No One In This Restaurant Is Being Server’d

, , , | Right | September 19, 2019

(My company sells and supports restaurant computer systems — hardware, software, and maintenance. I’m on the software-support side programming, taking client calls, and remoting in to fix things. We have everything from fast food to fine dining. The level of experience is random with every caller. We have a site where the system server is around ten years old and it starts crashing daily. This means the rest of the system goes down for about fifteen minutes. Everyone hates when the restaurant has to use pen, paper, and calculators. This keeps happening for about two weeks but the owner wants the server repaired, so he won’t have to pay the thousands of dollars to replace it. The owner calls about fifty minutes before they open.)

Me: “Good morning, tech support.”

Owner: “Hi, this [Owner of Restaurant]. I need someone to log in and reload all the software and stuff that runs our computers.”

Me: “Wait, what happened to [the main products that we sold you that has to be loaded in our office before the system leaves our office]?!” 

Owner: “We got a new machine.”

(Dumbfounded, I hit mute to talk to the team.)

Me: “Did we send [site] a new server?!”  

Team: “No.” *team’s interest is peaked*

Me: *unmute* “Where… did… it come from?”

Owner: “Oh, picked it up! I just need someone from your company to do that thing where they take over the computer and make [Vital Program] work. I just switched out the old with the new one; it’s all hooked up and ready to be worked on.”

Me: “But where did it come from?!

Owner: “I picked up from [Membership Warehouse Store]. It was $2000 cheaper than the one [My Company] tried to sell me.”

Me: *double dumbstruck, putting the pieces together* “Hold on a minute, okay?” *relays details to the team because I’m not fully believing it*

Team: *wide-eyed* “PUT. IT. BACK!”

Me: *back on the line* “[Owner]… this won’t work. You have to put it back. Put the old server back. All the things you want done to that PC you bought are impossible. We have to have a system server built with special specs, transfer data from the old server, and program it before they are installed in restaurants. There isn’t time to explain. Just put back and call back. We have forty minutes to fix this.”

Owner: “But, but… that one is broken!”

Me: “[Warehouse Store] does not sell plug and play servers. That’s just a personal computer. Put the server back or your site is running on pen and paper all day, not just part of it.”

(Later that day, they were finally convinced to buy a new server from our company. But what a go-getter, albeit a very misguided go-getter!)

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