So this is kind of a long but funny story and a rant against oversensitive people at the same time.
About a year ago, this sales guy and I go to this architecture firm since they told us they are in dire need of a better storage solution.
We meet with their admin, real nice young guy, let’s call him Mike. He explains to me how they have this old <insert few-letter-company name> clustered NAS with some JBOD behind it. They’re having performance issues, it’s not scalable, they don’t replicate it or do snaps, the list goes on about how much he hates that box. It’s just not working out.
He then mentions he wasn’t part of the decision to buy the box and he just wants to get rid of it and get something much better.
So I start explaining to him the higher-end NAS solutions, I talk about the EMC Celerra, all the things it does etc. The whole explanation takes like 2 hours since he really was unfamiliar with a lot of the basics so I started from the ground up, explained the entire concept and architecture etc.
By the end of this we’re bonding with the guy, he’s throwing some F bombs in casual conversation, all in all we’re comfortable. He tells me he finally gets it, he realizes it took him a while to see the big picture but now he totally understands the value prop. He’s excited.
I feel stoked since I like the guy and it’s not often that you get to educate someone and make them that happy. Very rewarding. So we’re joking some more and I mention how the old box is pretty much retarded when compared to the EMC box, since the EMC box does so much more it’s ridiculous.
He laughs about that and agrees, we joke some more, I promise him I’ll send him a config to look over and we leave.
On the way out he tells me how great it all was, and cautions me jokingly that it’s probably not a good idea to mention to more conservative customers that their existing storage is retarded. We laugh and part ways in a very friendly fashion. Of course I don’t normally say something like that, I only did because we were joking around and bonding and, most importantly, he told me it wasn’t his baby and that he hates it. Usually the coast is clear after something like that 🙂
So I send him his config, he’s getting a great deal, all very well architected. No response. I call him, no response. Eventually the rep calls him, and Mike tells the rep how he was offended that I called his storage retarded and he doesn’t want to do business with us. I thought this was the weirdest thing ever. My initial reaction is that maybe someone close to him is mentally retarded â€“ but if that were the case, he should have shown some kind of reaction when I first mentioned the dim-wittedness of his existing storage.
But wait, there’s more.
About a year laterâ€¦ different gig, different rep. I get the invite to go to this place and talk about storage. They’ve had problems for years and have a really old and bad system in place and really need a replacement. I walk in, and of course it’s the same exact architecture firm! I tell the rep that this is probably a bad idea and that I should leave. I don’t have time though because Mike comes to greet us.
The moment he sees me, he’s like “sorry guys, this is not gonna happen, you just leave now so we don’t waste each other’s time”. He says that he really respects my expertise but he won’t do business with a company I work at. He doesn’t want to speak to another engineer and pretty much kicks us out. I can’t shut up any more and I tell Mike that he has really, really thin skin.
Needless to say the new sales guy is dumbfounded.
The sales guy calls Mike a day or so later and gets an explanation out of him. Mike claims he doesn’t want to deal with engineers that belittle his equipment since how do I know in what financial dire straits they were? Maybe they were forced to buy the retarded storage.
Which is fine but shows that either Mike lied throughout our entire first meeting or has an amazingly bad short-term memory.
I wish Mike all the best in his future endeavors and still stand by my original assertion: get off your retarded storage if it’s causing you problems. Even if you don’t have money there are other appliance-type solutions to be had on the cheap (or free)!
Here are some easy-to-use appliances that are quite good:
You could try all of them as virtual machines if you don’t want to dedicate hardware to them to begin with. That way you can test all of them easily. You can also roll your own with Solaris 10 or Linux, of course it requires one to know what they’re doing but it’s amazing what can be accomplished for next to zero dollars nowadays.
And Mike, if you ever read this:
Get some thicker skin. And maybe some Gingko Biloba. Moreover, if the real reason I offended you was that someone close to you is retarded â€“ get over it, it’s just an expression!
People are just too damn sensitive these days. Just get the job done.