Friday, April 07, 2006

Casual Jeans Friday! Casual Jeans Friday! Casual Jeans Friday!
AND a Friday where I get to be out of the office for a few hours in the morning!
I'm going downtown in a couple of hours for "Smart Hands" training with a new client. It seems (though there has been no official communication about it) that my team and I (you know the guys . . . We write this blog . . . Shower together . . . Collectively don't qualify for the HOV lane) have been sold as "Smart Hands On-Call 24/7".
The "On-Call 24/7" part is no different than any I.T. job. "Smart Hands" just means current trade or labor regulation prevents the hiring of a trained monkey. Or untrained one I guess.
"Smart Hands" belong to the guy on the phone listening to junk like "Just power down the server. Push the button on the front," and "What are the lights doing now? Still red?"
Essentially, "Smart Hands" belong to a technician acting as an interpretive web cam, with interactive possibilities.

Smart Hands Guy (on phone with someone too far to be at the site of the broken crap): "The lights are red. There is some smoke coming out of the back, with slight sparking. Do you want me to turn off the power?"


Smart Hands Guy (on phone with someone too far to be at the site of the broken crap): "There is a lot more blue smoke coming out now that I've replaced the drive for you. But the smoke smells like cinnamon now. Oh, Crap! My Pop-tart!"

Anyway, having been pimped (I mean contracted) to serve in this brainless capacity, I get a tour of the facilities today. And maybe coffee. Go, coffee!

On another note, our sales people are so awesome they make up for overselling our technical staff with excellent spin that seems to actually work on some people.
Another customer wants data center space in Dallas. We have no presence in Dallas.
The customer was so taken with our sales and marketing crew that they pre-paid for space in Dallas for a year with the understanding that we would get it.
Not ones to miss an opportunity to sell someone - I mean someTHING - our sales force designed a scheme where we lease data center space from an existing data center. We get all of the remaining open space but only pay monthly for what we use. Also, we take over management for the facility there and they pay us for that.
Pretty awesome deal, in my opinion. What's that? The original problem still exists?
So no one working for us actually LIVES in Dallas. And now we not only have the original customer to worry about but a whole data center facility AND the existing clients on site.
So what do we do? Pop Quiz everyone - You've read enough of these to guess.
We are on the honor system. By looking ahead to the answer you cheat no one but yourself.

A. Come clean to the customer. Explain the situation and offer to hire someone to be on-site or to give back all that sweet, sweet cash.
B. Share the contract with the company that owns the data center. They have people there. People who may lose their jobs when we take over management. We take a major cut of the profits, they get job security.
C. Just hire a guy there, maybe one of the old employees there currently. Sure there are added payroll costs, but the customer paid a freaking year in advance.
D. Move some existing staff north. You pay some relocation expenses but you end up with a known quantity on-site. Also, Dallas seems hotter in the summer than Houston so you can really jack with someone less popular.

The answer:
7. The quiz itself counts as a document. Since I'm writing it at work, and no document written here can ever contain anything valid (I think that may be a policy) the answer has to be something else. And here it is:

#7. We re-write the existing support agreements for everyone involved to include a 4 hour Service Level Agreement. The current staff can be in Dallas from anywhere in the Houston area in about 4 hours, right? So anytime anyone needs lights looked at "Smart Hands" style, one phone call and 4 hours later the magic happens.

Feel free to leave your scores in the comments section.

Plans for today include doing just enough to justify my continued employment. I still have no official job description, so I'm choosing "Dark Lord of Crisis Juggling" as my title for the day. I've adjusted my email signature to match. Everyone is impressed with juggling.


Pamela Moore said...

Dark Lord, it is through your tutelage that I've learned it is best to hate sales people. We just got cornholed by a copier company because the sales prick made all these promises for the tech people to keep, then he left the company. Pigfuckers!

Garrick said...

I hate them all.
The slogan should be 'We make promises to get money'.

Andrew Moore said...

Maybe sales people should be forced to do a two-year mission as tech people, Mormon style, before being officially accepted as sales people.

Garrick said...

Anything Mormon style is better. Especially things that are deep fried Mormon style.

There is news on the whole sales/tech conflict, but it merits a post all by itself.