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Ready when you are

Consultant pilot fish has a client who’s interviewing prospective consultants for a big project, and the client keeps telling the consultants he wants them to start the next day, or Monday at the latest. Pilot fish takes the client aside and says, “Look, you’re telling these consultants that they need to give you at least three weeks’ notice if they plan to leave. It’s not fair to expect them to drop what they’re working on now to come work on your project. And if they aren’t working on anything, chances are they aren’t the best choices. The good consultants aren’t sitting around waiting for a new project to appear.”

Don’t care, says client; I want what I want and I need what I need.

So against fish’s better judgment, the client ends up with several consultants who have immediate availability. And what do they do for the first several weeks of the project? Read manuals and hang out at the water cooler, since they have to wait for their access to be approved, their accounts to be provisioned, and their PCs to be made available.

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