Why should one work independently – A real life story

January 31, 2009 at 5:04 pm 2 comments

It was a pleasant Sunday morning and I decided to go on a drive. I got ready, got in the car but guess what? Murphy’s Law proved to be true once again. The car refused to start. Although its was a brand new one and hardly been driven it did not start. I would have just left it there and would have taken my bike for a ride but since my dad needed the car in the evening, it was very critical for me to get the car working before evening at any cost. By the way its a Hyundai i10.

I got the manual from the car and got Kun Hyundai’s emergency helpline number. The technician was very prompt and told me that he will arrive in 15-20 minutes. I was hoping that the issue would be very minor and this guy will be able to fix it very soon. As promised he arrived in 15 minutes and started looking for the fault. Everything seemed perfect to him. He called couple of his senior team members to figure out what can be the issue. That didn’t help much. After about 20-30 minutes he gave up and told me that he will need to tow the vehicle and take it to the workshop for repair. Also, the car would be repaired only on Monday since the workshop is closed on Sundays.

He then called up the guy who would come to tow the vehicle. I spoke to that person and he told me that it would take 1500 bucks to tow the vehicle and take it to the workshop. I was like 1500? That’s too much. I asked the technician if it would be possible for a senior member to come here and try to fix the fault? He said, no it will not be possible. Also, he was very keen on taking the vehicle to the workshop for repair so that he can rip me off money.

Since, the would anyways could not be repaired immediately I decided not to listen to him and told the towing guy that I’ll call him back. The technician left. The reason why this guy was not willing to look into the fault further and fix it was because it was a Sunday and even if he goes an extra mile and fixes the issue, he knew he would get paid the same amount of money – his salary. Whatever he does, fixes or not, it would not harm him in anyway. Its the company which will pay for the damage done to its reputation. Not sure who should be blamed for this, the company or the technician.

I then contacted a friend of mine who knew an independent mechanic. The friend spoke to the mechanic and both arrived at around 2:00 in the afternoon. The local mechanic looked into it for couple of hours and was not able to find the fault. He also gave up and told that figuring out the fault might take some very sophisticated instruments which are available only with the company.

After taking a long breath this guy decided not to give up and try once more. I was immediately able to relate to him. I knew this has happened to me many times. He started diagnosing all over again. After about an hour he gave up once again and said that he will not be able to fix it. I was disappointed but satisfied because he tried so much.

When he was just about to leave, something stuck him and he said, he forgot to check one thing. He said, he will give one final try and then leave. He took out the bumper from the front and one of the head lights and guess what? He found it, finally. There were bunch of wires running through that place and one of them was cut. Not sure how that happened but that was the fault. He fixed it in 15 minutes and every thing worked like a charm.

He knew that no one will pay him for nothing. If he wouldn’t have fixed the issue I would have paid him only for his conveyance and the time he spent here. That would not be more than couple of hundred bucks. Since, he fixed it I paid him whatever he asked for. I saved a lot by not listening to a so called technician from a very reputed company and getting my work done from an independent mechanic. Next time someone asks me if I know a car mechanic, you know whom I will be recommending.

This is exactly how freelancing works. You get paid for what you do and not for nothing. Freelancers help their clients save money (a lot) and provide results that are far better than what a big organization can produce.


Entry filed under: Food for thought, Freelancer, Inside stories.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Natarajan  |  February 20, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for some time but never thought of leaving a feedback…but this one was touching. It provokes lot of thoughts. You really met such a rare soul.

    Nice one…

  • 2. Adil Muhammad  |  October 1, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Very true, i am a freelance developer myself and i can understand it. As a freelancer i always try to make the code “Perfect” but if i am working for a company i dont care weather its perfect or not, i just care if it runs and pass by the testing team!


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