Journe Montres SA
About a week after sending out my letter of introduction to CEO
Francois-Paul Journe of Montres Journe I receive the following
Dear Mister Wolfsfeld:
We thank you for your interest in the company MONTRES JOURNE
Your tour by bicycle around the world to visit divers companies
seems to be very exiting.
MONTRES JOURNE SA is however a small company with a very small
structure (around 30 people) and we are unfortunately not yet
ready for guided tours in the workshops. The watchmakers will
also be on holidays for the period July, the 28th to August the
MONTRES JOURNE SA
I assume the spelling
errors were the result of the writer being in a hurry composing
the email and meant to say "Your tour by bicycle around
the world to visit different companies seems to be exciting".
Since no job title was given I didn't know if Masaki Saito was
somebody in management, a secretary or even if Masaki was a he
or a she. I then emailed the following reply:
Hi Masaki, I'm more
interested in the head office than the workshop (I've now seen
several dozen workshops). You're a well-known watch name and
it would be great to have you included. Having been doing this
for 17 years I have quite a following. I'll be in the Geneva
area until the end of August so coming by later in the month
would be no problem, Yours truly, Paul
The next day I receive
the following answer:
Dear Mister Wolfsfeld,
Thank you for your mail of August, 3rd, 2003
We are sorry for not being available end of August. As we are
having the opening event of our Boutique in Japan most of our
management will be away in this time.
Thanking you for your comprehension we remain with best regards.
MONTRES JOURNE S.A.
I can handle the numerous
mistakes in word usage and spelling (I think Masaki meant to
say "Thanking you for your consideration") but I don't
like the way I'm being giving the brush-off. In the one month
time period given to them nobody could spare 15 minutes with
me? Who is this Masaki Saito person and why am I being so brusquely
dismissed? Hmm, sounds like I need to drop in on the company.
In my email reply when I said, "you're a well-known watch
name" I wasn't being truthful. I had only heard of Montres
Journe due to the company continually running a small ad in the
International Herald Tribune newspaper here in Europe.
I show up at Journe's two-story building in mid-afternoon. It's
a long narrow structure and looks to have been built around the
turn-of-the-century. Geneva's city center/lakefront lies about
a mile away. The company's name is in big letters above the entrance.
Walking in the door there's a stairway leading upstairs and when
I reach the top a woman greets me. After explaining who I am,
what I do and how I received emails from Masaki Saito saying
the company had no time for me, I ask if Masaki is a man or a
woman and what the title is of this person. It turns out Masaki
is a man and he's the company's sales manager. Wow, I can't believe
this guy is in charge of generating revenues for the company.
I explain to this woman (she identifies herself as an administrative
assistant) how this is the only watch company to decline meeting
with me. The woman goes on to say how busy everyone is and if
they had to take care of every media request they would never
get any work done. "Oh please", I reply, "you
should be happy the media is interested in doing stories on you".
As we're talking three men pass by and stop a few feet away from
me. One says, "goodbye Masaki". Turning around I see
one of the gentleman is Asian and ask the woman I'm talking to
if it's Masaki. "Yes", she answers. "Maybe he
has time to see me?" I ask. "No, he's busy" she
answers. Boy, she sure missed an opportunity to change things.
I'm given a booklet with background information and leave. Later,
I read background material on the company and find out it's a
newcomer, a four-year old watch concern making expensive complicated
How did their sales manager with his fractured English end up
with my letter? Does he think giving me the kiss-off will improve
sales? Montres Journe is definitely in need of a public relations
person. Skimming through the company booklet I come across a
picture of company founder Francois-Paul Journe with his bicycle.
I wonder if he's aware, or for that matter cares, how a fellow
biker was treated? Will be interested to know if Montres Journe
is around in five years.