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Gee, I'm a consultant. That means people call on us when they need help. Did I ever mention how much I enjoy being a consultant? After some debate about the ethics of making fun of a client, I finally decided to post this little true story:

A Day in Consultant Hell

June 2, 1999:

I've been working with a certain client for about two weeks now.  It's a medium sized company with a name you would recognize if I mentioned it.  It has over a thousand employees, about a third locally and the rest scattered in more than twenty offices across the country.  I was there to do planning for a messaging system migration, with the hope of later doing planning for a migration of the file servers from Novell to Windows NT and a third project of installing a Systems Management Server (SMS) infrastructure.  I figured it would take until about October 1 of this year to have all those projects completed and running smoothly.  Did I mention that the headquarters office is planning to move to the other side of the country shortly? (Between "now" and "October, or maybe January of next year"... they have a building sort of picked out, but haven't told the employees about the move yet...)

Suddenly, the MIS Manager (really the guy in charge of the Operations infrastructure) decides to pursue other opportunities (smartest man there for that reason alone), and the CIO calls us in a panic needing additional assistance.  We show up with the sales guy (well, he's a half decent chauffeur, but he seems to have a problem closing his mouth--or a deal), myself, a project manager, another technical guy to help with the MIS manager vanishing, and a training manager trying to close the business about training these users to use the email system we're trying to install.  The CIO of our customer is there with the flunky that's leaving and the flunky that staying (but is too busy to pick up any slack).

And the CIO keeps talking.  He and the sales guy get along fine. The CIO keeps coming up with more things he needs help with.  Normally this would be a good thing, but I hear the customer doesn't actually have a lot of money. Eventually he says "Oh, and a fourth thing (actually it was the fifth), we need some help with Y2K.  We've identified an intern who can work on this, but we're hoping you can help us with an approach.  We're thinking we can use SMS."

It is a tribute to the professionalism of everyone in our group that nobody gasped, giggled or goggled.

Later we were reassured that the intern was the CIO's son.

One day, I hope I can be a CIO.