Never make your customer chase you (or, don't leave your customer in the dark)

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With the whole work from home thing (and the threat of lockdowns) we decided to mirror our NAS at work with one at home. This way we'd be able to work off the servers and all new and edited documents would be updated on both systems.

Yes, we did look at Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc. but we (a) have limited storage on our computers (and Apple's new Macbook's are, disgustingly, not upgradeable), and (b) I personally hate subscriptions (especially if they are in US$ and we are living in ZARland).

We reached out to an IT company that gave us a quote and a timeline. So we gave them the job: supply the hardware, setup the neworking, and do the configuration.

Being a bit of a geek, I was really excited. New kit! Yay! Even my boss was happy to have this done (after a bit of haggling).

So Bill arrived at my home with a couple of boxes (the NAS drive and the storage drives) and then got started in adding the hard drives into the NAS without reading the manual. So this took ever so much longer (I read the instructions later and redid the job).

Know your stuff before you arrive at your client (practice at home). Even better have everything setup before arrival.

And then started to configure the system.

And, obviously, hadn't done this before. Whatever Bill's expertise was, it was definitely not in this area.

So this took longer.

And then I started chasing: "what's the status?" and he'd reply "has the firewall been configured?" and I'd then drop an email to the IT support team at my work copying him and then ask "is everything OK now" and Bill would go "let me check" and come back to with an answer in the negative.

So I dropped him a note via WhatsApp:

why are you waiting for me to check and try solve this problem. this is what you were hired to do. please sort it and stop waiting for me to find out that the issue is still not resolved and the job is still open.

And eventually wrote a note to his boss.

And then things moved quickly and the job was finished.

But will I be recommending this company to a friend or colleague? Probably not.

We know that, most times, thing are more complicated that we think. And that gremlins arrive. And challenges emerge.

But, the most frustrating thing is being left in the dark and having to chase the supplier for updates.

No matter what -- good or bad -- keep your customer updated on what's going on.