Happy New Year, everyone! Sorry I’ve been a bit lax on blogging, but it was a crazy busy last half of the year. I will be doing more blogging this year and there will be some other new things which I’ll talk about soon. All in good time …
Anyway, I’m at the car dealer this morning having my car serviced and I overheard an exchange between a tech and a customer that inspired me to write this blog post. The service person who is handling this customer’s case talks to the gentleman explain what the tech found (or didn’t, in this case). Said customer did not believe him, so he asked for the tech to come out. The tech explains things and how he does his process, including to the point of explaining how he could possibly be seeing what he is. Now, I’m not a deep car guy, but here’s this tech trying to explain how the systems are working together. The guy was having none of it and pulled the “Well, it’s a brand new car. I don’t see why this is relevant.” HE then starts asking the tech if they have a rental car or a loaner which isn’t his responsibility. At no time did I hear the tech raise his voice, and it was not a shouting match but clearly the customer felt like he was being wrong and lied to.
I’ve seen this in our end of the world in different ways. I’ve even experienced it.
I love working with customers. Heck, I’ve built a career on it and wouldn’t have survived this long if I sucked at my job. Ostensibly you’re hiring myself or Max (or someone else, if not SQLHA) because you want expertise. I certainly want to provide that, and would turn down an engagement if I felt you knew more than me or I could be of no help (or didn’t have the bandwidth). Why would I take on an engagement that would ultimately be a problem? The money isn’t worth it.
However, there have been those handful of cases over the years where no matter what you say to someone, they’re in denial. Their problem can’t possibly be the problem, right? Sometimes it is what it is, but people don’t like the answer. This devolves – like the situation I witnessed this morning – into a no win situation. Having said that, if you’re going to keep fighting me, why did you hire me? Why would you hire any expert if you’re not going to listen to them? Could we be wrong? Sure. We’re not infallible. I will admit and own my mistakes or if I am wrong. At the same time, I stand by my track record. You’re not hiring me only for my dashing good looks, you know.
Recently I was working with one of our customers who hit a problem. They sent me an e-mail and I knew immediately what their issue was – it was something I had seen a million times. So based on the little info they gave me, I replied, and lo and behold, problem solved. THAT is why you hire folks like me. Would I have dug in more to see what the issue was if it wasn’t what I suggested? You bet. They were happy and they were not blocked.
I would be lying if I said I know and retain every minutiae about Windows Server, SQL Server, Linux, storage, networking, and so on. It’s just not possible since I do not have a photographic memory. I retain a heck of a lot, and over the years, I joke but it’s probably true: I’ve forgotten more about clustering SQL Server and Windows Server than most people knew. It’s not an ego thing. I’ve just been doing it for 20 years. I still remember lots of little details – even about NT4 – but not everything. It all comes back to me when I’m hands on with the older stuff.
Some things to leave you with:
Bottom line: trust your instincts. They are often right. We all need to ask for help, and we can’t know everything about everything, but be smart about where you get your advice and who you bring in to help. If you need some help, contact us and we’d be happy to see what we can do.