One of the (few)
drawbacks to working alone, is that there is no one to share special moments
with, no one to amaze with stories of what one client actually expected me to
do, etc. In an attempt to set realistic expectations and set the scene
from my perspective, I have created this page.
This seems the least inappropriate place to note that I
generally have more work than I can handle in the time available. I
would love to be able to turn around a job in a day or less, but I just can
not (my target is 72 hours). I try to assess each job as it
arrives by spending 10 minutes looking for the immediate quick fix, but after
that it has to take its place in the queue. Having said that, if I think
I need to order a spare part, I will try to reach that stage ahead of the
normal time I would be working on a job.
And assessing how
long it will be before a job is finished is hard, verging on
impossible. It means guessing the cause of what is wrong with the
computer, then estimating how long it will take to fix - for each job
between the current time and the time the job in question can be started.
It means guessing how many times the phone will ring, and how long each
interruption will take. I have to make an assessment of how many "while
you're here, would you do this" requests I have to satisfy, and how many
unknown problems will have to be tackled.
Here's the list.
am willing to continue charging considerably less than similarly qualified
technicians, I am not a charity, so please do not delay payment until you
receive the final overdue notice, as I enjoy fixing computers more than
chasing late payers. Invoices are due for payment on presentation; if
you do let it run beyond the prompt payment date and receive a reminder with
that discount withdrawn, don't pretend your cheque for the discounted amount
was already sent.
I took a big cut in income when I left the corporate world in exchange for a
much reduced stress level. If you are antagonistic with me, my stress
level starts to climb.
that I know when you are dissatisfied, mystified or receive less frequent updates than
you would like. If you have a problem, tell me about it at the
feedback to let me know how I can make our next meeting an even better
experience. Your completing the testimonial question
of that short form or leaving a positive review on another website would be particularly appreciated.
a new PC through me, if you
choose not to progress a quotation, tell me why. It takes
about three hours for me to select what I think are the most appropriate
components, confirm there are no inbuilt conflicts, check the performance of each to confirm they produce a balanced
system and source the cheapest reliable suppliers.
If you want
me to liaise with a third party - maybe an ISP or warranty supplier - be aware
that I will be less inclined to dial an 0871 number and be on hold for 45 minutes listening to a heady mix
of advertisements, encouragement to log a call via the website I can't reach, and
ghastly muzak if you give me an earful of grief when I report back to you.
I'm just the messenger in these situations.
are my most important customer, you are not the only one. So I will
balance my workload to complete jobs as fast as I can consistent with
delivering a quality result, taking earlier submitted jobs before later,
giving priority where someone's livelihood is affected by not having a
working computer, perhaps helping those with no connection before those with
the wrong coloured screen saver.
enjoy fixing computers I do have a life outside the job, so if you're
tempted to call at 9pm or on a Sunday, imagine how you would feel receiving a
work related call as you are inviting your guests to sit down for dinner. If I happen to be working late I
may respond to e-mails, but not phone calls without prior agreement.
If I need
to order a component for you, please tell me in advance if you are willing to
pay for expedited delivery, otherwise, be patient.
friends my details. I don't have paid advertising and rely on
satisfied clients to spread the word.