Out With The Old...
Covid 19 has raised a number of questions about the way I work. Up until lock down, I would regularly spend time in peoples houses fixing their computers. This is not something I particularly enjoyed (I’m not a people person and I don’t perform well under scrutiny) but it was necessary because some people prefer it.
During lock down that was no longer possible, so I’ve been working on the basis of collect, repair and return. This has suited me fine and I believe it has been more efficient. Sometimes I could spend up to two hours at a persons home and I still needed to take their machine away for repair.
On the other hand, in the bubble of my own workshop, I’m more focused, I have access to all the right tools and I don’t feel like an intruder.
I also have a continuous supply of quality caffeine and I can wear my slippers!
Of course, I fully understand why people might not want to let their computer out of their sight. Computers are very personal places, full of important and private data. I can see why giving a stranger unsupervised access might cause concern, but it’s not my job to go nosing round people's files unless they’re broken. Seriously, I have absolutely no interest at all in the contents of a customers hard drive unless it’s a requirement of the job in hand. Even then, the chances of me actively looking at the contents are zero to none. When you’ve been doing this for as long as I have, photos, videos, documents and all those other files, all blur into one.
I recently did a data recovery job for a customer on tens of thousands of photographs. They had to be analysed, organised and transferred to a new drive and I still couldn’t tell you what a single one of them was a photograph off!
Some first time customers are also wary because they don’t know me. They find me through Google or Facebook or I was recommended by a friend of a friend and for all they know, I might want to steal their computer. It’s a fair point, there are plenty of unscrupulous people in this business. However it would be a particularly stupid thing to do considering my address is right there on Facebook and Google and a hundred other places. It’s also on the receipt I give to every customer when I take their property away.
Besides, a lot of the time the computer is worth less than the price I am charging to fix it.
So, I’ve got a decision to make. Do I go back to my pre lock down way of doing business or do I stick with collect repair and return? The latter may put some potential customers off but I’m definitely leaning that way.
NOTE: I have a few older and isolated customers, who I will continue to visit regardless of what I decide.