Many of the articles I write are about telecommunications services and devices - phones and calling plans, high-speed data cards and wireless gadgets. The problem with doing that in this country is that there are just two mobile phone networks so you're only ever comparing the latest smartphone of monthly account package to one other player.

These days there is increasingly less separating Telecom and Vodafone who exist in an incredibly cosy duopoly. So there is also less separating the deals and phones the two players provide. This makes for less interesting writing as diversity in the market always gives more options for comparison.

Nevertheless, the people who market and develop the various offerings of the major telcos see a huge chasm between themselves and the opposition. They'll argue to the death over minute details that don't really make any difference to the paying consumers using their services. They do this because it's relatively easy to switch provider here and there's only one alternative when it comes to mobile. These telco types are also pretty militant when they see their network/service/brand criticised. As a result, I've developed some pretty tempestuous relationships with some of the people at the telcos. Slate one company's offering and they immediately claim you're in the pocket of the other company.

Well, my major sparring partner at one of the telcos (the message below will give away which one) is throwing in the towel but couldn't resist having one final dig before going.

Mobile phone manager:

"Although you and I have never appeared to see eye to eye in the public arena I would like to think that we both see the world through similar coloured glasses..."

What colour would that be? Surely not Ferrari red!?

"However the bottom line is Telecom are a bunch of wankers and their technology is crap, no matter how much sugar you or them ever put on it its not going to change anything.

(Shrugs his shoulders indifferently so as to be seen as being objective) "Whatever, okay."

"Its always been an experience working with you and in most cases a good one, after all any publicity is good publicity right???"

That's right. Now why didn't you say that a few months back when you were screaming at me for slamming your products in the paper!?

No really, I'll miss this joker, there's nothing wrong with a decent helping of animosity in a relationship. Piss someone off enough and they'll always remember you. I love winding people up and this one would go off like a double happy! Farewell and good luck.

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