RE: OT: Consultant/Admin Rant

  • From: "John Tolmachoff \(Lists\)" <johnlist@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "'[ExchangeList]'" <exchangelist@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2005 22:58:13 -0800

> >> I agree for the most part, and I realize this is more of a rant than
> >> anything else, but are full-time 1000-hat small/med biz IT admins (who
> >> are forced to teach themselves most of  what they know because their
> >> employers don't believe in investing more into proper education and
> >> training) exempt from this criticism/dislike, or just consultants who
> >> pretend to know more than they really do?
> >
> > Nope, I heap those "so-called" admins into the same bucket, as well as
> > bosses.

> I don't.  And I don't criticize them either.
> I call them customers and/or business opportunities.  There's lots of
> to be made cleaning  up after folks like this, and I don't mind doing it
> all ;)

More power to ya.

The problems I have run into (and been burned as a result) is I would be
called in to go over what ever and recommend upgrades and what not and give
a price. I review all, do some research on the prospective client, spend
time working things out and come up with a good honest fair price. The
prospective client then says OK he will get back to me in a couple of days.
About a week later I give a curtosey call and the former prospective client
practically chews me out for trying to rip him off by the prices I would
charge as the buddy of his next door neighbor said he could do it for 1/3
the cost.

True story: A client my old boss got (he set the price on the job moving
their computers/network/phones to a new office and we lost our tails on that
job) was using 12 Windows 98 desktops connected to SBS 4.5 on a P2 500
server with a single 9 GB HD. They wanted to make some improvements and get
high speed internet. I reviewed everything including the fact they were a
small company not making much money (or so I thought until I saw the owners
daughter driving around in a brand new hot red 2 seater BMW convertible) so
I made appropriate recommendations. They said no way costs way to much, they
will deal with what they have. About 6 months later I get a frantic call
from them on a Friday afternoon that they can not communicate with the
server at all. Go over there and there is some want-to-be that is learning
to be an IT tech asking for help saying he has checked everything already.
Well, knowing that the HD is extremely small, I start reviewing the server.
12 MB free space on Drive C. I start cleaning things up and 45 minutes later
no more errors on the server. Desktops still can not access. I notice new
drops leading everywhere. I start poking around some more and start asking
what are all the drops for. "Oh, those are for the Internet access." My
eyebrows raise. I tell them I want to see the patch panel and switch we had
installed. Looks fine. I pull out the cabinet that the server is in and all
those new drops are plugged into a 16 port Linksys Cable/DSL router. They
were all 50' patch cords. I start checking out the desktops, and look behind
them. I ask why are there 2 nic cards in each computer? "Oh, the new one is
for the Internet access." Uh Oh. I unplug the power to that new Linksys
router. Hey, the desktops can access the server. That want-to-be went in
there and installed a second NIC in each computer and ran it to the Linksys
router which had the default configuration which was using the same IP
addresses as the existing. When I explained to this guy exactly what it was
he did wrong, I made sure to say it loud enough so that the owner would
here. When I asked the owner if he wanted me to fix it all he said no I cost
too much. I just shook my head and left. Get this. That want-to-be then
follows me outside and asks me if I could put him on at our company so he
could learn. I laughed out loud and left. 

They never did pay for that service call.

John Tolmachoff
eServices For You

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