Pants on Fire
Whether it’s business or politics, there’s a tendency to point fingers at other parties or make excuses. Some people will do anything to avoid responsibility. Yes, stuff happens, especially with technology and especially in these times, with so many people using more technology for work, school and entertainment. We believe this places a premium on being honest and upfront when dealing with tech issues.
I’ve been doing IT work for 30 years, and as I’ve built my own small business to serve other small businesses and home users, nothing has become more important than honesty and a let’s-get-it-solved attitude. In today’s daily-life environment, many of us feel we must be our own advocate, and technology has given us the tools. We can research anything on the internet to provide our supporting information; it doesn’t matter if we haven’t asked the right questions to get the right answers. And we can tell the entire world how we’ve been wronged; again, it doesn’t matter if we’re right or wrong.
In my IT world, life gets ever more complex. We have the capability to do so many things for work, school or entertainment because of technology. We invest money and emotion into putting technology to work, and we don’t leave a lot of margin for error. With small margins and little wiggle room, one could easily reason it’s better not to hold any responsibility. When that happens, honesty suffers.
A recent example of how this fits into our business occurred during a perfect storm. Have you ever seen the message telling you that firmware is updating and telling at the same time not turn off your computer? There’s a reason for that: it kills the computer.
In our case, we were in the final process of setting up a computer for a client. We were going through the last reboot – and we knew not to shut off the computer. What we didn’t know was that the computer hadn’t been plugged securely into the power outlet. When I moved it, the plug fell out, which was just like shutting off the computer. It no longer worked.
I told the client what happened and how we would fix the problem. I called Dell and told them what happened and got a replacement. I could have said it was a defective unit and gone through the long paperwork process of getting a replacement. I could have said the update was bad. Because the old computer was still in the office and working, we got the old one ready for work, and when the replacement new computer came, we completed the project.
Another time, we had scheduled the installation of a new server right after we returned from a trip. Normally, we don’t do major system work during business hours, but the problem the new server was to solve kept getting worse.
We came in on a Friday afternoon, and after assessing the situation presented the options. We said we could spend hours trying to fix the problem, but we weren’t optimistic about a good outcome. The other option was to shut down business and do the data migration right then and there. The client left it up to us to make the decision.
We did the migration over the weekend, and then we committed to be back in their office Monday morning to make sure everyone in the office could access all the information they needed. We could have just told them to call us Monday if they had a problem, but that would have meant more downtime for the business and a lot more tension and aggravation. When would they know they were having a problem, and how long would it take for us to get there? We knew what questions to ask and would know how to fix the problem.
By being upfront about everything in these examples, we and our clients understood the value we provided for each other. That helped us get on the same page and provide a timelier solution. If you or someone you know is tired of getting the runaround from an equipment supplier or another IT service provider, call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us discuss the problem. You deserve to know the truth – and the knowledge to make a sound decision.