Monday, August 17, 2009

How to be a consultant, Part 2

So there are a few things they don't teach you in business school but should, including:

1. How to fix a copier: I guarantee that at some point in your career, you will be late to a meeting and in need of a few photocopies of your final deliverable, and the printer will be jammed. What you do next says a lot about you as a human being:
A. Cry
B. Yell at someone who isn't involved and not responsible (like the secretaries)
C. Fix the printer
The correct answer is C - Fix the printer. In today's day and age, all these copiers have diagnostics that say "open door C and move lever F to fix the jam". If you can't do this, please go back to being a liberal arts major at Starbucks.

2. How to properly use/fix a projector: Note to non-engineers, when you hear the projector go "pop!", it's because you unplugged it after a 4 hour meeting without letting the fan cool the bulb completely. Please pay $250 for the new bulb, and go work for a mechanic for a week.

3. How to fix a laptop: Often when laptops die, it's not the hard drive. When in doubt, pull the hard drive out of the dead machine and put it in a similar computer. Does the machine start? If so, it wasn't the hard drive. Stick the hard drive from the good laptop in the bad machine. Does it start? If so, it's probably the hard drive. Backup often.

I once worked for a "brand name" consulting firm (a different brand name than my current brand name firm) and submitted a tuition receipt for a week's class in photocopy repair because the one copier on the floor was constantly broken, and I was constantly fixing it. I didn't get to take the class, and the powers-that-be didn't find it funny. In hindsight, I imagine the copier repairman made more money from that company than me and had a higher quality of life.

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