True story, you couldn’t make it up.
Once worked for a government dept and prior to the mandarins deciding to out source our I.T maintenance I did most repairs myself. Being a taxpayer and saving myself money I used to buy whatever I wanted using a personal account and invoice the cost to our treasury. This saved pounds as I always managed a better discount than their purchasing dept.
Then we went all contractee and the work was passed to a well known National service provider.
A PC fan failed and I knew I could do the job for under a fiver. But, following the book (the treasury stopped me doing my own thing) I rang and placed an order, including the details of the machine. Details not required as they already had them, or so they said. 3 weeks later a parcel arrived and I phoned the contractor to say the part had arrived. Another 2 weeks passed and a ‘tech guy’ turned up. Gave him the parcel, directed him to the machine and left him to it.
Thirty minutes later he came back to me and explained he couldn’t do it as the wrong part had been delivered. How long does it take to remove 2 screws I wondered so asked him to show me how he knew. At that point he hesitated and admitted he didn’t know how to get into the machine. So how did he know the wrong part had been delivered I asked. It was too small was his answer. A bit of a shaggy dog story followed but I won’t bore with the details. Come with me I ordered I’ll show you.
Removing 2 screws I took the fan from him, replaced the faulty unit and in probably 5 minutes the machine was up and running. You can’t do that he said you are not qualified. OK, at this point the farce is beginning to make me smile at the idiocy of it all so I said OK, here’s the screw driver, you do it.
30 minutes later he heaves a sigh of relief, switches on and the machine blows up. Told you it was wrong he says, hoping I had failed to see him drop and leave a screw laying on the mobo. Listen I said, if you say nothing about me being ‘unqualified’ I won’t tell on you, just give me a new mobo, I’ll fix it and you can go on your way. Don’t have a mobo but I do have a new machine he replied. Deal done.
Cost of fan if I had done it my way £3.59p.
Contractor cost (eventually all passed on to the taxpayer of course), £726 for the new machine, £24 invoice price of ‘wrong’ fan, £49.50 per hour not including travelling time for the ‘tech guy’.
I feel sorry for whoever who got our old machine which mysteriously was DOA.
Government contracts eh, don’t you just love ‘em.