Re: Withdrawal of "proposal writing" thread
Some of those errors might get you out of a lot of work.
"Your RFP clearly stated that we were to train three pubic safety shifts. Not being able to find any shifts at all of any pubic safety people, we took the money and time we would have spent with training and went to the beach. If you issue me a task order, however, I can introduce you to this handy little tool called an exception list for your word processor, or even the concept of someone to read what you have written."
In the little bit of RFP work I have done, you have a period of time to submit any questions to the agency that issued the RFP, and that is where you can possibly tactfully bring up any errors.
In almost all of the RFx work I've done, it was an explicit rule that all questions (and their answers) would be sent back to all vendors. Granted these response documents make the questions anonymous; nonetheless, I always try to avoid asking trivial questions about obvious typos, asking for explanations of acronyms I can look up elsewhere, or pointing out inconsistencies in the questions. I'd rather some other vendor look petty or naive by asking. In almost all cases, it is possible to figure out what the lousy writer of the document meant and to respond to that rather than to the letter of the question. Even when I've been stumped on the meaning of a question, I've found that coming back to it an hour later frees me of my initial misinpterpretation and reveals the true meaning.
Your example is amusing, entre nous, but I would _never_ attempt humor at the expense of the prospect.
There are cases, in what I call the some-poor-shnook type of RFx (where some poor shnook draws the short straw and basically pastes lists of other people's questions into a template) where there are directly contradictory requirements (two functional managers, concocting lists of requirements off the tops of their heads independent of one another, have totally opposite opinions on what is needed). Only in those cases--and only if I can't come up with a graceful way to reconcile the two--do I ask a question.
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