You've thought it but you didn't say anything. You know it's an ugly baby but your sense of decency prevents you from saying what you're really thinking. Your internal editor engages and disconnects your tongue from your brain just in time. Unfortunately, I don't have that same internal editor. Your data center, aka your "baby" is a mess.
Not a mess in the traditional sense everything has its place in a rack or cabinet, cables all neatly tied, fans blowing, lights blinking but it's still a mess. An ugly mess. Someone with no internal editor tells you that it's a mess and you feel your blood pressure rise, your neck tighten and your voice crack when you respond, "We've just poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into it, and now you say it's ugly."
This kind of honesty isn't necessarily the best way to start a business relationship. Shakespeare said of himself, "Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance," which brings to mind a related personal story of honesty and an ugly baby.
In late 1997 I met with the CIO of a local health care management company who wanted me, as a consultant, to walk through his facility and his data center and give him some opinions on his services and a quotation for upgrading his 800 desktop systems. I took a walk with him while he described the server systems, the cooling costs, the air exchange rates, the call center and that he didn't want to move to Windows 95 for his desktop operating system.
Say what? That's right, he was still using Windows 3.11, and he wasn't about to change to Windows 95.
He wanted to move to Windows NT 3.51. Yes, I know that Windows NT 4.0 had hit the market more than year earlier and he was aware of it, too. However, he considered it to be "too unstable for production." I smiled, nodded politely and anticipated returning to my office to tell my employees I'd just wasted two hours with an over-employed victim of nepotistic hiring practices.
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