now it's arrived, I am just too excited not to show you my new EDINBURGH TRAMS GENERAL MANAGER HAT!

Isn't it AWESOME?

I ordered it from some guy on Ebay who specialises in hats and uniforms!

He's in the United States, but I told him I could probably use him to provide all the Edinburgh Trams uniforms and head wear.

Once he'd done a bit of Googling, he said he would be DELIGHTED to enter into a water-tight contract, drawn up by our Edinburgh Trams contract experts, along similar lines to the contracts we have with the existing suppliers. He was so happy, he was sort of chuckling while he said it.

Now, you might be worried that an Ebay seller might not produce the WORLD CLASS quality which the 'Edinburgh Trams' brand deserves, but you don't have to worry about that, Marie. This guy told me he used to make hats for Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, President Saddam Hussein, and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il (among others). Apparently the bottom has recently fallen out of the ruthless dictator fashion accessory market, which means he now has spare capacity and is able to supply items to Edinburgh Trams at VERY REASONABLE PRICES!

We're already seriously behind schedule Marie, as you know, so I'd like to strike while the iron is hot and go ahead and order these hats. I can claim the expenses back when I start work.

The Ebay seller says he can do these hats at £25 each. Plus £30 for a special one with gold braid for the TRAM GENERAL MANAGER. He says he can get that gold braid off an old pair of curtains his mother has stored in an old chest in the garage.

I reckon we'll need one for each driver and conductor, and with 26 trams that's 52 hats.

Estimated costings are therefore:

52 standard hats @ £25 = £1300
1 special hat @ £30 = £ 30
Fact-finding trip to Las Vegas, Nevada to check the production facilities = £ 800
7 nights accommodation in the Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas to discuss order = £6500
Hire of Meeting room at Bellagio Hotel = £2000
Tea and biscuits (standard Edinburgh Council Requirement)= £ 700
Miscellaneous Expenses = £1200
Postage = £ 200
Import Duty = £ 800
Insurance = £ 100
Headed Notepaper to place order = £ 150
Apple iPad for Ebay access = £ 500

Total: = £14,280

I am sure that you will agree that this constitutes very good value, being only about one thousandth of one percent of the overall tram budget. It's practically negligible, so I'll just get on with that.

In the meantime, please don't tell the interview panel about my great hat idea, as I still want it to be a surprise when I attend the interview ready to start work straight away!

Best Wishes,

Aldo Broon
Tram General Manager, Procurement Specialist and Visionary OF THE FUTURE


  1. Good Morning Aldo

    I love your get up and go, the braided hat is the icing on the cake, all show and nae drawers!

    If I could be as bold as to suggest a way that these genuine expenses could be paid. The true cost is £14,280, if you are to quickly assimilate into your new environment you will have to get out of the habit of stating "true cost" they only confuse the Edinburgers and the creative accountants.

    My advice is to reduce the costs to £2,500, that will make your offer even more attractive and bring it into line with CEC's accounting practice. You can hide the LA expenses in your unlimited expense account when you get the job (just like TIE did for the Melbourne trip with the councillors) or take someone from the housing repair department with you who could easily hide such poultry sums for years. If all else fails just use the excuse "that you have learned lessons" that always works.

    Don't worry you will not get sacked, if you do you will be given a huge bung after signing a confidentiality agreement not to spill the beans on all of the other pigs with their snouts in the trough.

    Your adoring admirer.

    Aldo rocks.


    1. Hi Aldo

      Didn't mean to confuse you by introducing chickens into the my recommendations although they might well appropriate. poultry/paltry, the problem with spell checker is that you need to be able to spell to use it!

      Aldo for President!


  2. Actually I quite like the idea of poultry sums. We may be able to rent some of the unused tram cars to the chicken factory out at Gogar, as a sort of overflow chicken accommodation. If we put down some plastic sheeting it should be fine.

    You make some good points about the expenses, I'll have to make my quotes more palatable in the future, with a view to ramping them up with 'unforseen extras' after the event! Nice one!

    I wasn't aware of the whole Melbourne thing until today. Here was me worrying they might not go for my Las Vegas trip, and it turns out I was probably a bit restrained, I could have stuck in a few extra tickets for 'assistants' and 'advisers'!

  3. Hi Aldo

    I do think you are too constrained and too honest.

    If you didn't know about the Melbourne trips then this will be new to you as well.

    I would think you should consider a world tour taking in LA, "Call me Dave" has left out several continents, Russia, South America, India (sub continent!) Africa are beckoning. You could also go one up on Call me Dave and enrol on a MBA course at Harvard or Yale.

    With a post graduate degree from an Ivy League university the sky is the limit.

    Here again don't tell anyone you will be away for a year it will only give the Edinburgers sleepless nights.

    What ever you do don't tell them about the "true cost", put it down as a cheap weekend break to New York on a shopping trip, that is normal. Harvard and Yale are just up the coast, keep sending in hotel bills weekly they will never realised you are not there running the trams, it is such a shamble anyway and beyond rescuing.

    If you get drawn up about the expenses or not being at work here again you can use the following excuse, this time with sincerity "I have learned lessons and it will not happen again".

    If you keep running up large bills then it becomes CEC's problem, they become very protective about looking like idiots and people being allowed to exploit there position and they will cover it up and hide it from any busybody who tries to find out using FOI. Here again you may be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement to protect the incompetents who signed your expenses and those who are meant to oversee your function.

    Aldo Broon MBA(Harvard)sounds good.

    Go for it.



Thanks for your comment! I hope you continue to enjoy following Aldo's Quest to get himself on the Edinburgh Gravy-Tram!