I Guess Striking Is Not An Option

I just ran into my neighbour Larry while walking my dogs today. 

He works for a major cereal company (actually THE cereal company) and he is currently on strike.  He just sent me a link to the web-site they have created in support of their strike.  Apparently the strike is not about money but moreso a way to keep Union members employed rather than being let go in favour of the remaining members working OT to cover the difference.  Interesting dispute.

What struck me about this was how as an independent custom developer for 25 years the idea of “striking” is just not in my vocabulary (as is OT for that matter).  In fact the only recourse I have if I have an ireconcilable client dispute is to “fire” them and move on hopiong they just stop calling and hope they don’t sue me.  Oh sure I have the necessary E&O insurance but that doesn’t apply for disputes and disagreements.

Ironically today I started the day by firing a new client (just the largest retailer in Canada) before I get too far into them because it had become obvious that working for them was going to be a one-way street and I would be constantly going the wrong way.  Then shortly thereafter I got my semi-annual call from a small grain-dealer client for whom I did a semi-custom application in 1985 that he STILL USES……. This was written in Lotus 1-2-3 Rel 2.2 and continues to run every day for him and several other dealers (on a machine running Win98).  I have done everything short of being rude (well maybe not short) to this guy but he insists on using the app and simply will not stop using it.   He calls me from time to time because he forgot how to do something.  Go figure. 

I make nothing from this guy because I made the deal with him in 1985 without a support contract (I was brand new in the game 25 years ago) and he simply has never seen fit to feel it just MIGHT be the right thing to compensate me for the generational support I have provided. free of charge :-).

So in the end as an independent developer  when a new client comes on-side you never know what the end-game will be or when it will come. But for sure you’re never going to be able to start picketing them….


About Biggus Dickus

Dick is a consultant in London, ON Canada who specializes in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Office Development.
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