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  • Writer's pictureMiguel Fernández

Colleagues colleagues, business apart

I believe it was around 1980. Now I don't remember for sure anymore. Petrobrás launches a tender for the installation of current graphs in the newly started Campos basin. Every competition establishes the day, time and place for the delivery of proposals. In this case, it was any day of the week, at 2 pm, in the Serrador building, entrance through Rua Senador Dantas (where the entrance to the Hotel Windsor is today). This building has about 30 floors and each floor has many rooms, and Petrobras had recently rented it to support the expansion of its business. There was an end of renovation in everything and the elevators were still working in a somewhat precarious way which led to queues.

On the scheduled day, the interested companies all go to the meeting room mentioned in the announcement and must enter the room before the scheduled time, under penalty of disqualification (even if the competition commission wants to be tolerant, there are always competitors who challenge the latecomers ). But, as everyone knows, a proposal for engineering services worth its salt is only ready at the last minute. If it's ready before someone goes there to perfect it and, that's it, it's only ready at short notice. IESA (International Engineering) decided to participate. The proposal was ready so short notice that it was taken by the two engineers in charge on the motorcycle of one of them. When they arrived in front of the Serrador building, in order not to waste time, the passenger got off with the proposal envelopes (envelope 1: documentation, envelope 2: technical proposal, envelope 3: price proposal) and went up to the living room, say 1214. The other, the “biker” went to park the motorcycle. When the motorcyclist arrived in Ed's lobby. Serrador, I get in line looking at the clock, there were 90 seconds left before the time and he thought: the colleague has already gone up and entered the room, he also has a power of attorney from IESA, mission accomplished.


At this point, a group of engineers from PROMON (one of IESA's competitors) arrives out of breath. The elevator arrives and everyone enters the same elevator. At this point, one of PROMON's employees turns to the others and asks: which floor is it? ...... colleagues, colleagues, business aside: the one from IESA replies: I'm going too: room 2114.

Until they found the right floor and the room, going down the stairs, the deadline expired, PROMON did not participate and until today, the doubt remains: was the “motorcyclist” engineer really mistaken or did he do it on purpose? I think that PROMON people never believed in the innocence of their colleague from IESA, but what can you do? As they say today, "playboy lost".

IESA won and did the job. But as there must have been “urucubaca”, it was a loss. Some 5 (five) current meters were mysteriously lost in the first months, until they learned, in practice, how to tie them down and recover them (at different depths, up to 1,200m). Each cash register was worth about the value of an average new car), not including the costs of installing, removing, reporting, maintenance, etc.


Miguel Fernández y Fernández, consulting engineer and columnist

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