No Pleasing Some People

November 8th, 2007 at 2:08 pm by Mark
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     “Hey, Mark, I need a small project done by 2PM.  Can you do it?”
     “Sure,” I said assuredly.

     But that was early this morning.

     “Hey, can you help with this other thing?”
     “I have a 2PM deadline on the first one,” I tell them.
     “It’ll only take a minute.”


     Back on track, an hour later.

     “Hey, Mark?  I need you to hold up while we send you some more specifications.”
     “Okay, but… we’re running out of time here.”
     “It’s nothing major.”

     An hour later, I get the new information and have to sart over.

     “Hey, Mark, can you do something else for us?”
     “Look, I spent two and a half hours off, and I’m running out of time here.  You need your first project at 2PM, right?” I ask.
     “Yeah, but this is more important right now.”

     Another hour later, I’m back on track.

     “Hey, Mark.  This other guy over here needs some software installed.”
     “I can’t,” I told him.
     “Why not?”
     “I don’t have time, since you need this done by 2PM,” I explained.  “But I can do it after that.”
     “Yeah, we have to have that.  But if you can’t do this for us, then we better find someone else to do all of it.”
     “Well, you could, but I’ve already done this, that, the other, and spent an hour and a half on the first thing you asked for.  If you be patient, then I can get you taken care of.”
     “Yeah, ok.  Well, we need that by 2PM.”
     “Great… talk to ya then.”

     Back on track.  It’s 1:15PM.  I have forty-five minutes to finish.

     “Oh, but, Mark, we really need…”
     “Okay, do you need your project by 2PM?”
     “Yes, absolutely!”
     “Okay, I’m trying to finish it, in the next 45 minutes, so if you could just make a list of what all needs to be done and e-mail it to me, I’ll be happy to knock that out promptly at 2:01PM.”
     “Yeah, well, we have to have this, too.”
     “I can’t do both right now.  Both are very involved projects, and I need to finish this one by 2PM.  In 45 minutes, I’ll do whatever else you need.”
     “Well, that’s just not acceptable.  Haven’t you ever heard the customer is always right?”
     “Yes, and if you ask me to complete a task by 2PM, I’m going to, if you’ll allow me to.”
     “Oh, yeah, well, I think we’re just gonna scrap the whole project and find someone els to do all of it.”
     “Well, I could certainly do them, but I think perhaps you guys need to prioritize your needs a little better.  Here it is with forty minutes to spare, and I’ve only been able to work on a five hour project for about two hours.  I can get it going, but I can’t do it and talk on the phone and do all of these other things.  If you can bear with me for forty minutes, I’ll get you all taken care of it.”
     “All of it?”
     “Your project at 2PM, and everything else by 4:30.”
     “That’s not acceptable.  You said by 2PM.”
     “Yes, sir, for the original project.  All of these other things are peripheral, and taking the necessary time away from that project.”
     “That’s not acceptable.  We’re going to find someone else!” he yells as he hangs up.

     I call back.  “Ya know, there is the matter of your bill.”
     “You didn’t have the project finished by 2PM.”
     “No, but you contracted my time to do it, and proceded to use that time to finish several other, smaller projects.”
     “Apparently, our time isn’t important, Mark!”
     “Excuse me?” I monotoned in disbelief.

     I do the impossible.  I do a good job.  And above all, I treat my customers with respect and proceed to my duties in a professional manner.

     “So you’re not going to pay me?” I ask.
     “Why?  You didn’t get the job done.”
     “No, but I got three others done for you in the time where I was supposed to be finishing a project.  I explained repeatedly that I couldn’t get the project completed by 2PM if you continued to come to me with other, less important requests.  You said that these were just as important, and I stopped to complete those tasks, as well.  I am not a time traveller, and apparently, that is what you need.”
     “Yes, we do.  So f$*& you, Mr. Steel!  We’re finding someone else.”
     “F$*& ME?  Apparently, sir, you have a problem with my performance, though I fail to see how that could be, considering all of the assistance I’ve offered you today.  Perhaps you should find someone else.”
     “Don’t f$*&ing cuss me you piece of sh….”

     I will not walk away empty handed, and then sit there to be insulted and screamed.

     A little respect is never too much to ask.

     Funny that it’s now 2:06, and neither their projects nor their additional side tasks are completed.  I wonder how long it’s going to take the next guy?

     [ And if you’re said customer — who pretends to be my employer — do you realize that I QUIT?! ]

2 Responses to “No Pleasing Some People”

  1. Mushy Says:

    You make me so glad I’m out of the business!

    The worst problem I ever have is deciding where to work in my nap.

  2. Mark Says:

    Seems Mr. Impatient’s customers are having a mass exodus over this episode. I received an e-mail (marked “URGENT!”) today at 12:10PM EST, begging me to come back and finish repairing all of their customer databases (the original focus of what was supposed to be a five-hour project, at which time they made me wait to fix them all and went back to prioritize which customers needed to be fixed FIRST).

    This is exactly why so many fly-by-night hosting companies fail. They lack the acumen to administer their own servers, and repeatedly fail to take up any part of the responsibility when they mess something up. Those who try and assist them are used a vilified, and constantly told, “We’re losing money! Hurry up!” instead of being allowed to completely fix problems in a logical and orderly fashion. 😉

    Sometimes, there will be downtime. Your job as a business administrator is to assure your clients that things will be fixed as soon as possible.

    Considering this asshat already told me I’m not going to get paid, why should I? Some people are just not worth the hassle. Here it is two days later, and they still have no resolution. If I were their customer, I’d leave too!