Then there was that terrible pregnant silence, you know the one that you get in every western when the stranger walks into the saloon, the piano player stops and everyone in the bar turns to look at who’s just walked in.
“When I set this system up for you”, Joe said, “I said that you need to have a reliable backup system. I quoted one for you and you said it was too expensive and that you’d get a backup system that cost less because the solution I specified was a Rolls-Royce solution when a Falcon would do.”
Joe held the tape out and said, “Here’s your Falcon.”
“So you’re saying it’s my fault.”
“I’m saying it was your choice and now we roll the dice and see if it works.”
The CEO skulked away.
It took a while and almost all the data was restored.
Joe asked everyone to log in and enough of the data seemed to be there to keep people from forming a lynch mob.
The CEO seemed happy enough until Joe popped an invoice on his desk for the work. “I thought this was all part of the service.”
Joe shook his head. “Remember when I offered you support on the system and you said you weren’t willing to pay support fees because they were a rip off and your insurance would cover the costs?”
“But my premiums will go up.”
Joe shrugged and said, “Ever since you made me wait three months for my previous payment I advised you that you were COD. Can I get the funds transferred please?”
To cut a long story short, he eventually transferred the cash after a lot of complaining and arguing about the fact that every other supplier accepted 60 days terms from him.
When we were in the car leaving beautiful downtown Ingleburn, Joe said, “The problem with him is that he thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room. And when it comes to his business, he may be. But when it comes to technology, he’s got no idea and his ego won’t let him admit it.”
The moral of the story is that, no matter how tight your budget is, always make sure that you have allowed enough to cover for the inevitable system crash. Like death and taxes, your server will fail. It’s just a question of when. And I guarantee you that it will happen at the most inopportune moment.
A couple of days later, Joe advised Petulance that he didn’t want to support them anymore and that they had 60 days to find another support outlet.
The guys that took over from Joe do support for another small organisation I know. When they told me that they’d picked up Petulance as a customer, I asked them how they had found dealing with them. They said it was difficult but that they’d get them under control.
The fallout from that is a story for another day.
The 1% Spend is written by a prominent Australian I.T. consultant who is choosing to remain anonymous (and candid).
Photo: Jen Jen