They still exist, they never went away, and soon they may become more common again, for instance if public construction activity slows down: the naggers among bidders and contractors.
What is a nagger?
Be honest, you know it. You think of downturned corners of the mouth, admonishingly raised index fingers and a routine-sounding “But” and “Well”. You think of a head swaying slowly from left to right and of all the questions that are introduced with the eternal word “Why”. Already you have an image in mind. The nagger.
Popular in procurement procedures and meetings of any kind
He likes to speak up at length in procurement procedures and site meetings, he is talkative, and sometimes he even has a sense of humor. As a rule, he is neither malicious nor dangerous to the success of the project; sometimes he is simply right, and one would be happy to accommodate him. If only he would not nag so extensively and constantly. The nagger (also called complainer) is not a bad person, he knows a lot and wants to share this knowledge with you, but he does not know how to do all this in a positive, affirmative way.
How does he express himself in the procurement process?
In the award procedure, the nagger likes to make himself heard with the suggestion that something (a certain behavior of the customer, a specification in the specifications, etc.) is “possibly subject to complaint”. However, he does not pursue any recognizable intention with this hint; in particular, he does not even seem to be concerned with changing your mind, persuading you to give in, etc. He points out a possible awarding authority. He points out a possible violation of procurement law and at the same time is fully aware that he has not issued a complaint. It does not even bother him. The fighter, for example, a completely different type of bidder and contractor, will simply complain about what bothers him. Not so the nagger. He poses a problem on whose occurrence or non-occurrence at least he pretends to have no influence. He has seen it, of course. But whether and how it is solved is not his business.
And in the project?
In the meeting, the nagger is in his element. He likes to explain things “on the record,” although he doesn’t always make sure that what he has to say is actually recorded. Incidentally, he is indifferent to the medium; he can do it digitally via Zoom just as well as in a confined space in a small container office. He often remains silent for a long time and actually or only supposedly listens, possibly weighing heavy thoughts, until he finally starts — sometimes introduced by a timidly raised hand or a question as to whether his opinion is desired, here the characters differentiate themselves — and grumbles. Unlike the grumbler, he always maintains tone and manners, but in doing so he always gets on your nerves and those of his colleagues who are present, whether voluntarily or under duress.
How best to take him
You will not change the character of the nagger. So take him as he is. He must be able and allowed to talk, so let him speak out. Many are simply grateful when you listen to them. You may also want to thank them for their input and delegate any resulting work assignments, at least in appearance. In individual cases, you should also definitely consider whether there is something to it. Attention, the nag can be an absolute expert, one does not exclude the other. There is only one thing you should not do: seek an open exchange, a conversation. The nagger nags because he nags. He may or may not be right, but he would not be a nagger if he were interested in the solution. From a legal point of view, the case is even simpler: the prospect of a complaint is not a complaint.
*This legal tip is not a substitute for legal advice in individual cases. By its very nature, it is incomplete, nor is it specific to your case, and it also represents a snapshot in time, as legal principles and case law change over time. It cannot and does not cover all conceivable constellations, serves entertainment and initial orientation purposes and is intended to motivate you to clarify legal issues at an early stage, but not to discourage you from doing so.