Monday, June 20, 2011

My wife the spy.

I asked my wife permission to tell this story. Why?

Because she’s a spy.

Don’t tell anyone!

People constantly ask you what you do. I’m a writer, and a computer tech. That encapsulates me. Wendy’s story is a little harder to explain and always confuses people. When she gets done explaining people generally say ”So, you’re a spy?”

“No!” She protests.

Yes, I nod.

Wendy came to Madrid to work for a company that does competitive intelligence. They have some operatives in the field, they contact companies and say “Anything you need to know about the competition?” In a very general sense, things like that. Like I said, it’s tough to pin down. I really can’t go into all of the challenges she/I faced with her business because… well, because. Let me just give you a few examples that I find fascinating.

Wendy came to Spain with essentially no training, no idea what she as getting into, no idea what the job would entail. In nine months she had contacts with the biggest companies in Spain with the highest level contacts you could get. Presidents. Vice Presidents. Directors of Marketing with millions of dollars for a budget. Her skills are insane. She didn’t just have contacts with them, she was their best friend. They sent her Christmas gifts.

Two projects I want to tell you about to illustrate what she does:

I was called in on this one. “Hi, we have more money than we know what to do with so we want to acquire a business that has engineers familiar with nuclear or solar thermal or cogeneration, or solar or hydroelectric or, well, any new green type of energy. They need to have X amount of employees, X amount of capital, have made X amount of money last year and they have to want to be acquired. Oh, in one of these five countries.”

So, we investigated those countries and their businesses. One country was hilarious. “We have state of the art 386 computers with ink jet printers!” They boldly proclaimed. Um, that was state of the art a decade ago…

More tomorrow…

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