The RFP Before Christmas

Do you know what happens when the government releases a Request For Proposal 8 business hours before the start of the Christmas weekend? 

This.  This is what happens. 

The RFP Before Christmas
T’was the night before Christmas, and through every house
You could hear the keyboards and the clicks of the mouse.
My copies were stacked by the printers, but none
of the sections that I had been writing were done.

The RFP dropped in the holiday season
Government contracting, there’s no rhyme or reason.
I had just settled in to re-read what I’d wrote
with a bit of a cough from that 3AM throat,

When up on my Skype there came such a beep
that I closed seven browsers to take a quick peep.
And there on the screen like a nightmare moonbeam,
Was a multi-Skype session with half of the team!

They looked as distressed and confuse’d as me,
not too surprising at a quarter past three,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a Proposal Response Co-Facilitateer!

With a chart and a graphic and a bulleted list,
I knew in a moment it must be Catalyst!
More rapid than eagles the milestones came,
And she whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Pink Team! Now Red Team! Now Gold Team & Blue!
Get up, you contractors, we’ve got work to do!
To the management volume! To the technical, too!
Now write away! Write away! Hurry up, you!”

Like pages before the Proposal Lead sees,
Our words took shape fast in an effort to please.
So up to the page limit our sections we wrote,
With domains full of change, and some technical bloat.
And then, in a twinkling, I saw on the Skype
A Box full of Boxes for each section to swipe!
As I copied and pasted for part Three-point-three-two
I knew what I wrote about SOA was true.

Integration! Develop! Innovate and deploy,
And our management sections now read like a joy
A bundle of services working together
With a vision and strategy to make it all better.

Application! Location! Technology! Data!
Our processes fix everything that’s the matta.
This proposal will win, there’s no question or doubt,
‘Cause with Catalyst we don’t leave anything out!

The Skype beeped again, and I realized that, gee,
the Proposal Response Co-Facil’ wanted me!
She had a bright smile as she cheerfully said,
“Are you done with it yet? Can we put it to bed?

‘Cause your section goes right in front of fourteen
and the Appendix is ready, if you know what I mean.
This Proposal’s Main Thrust, and we’d better not lose,
or we’ll all be out looking for new walking shoes!”

I spoke not a word, but went straight to my work,
And I checked all my graphics (though I felt like a jerk).
And I laid my pen down, and hit print and hit send,
And I wondered when all of this prop-work would end.

And the Skype session closed, and to Red Team it went;
But they said that we hadn’t even half made a dent
in the PWS – non-compliant was right!
“Cancel New Year’s for all! We’re writing tonight!”

3 Responses to “The RFP Before Christmas”

  1. I’m SOOO forwarding this to Salon… you rock!

  2. Fabulous!!! I knew there were jobs out there where the all-nighter-skills developed in last-minute college-paper-writing would come in handy!!! Bravo!

  3. I loved it and fully identify with the content.

    Would you mind if I send the link to a friend that is outside CSC? Even without Catalyst knowledge, I know he’d appreciate the insanity of it all.


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