Your Time Is Valuable



  • @guyinpv said in Home business ideas for transition out of 9-5?:

    I feel like every in home job I do is a rip off. It's 20% work and 80% waiting for their Walmart special to catch up.

    All IT people have to fix this thinking. That's not ripping someone off, that's someone making you waste your valuable time and you need to be compensated for it. No electrician, contractor, plumber, doctor, lawyer or other professional having to sit and wait because of customer decisions or limitations would ever have a thought like they were ripping off the customer for something that wasn't their own fault (and rarely even for things that are.) You ARE working and you DO deserve to be paid. You are mentally ripping yourself off. That their computer is slow, their Internet is slow or they live in the middle of nowhere is only their decision and the consequences of that decision belong to them, not to you.



  • This is a thing that I see constantly in the IT space but from no other profession or career category. A receptionist doesn't feel that he is ripping off the company because he sits idly at a desk all day. A waiter doesn't feel like he is ripping off the restaurant if no customers come in. Your time is important, very important, and someone is asking you to give it up for their benefit. It's a business transaction. No wonder people don't see IT as being valuable, we rarely see ourselves as valuable. If you hired anyone to do anything and asked them to just stand around waiting... you'd still have to pay them. That they use their time doing something perceived as valuable or perceived as "Just waiting" is totally irrelevant. The bottom line is you are tying up their time when they could be drinking a beer on the beach, but instead they are in your house or at your office doing your bidding. They need to get paid.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Your Time Is Valuable:

    @guyinpv said in Home business ideas for transition out of 9-5?:

    I feel like every in home job I do is a rip off. It's 20% work and 80% waiting for their Walmart special to catch up.

    All IT people have to fix this thinking. That's not ripping someone off, that's someone making you waste your valuable time and you need to be compensated for it. No electrician, contractor, plumber, doctor, lawyer or other professional having to sit and wait because of customer decisions or limitations would ever have a thought like they were ripping off the customer for something that wasn't their own fault (and rarely even for things that are.) You ARE working and you DO deserve to be paid. You are mentally ripping yourself off. That their computer is slow, their Internet is slow or they live in the middle of nowhere is only their decision and the consequences of that decision belong to them, not to you.

    So much this...

    Also: tags are your friend.



  • I agree, I feel like I'm "wasting time" by being forced to wait for a decision etc. I really have to change how I think about business transactions.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Your Time Is Valuable:

    @guyinpv said in Home business ideas for transition out of 9-5?:

    I feel like every in home job I do is a rip off. It's 20% work and 80% waiting for their Walmart special to catch up.

    All IT people have to fix this thinking. That's not ripping someone off, that's someone making you waste your valuable time and you need to be compensated for it. No electrician, contractor, plumber, doctor, lawyer or other professional having to sit and wait because of customer decisions or limitations would ever have a thought like they were ripping off the customer for something that wasn't their own fault (and rarely even for things that are.) You ARE working and you DO deserve to be paid. You are mentally ripping yourself off. That their computer is slow, their Internet is slow or they live in the middle of nowhere is only their decision and the consequences of that decision belong to them, not to you.

    I used to think this way as well earlier in my career. When I started a family, it became very clear that my time was just too valuable to charge less because I felt "guilty." That type of thinking went right out the window.



  • The good thing about being an in-house IT department is that it's easy to multi-task, so there's less time (no time?) sitting around waiting for something to complete. I get frustrated when I'm paying a consultant $1000 a day to sit and watch something install or download. We can often be loads more productive doing it in-house simply because we're doing several jobs at the same time.

    For the record, I don't resent it, it's just frustrating for all concerned. No-one wants to sit around.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Your Time Is Valuable:

    I agree, I feel like I'm "wasting time" by being forced to wait for a decision etc. I really have to change how I think about business transactions.

    Ahh as a full time in house IT person though... They are wasting their time not yours. They pay you to sit there, even if you are doing nothing. They pay you to be there. So if you have to sit and just hang out with us here and be productive for ML instead of being productive for what they pay you for. You aren't getting paid any less for it.


  • Banned

    @Carnival-Boy said in Your Time Is Valuable:

    I get frustrated when I'm paying a consultant $1000 a day to sit and watch something install or download.

    It's not a bad consultant generally, it's a bad understanding of the relationship.

    This is the fallacy of businesses understanding how to use technical labour. They want to pay for the person to be giving 100% of their time and attention to task X. Even though task X has 0 business impact (Setting up a new server for example) so a lot of consultants do sit on their hands because the client wants a physical person in the room doing the job a lot of the time.

    I completely agree with you it is wrong but I'm hearing it from project managers for IT services all the time, the client wants it.

    Now, the client has not seen how the right way of doing IT works so they don't know of the alternative but consultancy done right can be very cost effective but until the businesses learn to manage the relationship consultants will continue to do 1 job per day, when they can sit on their hands installing something like server 2012.

    This is why the MSP model looks so good because you get fixed rate, many tasks and other things. When really it is not.

    Actually, I wonder if I should hire friendly actors, pack them off to site, keep engineers offsite remotely to do the real work and the actors would cost less than having an engineer.

    It's literally a holding hand exercise. Some tasks have to be done on site yes but for most IT things these days?...It's a joke.

    Another amazing one, consultant pulling a high per hour rate, offers to change the graphics cards in desktop machines....the client feels that he is doing them a favour but then the bill for the extra hour comes in. Or they could have had a desktop tech (£50 an hour) versus a level 3 consultant.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in Your Time Is Valuable:

    @Carnival-Boy said in Your Time Is Valuable:

    I get frustrated when I'm paying a consultant $1000 a day to sit and watch something install or download.

    It's not a bad consultant generally, it's a bad understanding of the relationship.

    This is the fallacy of businesses understanding how to use technical labour. They want to pay for the person to be giving 100% of their time and attention to task X. Even though task X has 0 business impact (Setting up a new server for example) so a lot of consultants do sit on their hands because the client wants a physical person in the room doing the job a lot of the time.

    This, so much this.



  • @Breffni-Potter said in Your Time Is Valuable:

    This is the fallacy of businesses understanding how to use technical labour. They want to pay for the person to be giving 100% of their time and attention to task X. Even though task X has 0 business impact (Setting up a new server for example) so a lot of consultants do sit on their hands because the client wants a physical person in the room doing the job a lot of the time.

    Sometimes the consultancy firms prefers to send their engineers on-site, even if it's largely redundant these days. I'm guessing it's because they want to upsell services whilst they're there. Sometimes I prefer engineers on-site because I can learn a lot from them (like how to do it next time myself :)) Sometimes the engineers prefer to work on-site because it allows them to focus without getting hassled from their work colleagues, bosses or other clients (although they might get hassled by me asking them a million questions).

    Sometimes consultants waste time because they're just badly organised and haven't prepared for the job properly or brought the proper kit. That's when I get annoyed.

    But sometimes it's just good to be on-site, talking to the client, talking to the users and making sure everything goes smoothly and according to plan.

    I've used the word sometimes a bit too much in this post.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Your Time Is Valuable:

    @Breffni-Potter said in Your Time Is Valuable:

    @Carnival-Boy said in Your Time Is Valuable:

    I get frustrated when I'm paying a consultant $1000 a day to sit and watch something install or download.

    It's not a bad consultant generally, it's a bad understanding of the relationship.

    This is the fallacy of businesses understanding how to use technical labour. They want to pay for the person to be giving 100% of their time and attention to task X. Even though task X has 0 business impact (Setting up a new server for example) so a lot of consultants do sit on their hands because the client wants a physical person in the room doing the job a lot of the time.

    This, so much this.

    This is the core reason I am in St. Louis twice a month.



  • We very rarely go onsite. Sometimes we just need to adding memory to a server kind of thing. However we try to go onsite with most of our clients at least once a quarter. Let them see our face, have lunch with them. Remind them we are an important part of their team.



  • @Minion-Queen said in Your Time Is Valuable:

    We very rarely go onsite. Sometimes we just need to adding memory to a server kind of thing. However we try to go onsite with most of our clients at least once a quarter. Let them see our face, have lunch with them. Remind them we are an important part of their team.

    That is what I am moving my clients towards.



  • I've adopted a policy of not working on friends, family, or co-worker's PCs and networking devices. My mom and dad get a free pass, though. Other than them, I dont work on family or friends computers. The temptation for an easy $50 or $100 just isn't worth your time. You may think you are done after an hour of working, but the calls for other IT help will come from this great friend or family member.

    I made this mistake back in my mechanic days. Yeah, I'll replace your spark plugs for $50 or change your starter for $100. Every once in awhile I get contacted by a high school "friend" that needs car maintenance done or has a specific jeep question. It usually goes something like this :

    Them: Hi
    Me: Hi
    Them: How have you been?
    Me: Oh just effing fantastic. I am just enjoying the clear blue skies, chocolate rivers, and kids running around with gumdrop smiles
    Them: Awesome.
    Them: Hey I have 96 Jeep Wrangler and I want to put 35 inch tires on it. How high do i need to lift to put these tires on it?
    Me: 2-3 inches with cutting and 4-5 with no cutting
    Them: Great. What is the cheapest lift kit I can buy
    Me: $200 will get you the height, but it wont get you the performance you want
    Them: fantastic. $200 it is. I am sure you can put it on for me for a 12 pack of beer. I am also sure the performance will exceed a $4k lift kit with $2k installation.
    Me: Ok. I like Miller Lite
    Them: Oh wonderful I will pick up a 4 pack of natural ice or busch. Your choice, buddy. Don't worry they are tall boys so each one equals like 10 beers.
    Well: I like Miller Lite and it's a cheap domestic beer
    Them: Ok Natural Ice or Busch it is, but I can't exactly afford a 4 pack so a single tall boy before and another one after the job is complete.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Your Time Is Valuable:

    I agree, I feel like I'm "wasting time" by being forced to wait for a decision etc. I really have to change how I think about business transactions.

    I also had a hard time years ago with this. Sometimes I still do...

    So much of our work is "waiting on this or that" to finish.

    Several years ago I was called out to a retail shop.

    They had issues with their network printer.

    As I started checking things on site and getting the lay out. I found their network was hanging by threads. Literally the wires held everything up nothing was secured.

    They also had an open and default setting network. I helped them secure the router. And got everything working for the time being. I left them with a set of plans to resolve the issue and not bandaid it.

    I was working on site multple times and the manager would have "meetings sometimes for an hour" in the network room where I needed to be. And this would happen after I was on site. So I sat around... I let that clock run full steam!(I billed (my door back -out their door)

    I'm over it. I will almost always bill for all of the time with someone.

    They have accused me of trying to nickel and dime them. I rebutted that with you asked me to bandaid an open wound I told what needed to be done to fix it. You never approved it. Just the bandaid. These bandaids happened on multple occasions. People tampering with the systems causing all of the issues.

    All problems outside of my control.

    Also when they went to a static IP across the organization 17 stores. Some worked the next day. Others didnt. And I got blamed for 1 of them not working. All because TWC told them it was my fault. That's when they started blaming me!

    I figured out that the problem was on TWC, and I took care of that with the customer right there. They saw I fought for them. But to this date I haven't done anymore work for them. I will likely keep it that way.


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