On Wed, 30 Apr 2014 11:01:57 -0700, Keith Keller
Post by Keith Keller Post by Jeff Liebermann
Cover my ass is a way of life as one "oh shit" can be fatal to my
business. I've had customers hard disk drives fail as I was making
the backup, which underscores the need.
What have you done in those cases? Did your client blame you for their
loss, or did they understand that there was nothing you could have done?
Over the years, I can recall 3 such "oh shit" moments, where the
client would have been justified in suing me.
1. Upgrade to new OS failed because the nightly tape backup was
backing up the wrong disk partition. (This was not simple because it
was some guest OS running on top of SCO Unix with data in a raw
partition). My mistake was not determining what was actually being
backed up before wiping the hard disk drive. Fortunately, I was able
to find a fairly recent inventory file, but the transactions and
customer records were gone. After a few days of fruitless
floundering, the customer asked me to leave, and then hired several
people to manually re-enter all the data from paper records and
printouts. I offered to pay for the data entry, but the customer
declined the offer. This was the low point in my computer consulting
2. I convinced a customer that an image backup was the only way to be
sure the data would be safe and could be restored quickly.
Unfortunately, I pick Farstone software:
which turned out to be self corrupting when backing up while
simultaneously running applications. The Samsung "high reliability"
hard disk died in the middle of tax season. When I restored from
backup, all the files that were open at the time of the backup were
corrupted. It took me 2 solid weeks of hard work to put it back
together. The backup software vendor was useless and their outsourced
support didn't care. The specific Farstone product that made the mess
was immediately withdrawn from the web site when it became obvious
that it didn't work as advertised. I did not bill the customer for
the 2 weeks or the crappy backup software.
3. I don't want to discuss the 3rd incident.
In all three cases, and probably some lesser disasters, I was at least
initially an integral part of the recovery. Blaming me was a waste of
effort because I immediately assumed all responsibility. There is
always something that I can do after a disaster. I don't think that
my having insurance would have changed anything.
The closest I've come to being actually sued were all traps and
setups. I see about 2-3 of those every year, where some off the wall
"customer" hands me a problem or project that is almost certain to
fail, with me assuming responsibility for everything. I've learned to
be suspicious and generally do not take on work where something is
obviously fishy, especially if a prospective customer ask about my
Jeff Liebermann ***@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558