13 Sep 2000 darsal   » (Observer)

Now it's Tuesday:

Life is something better, a little. I poked the right places and got upstream to expedite my host IP changes (expedite, as in, I requested them at 5PM and they got them online by 9PM). Overall I think I could do much worse than this provider, and the PHB is planning to test that theory, but that's a different story.

I found a nice tool to generate almost all my DNS-related files. Well, nice by Windows standards. It's called "Simple DNS Plus", (if you care, take a look at their home page) and it's a basic and cheap Windows DNS server. I cannot vouch for it in any production way (I just didn't try it out that way) but what it does do -- what I hoped it would do and what it turned out to do -- is generate pretty nice zone files. It also has a feature to automatically update reverse zones, but the file it generates is in BIND 4.X format. Oh, well, that's an easy enough translation.

Didn't get to a lick of production work today, and I don't really care - I came thisclose to telling clients that in so many words. See, I worked nearly every minute last month, I didn't get to bike at all this summer, and when John left I got stuck with all the things he used to do +plus+ all the things I used to do. Net.Slavery? You bet.

And I figure that the only reason the PHB thinks it's okay is because I -will- work 22 hours a day and sleep in the server room where it's nice and warm and the server fans shut out the phone and other noise. I'm essentially telling him that things are fine when I do that. If I limit myself to 10-12 hours a day and get 10-12 hours of work done in that time, he can't have any problems with my work, and the angry clients will tell him what he needs to do.

And they do. Got one today who has a whole fleet of different products we host, but they basically fall into two classes, monthlies and quarterlies. We've always charged the same for each monthly or quarterly, and when a new one comes out we still give the same terms.

So the PHB has been worried about his bottom line lately, and he's eyed this client as one of the ones he thinks we undercharge (actually, we undercharge everybody, but that's still another different story), so he wants to see all the contracts. That John the Departed drew up, and swears he dropped on me but I swear I've never seen. So we can't review our current terms, and I suspect we don't have any.

In fact, the last time I scoured the orifice for these Legendary Contracts was a couple weeks ago when said client wanted to introduce a new product and quoted the traditional figure. PHB says "I dunno, I don't think we're charging them enough" (and since I'm basically working full- time for this one client, PHB's probably right). So this week (in DNS hell) said client sends the new data over and asks about getting a formal agreement signed. I punt it (BCC, natch) up to the PHB, who promptly calls me and tells me he thought this was settled a long time ago. I point out that what was settled was that we're not charging them enough, and maybe this project is ripe for us to float a new price model based on the actual time and overhead involved, and PHB says he can't do that without a look at those Standard Contracts, so we better tell said client that we'll do it, and then next week we'll review the Agreements in Hand and figure out our fair price.

Ummm... Nope, I can't figure out what's wrong with that either. Except maybe that now we're locked into another year at a figure that I know is too low, that the client knows is too low, that even the PHB knows is too low, and yet somehow -we- --all-- agreed to.

At this rate, I can't wait for Thursday. I mean, Wednesday. Er, Friday.

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