Sir; As an ex-symbol group territory representative, I have read with interest the spate of recent letters that have flooded The Grocer concerning the sector's "shortfalls". I personally felt most uneasy at some of the tactics that I was asked to employ whilst canvassing for new members. These included falsifying performance figures of other c-stores who had recently joined our group and calling at prospective new members when the owner was clearly busy and might be prepared to grant me an appointment just to get rid of me! Then there were the conferences. Our head office buyers used to target large suppliers and seek full funding for up to 10 people to attend the next "continental shindig". Of the 10, one would be the supplier's sales manager, two store managers/owners and the rest would be either head office or field personnel from the symbol group itself! Only a small part of the week was spent discussing business or hearing how good the supplier's forthcoming TV advertising campaign was going to be. The rest (80%+) was spent quite simply as a free holiday. I spoke to some of the account managers and they didn't think the exercise gained anything for their business apart from a bit of PR ­ maybe. At the time, I needed my job as I had a young family to support, but as soon as I was able, I found another position elsewhere. Looking at myself in the mirror is a lot easier to do nowadays! Tony S Cleckheaton, West Yorks {{LETTERS }}