Have you ever been to a restaurant where the staff just don’t care? They don’t have to walk over to your table and declare that they don’t give a damn; you just know they don’t. I’m not too sure why, it could be a number of things but what happens when the management don’t care either? What happens when they care even less?

Last week I was at a client. We were having a meeting with a web design company; they’re very well known, they have 25 staff, posh offices with a foosball table, and for diplomatic reasons I can’t name them, but let’s refer to them as “The Company”.

About a minute or so into their presentation I knew that “The Company” just didn’t care. I had my suspicions about this right from the start. You see, it had been exactly five weeks to the day since I first approached “The Company” to generate a quote to upgrade my client’s website. In all honesty, it shouldn’t have taken them five weeks to get the quote done, but it did.

Twenty minutes into their presentation, after they had spoken at great length about their own awesomeness and the majesty of their client list, they simply left without even going into the actual numbers they’d been asked to present. Instead they handed us a bound document and walked out.

When I finally found the quote (and it was skilfully hidden in the middle of the doc and not on the last page) I was amazed. Amazed because they wanted $45,000 to do the job and they weren’t even prepared to discuss it or substantiate it or even allow us to query it.

In this situation, the rot started at the top. The head of “The Company”, who’s been in charge for 15 years, took us through the presentation so I can’t say this is a fault of some junior execs that were too unprepared or cocky to believe they could fail. Right from the very start, it was clear to see that the only way to get passion out of “The Company” was to buy it. And apparently 45k simply isn’t enough.

There are lots of people out there who are passionate beyond belief and who don’t need Steve Jobs to tell them to do what they love because they knew it before they knew who Steve Jobs was. They know they will not find their passion in a call centre or behind a counter at a Burger King. They are the lucky few that will be labelled either crackpot or genius. To them I say don’t give up. Don’t let those that have lost their passion destroy yours. But once you find your success and you make your mark, don’t let your own success poison your passion like it did at “The Company”.