Tales from the Field, Law Office Gone Wild
I had been dispatched to a longstanding client of ours to discuss an impending email migration. They were currently running with a dated on-site exchange server and were deciding between a hosted exchange system and an Office 365 migration. I was relatively fresh into my career, but the client was a top dollar legal firm whose management team was known to be a little difficult. They seemed to appreciate my direct communication style and had requested me by name (I’m usually quite chatty with our clients, but it’s important to know the best way to communicate with different customers).
Before our meeting in the conference room, the Managing Partner had requested that I tune up the brand new XPS notebook we had recently provided to him. We’ll call him Jack, and the best way to describe him as a client is that you do as Jack tells you to do, and you do not ask why.
Now I had the sneaking suspicion that Jack had been using his work computer at home, and a quick scan with AdwCleaner removed the problematic pop-ups that had him hiding his screen every morning. He’d known enough to run a scan himself but didn’t realize the malicious program had built in its own restore point (he was losing document edits he’d saved, which is what clued me in).
He had asked that I bring his laptop into the conference room at 3 pm, and recommended I grab a cup of the specialty coffee a Senior Partner had brought back from South America. It smelled great, so I snagged a mug, the laptop, and headed towards the management team waiting in the conference room.
Now Jack has a hard shell to him, but we generally speak pretty candidly – I do what he asks, but feel free to joke around with him a little. I walked towards the conference room, planning to give him a sly wink and let him know that I was onto him, but had fixed the problem.
Funny how some ideas seem great right before the execution part of the plan. I walk into the conference room, computer in one hand, steaming hot coffee in the other.
“Alright fellas, shall we get started?”
A resounding yes from around the room, and I looked Jack dead in the eye and prepped to give him the “I know what you were up too” look that us IT workers love to give.
“Figured out what was wrong with your computer Jack, it should be good to go now.” These were my last words as a confident man.
I misjudged the distance between myself and the table and went to put the notebook down. Instead of placing the notebook on the table, I proudly announced my solving of the problem, I winked at the man.. and slammed his brand new $2000 computer directly onto the beautiful hardwood floor.
Now I realized at the last second what was about to happen. I tried to grab the computer with the other hand – which was holding a mug of very hot coffee.
You’ll never guess where the coffee landed. On the managing partner of a top-notch legal firm, whose computer I had just destroyed. Surprisingly, Jack laughed harder than I’ve ever seen anyone laugh – which set the whole room off!
I lost my dignity that day, but I kept my job and the client (to be honest, they like me even more). It’s a frequent discussion point every time I conduct a site visit but certainly could’ve been much worse.
I know you’re on the edge of your seat for the real climax of the story, so without further ado – they went with hosted exchange.