Monday, March 27, 2006

Volume discounts are awesome sometimes.
You pay less, per egg, for 18 eggs than for a dozen eggs from the same set of chickens. Not to mention that eggs are an excellent source of protein.
There are some things, however, that should not be sold with a volume discount. For instance, me.
I've got a regular workload of about 50 hours a week. I can generally get it done in about 45 hours if I skip lunch, unplug my phone and glare daggers at anyone who approaches my desk. It should be noted I'm extremely happy to do two of these things anyway.
We have a sales force that likes to get the deal, whatever the deal, because they get paid based on revenue. Here is the awesome part:
Even if it costs our company $18,000 a month in support for a contract that pays $5000, the sales person gets paid for $5000.
Towards that end, a deal was made pricing our support by the hour. This rate is not a hard and fast rate, but is offered as a volume discount. They pay $x/per hour for the first 150 hours, then $x-$10/per hour for anything over 150 hours (retroactive) and $x-$20/hour for anything over 300 hours (retroactive). Thus, if they needed someone to do 100 hours worth of crap, it makes financial sense to also have us do 50+ hours of whatever because it is cheap or free for them. More hours is magically less expensive than fewer hours and the starting rate was about a third of the industry standard.
This means that while the sales person has no reason to complain (money is money), anyone on the technical side is screwed (because time is time, and no one is making any more).
As we are fast approaching the end of the month, this customer has two technicians tied up running "emergency back up network cables" under the floor and over the tops of the racks to run up hours and reduce their bill. This means we are lightly staffed in the Control Center at the end of the month and I'm experiencing the joy of answering the phones.
More accurately, the customers are experiencing that joy.
Today is a day for smashing eggs.


Anonymous said...

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Garrick said...

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