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Beer Importing – The Letterhead

May 18th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Here’s a funny story about what I needed to do to ensure that the Garrison private order met with the LCBO’s paperwork policies.

After I submitted the order paperwork, all 104 pages of it, I was contacted by the LCBO’s private ordering department about Garrison’s address.  For background, about three years ago Garrison moved locations in Halifax, from Lady Hammond Road to Marginal Road.  When the order was submitted, it was cross-checked with the LCBO’s internal system which had Garrison in their database already.  However, their database listed Garrison’s old address on Lady Hammond, instead of their present location.

The LCBO told me that in order to have the order processed, they required a letter stating the new address.  That didn’t seem like a big deal.  However, what was incredibly strange was that they required the letter on the letterhead of the old address, not the current address.

This didn’t make a whole lot of sense.  Garrison has been at their current location for over three years.  There wasn’t any letterhead from the old location anymore!  I explained to the LCBO that Garrison indeed is at Marginal Road instead of Lady Hammond, and provided the web site for reference.  Brian Titus, the president of Garrison, even provided a personal letter to the LCBO stating their location.  It was all unacceptable – the LCBO required the old letterhead stating the move.

I concluded that the LCBO just needed something on paper that met with their policy – no matter how legitimate it might be.  So I asked the LCBO: “Could I just PhotoShop the current letterhead to reflect the old address?”  Yes, they said.  So that’s exactly what I did – I edited the current letterhead to read the old address, replaced it on the letter and submitted it.  Accepted without question.

This is a great example of the an organizational policy getting in the way of common sense.  I assume that the intention of the policy is to prevent someone from falsely representing a brewery.  But the obvious falseness of the solution makes the policy unravel.  It’s a bit ridiculous, but just wait, there’s more to come.

Beer Importing is an ongoing series documenting the process of importing beer through the LCBO.  This particular series documents a private order of Garrison beers from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Tags: Importing · LCBO

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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 sstackho // May 19, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Ah, now we’re getting into the really good stuff! Keep up the good work, LCBO!

  • 2 Rob // May 19, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Brilliant! The bureaucracy of the lcbo belongs in a Kafka novel.

  • 3 pootz // May 30, 2009 at 8:58 am

    It doesn’t have to make sense Cass, its a demand from a monopoly.

    I’m stunned at the bureaucratic arrogance that presumes LCBO paperework to be accurate and agent corrections of said paperwork to be “suspect”.

    surreal arrogance.

  • 4 toolowtooslow // Sep 16, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Good old policy and procedure. It’s such a good hiding place for the incompetent. Good laugh about the fauxtoshop’n. For an organization that gets off on control, that’s just too funny.