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Join Date: Jan 2011
Thanked 79 Times in 77 Posts
| | Re: Dealing with "consultant resentment"
no need to defend yourself unless you feel guilty. just share this story before the agreement is signed.
Chuck worked for years as the head maintenance technician at a large manufacturing plant. His job was to keep the old production machines running smoothly ... and he was very good at it.
He knew the machinery inside and out.
The company was eventually sold, and the new owner wanted to cut costs. He noticed the equipment hadn’t broken down in years. “Why do I need Chuck?” he thought. So he fired Chuck.
Everything went smoothly for a couple months. The new owner was patting himself on the back for having made such a wise decision.
But then the most important machine in the plant suddenly broke down. All production came to a halt.
The new owner panicked. He was losing thousands of dollars by the minute.
The plant was full of idle workers ... but nobody had any idea how to fix the big machine.
Everyone said the only one who knew how to repair that machine was Chuck.
With reluctance, the owner called Chuck and asked him to take a look.
"Sure. I'd be happy to come in and help you out," said Chuck. "But I’m in business for myself now as a consultant. And I charge $60 an hour for my time, charged by the minute."
The owner agreed and asked Chuck to come take a look.
Chuck showed up to the plant within the hour. He pulled a hammer out of his toolbox and began lightly tapping parts here and there.
After about a minute, he stopped. He cocked his ear and lightly tapped the same place three more times.
Then, with a purposeful stare, he reared back the hammer and gave the machine a mighty whack.
The machine started right up. And everyone went back to work.
Chuck replaced the hammer in his toolbox and wiped his hands.
Without a word he pulled out a pad of paper and a pen. He neatly wrote out this simple invoice:
Repair of equipment ... $10,000.
"Ten thousand dollars?!?" sputtered the owner. "All you did was whack the machine with a hammer! That's outrageous! You said you charged $60 an hour. I demand an itemization of all your work."
Chuck took back the invoice, retrieved the pen from his shirt pocket, and scribbled a few words on the paper. He handed the invoice back.
Here’s what he wrote:
ITEMIZATION OF CHARGES
One minute of time to tap the machine ... $1
Knowing exactly where and how hard to whack it ... $9,999
The Take Away
It’s a fictitious story, but it drives home an important point.
Information and expertise are valuable.
Chuck had it. The owner didn’t. Without it, the owner was losing thousands of dollars by the minute.