Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

Work Stuff
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No news on the recent job interview yet, but that is not unexpected.

Not so long ago we found out that the system administrator for our on-line course server had been accepted into the army as a sniper.


Say what?!?

Apparently he has practiced sharp shooting for a couple years now with the sole intent of joining the service (to kill people). I just don't understand. I'm sure he's got a decent salary and will take a pay cut to do this, but perhaps he just wants more excitement in his life. I suspect he'll find it.

It looks like our semester-long effort to obtain the latest and greatest version of our courseware package is about to fall through because the company that makes it just WILL NOT back down from charging us tens of thousands of dollars for "service fees" on top of the software cost.

This annoys me greatly. You start out with a basic price tag and whittle that down to something affordable, then they come back and tell you that the basic service and training charge for installation is on top of that, to the order of several tens of thousands dollars more. All of us here feel that we can install the software ourselves, so why should we have to pay anything whatsoever for additional services? Apparently they won't sell us the software without a service agreement, though, so we have no more negotiation room as long as they insist on this kind of arrangement.

One of the worst parts of this experience started much earlier. They would go on and on about how great their stuff is, finally convincing us to buy it. Once we had decided to buy it, we had a meeting with them. We said, basically, give us the software right now because we have some people available immediately but not available later because of scheduled projects.

Then this company says WHOA, NELLY! that's a really optimistic installation schedule you got there. They say we could never get it running so quickly, and that like PeopleSoft it will take years. And we say, well we did PeopleSoft that quickly, and that leaves their jaws on the floor.

We all have the feeling that they want to string us along in order to maximize their consulting fees.

It's so irritating.

It's actually a pity because the software they offer would be significantly beneficial to students and faculty, But we'll just have to paddle along with what we have now. If their attitude persists, they're going to find themselves hard pressed for any business by the growing open-source versions of courseware that compete directly.

Maybe I should go work on the open-source stuff in my free work time. That'll show 'em.

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