Emails From the Command-Line: Outsourcing...Me?

By Ethan Net on at

Last week, the boss called me in. “Ah, Ethan! Great new things are a-happening. We’re cutting costs and improving services m’boy.” Eyes to ceiling, deep breath... “What’s that then, Sir?” I ask in my usual belligerent, yet very caring manner.

“We’ve found a way to run the entirety of our IT department at a fraction of the cost! It’s amazing; there’s this company abroad somewhere, that tells us they can support all our users, perform all the upgrades, manage the computer things and do everything at a fraction of the cost we're currently paying now! It sounds brilliant.”

I’ve been waiting for this one: outsourcing. Ie, me ending up as billy-no-job. It’s an old battle in our field that's been raging for years, but now the boss has been reeled in -- I need to act fast. Especially given he has an attention span of about 20 minutes...

“Give me the details Sir, I’ll check them out,” I reply semi-interestedly.

“There you go, it’ll save us thousands, enough to pay for the Christmas party. Brilliant isn’t it!” I’ll never understand how this business works. But honestly, it's hard to care sometimes.

I take the paperwork he hands me; seemingly lots of emails from a third party IT company based somewhere miles away. This’ll be fun -- they promise the world, then run off when things go wrong… I’ve seen this happen so many times before.

Hang on, what's this? I don’t have to write up the usual pros and cons document, as apparently, RBS has contracted the same company to manage their online banking system… and it appears there have been a few problems over the past few days… Eer, more than quite a few actually. The Daily Mail has declared war on them; people have lost houses; been denied bail, and even denied a pint at their local Wetherspoons (disaster!). And there’s some small print about a tech-savvy website using them too, Gizwoodo or something; they really should check their support companies properly...

Bloody lift broken again. So up the stairs and off I wander, past the love of my life Sophia; off to show the boss just what happens if you outsource your IT.

“Well Ethan, you’ve certainly saved the company from making another huge financial mistake, I can only thank you by offering a small bonus in your pay packet, “ the boss promises, while reading his copy of The Dandy. (Which I must admit has gone downhill since I was a regular reader.)

“Oh Sir, thank you very much, there really is no need though...” I lie.

“So, Ethan, it’s all down to you again. Carry on as you were,” the Boss adds, obviously more interested in this week's word-search competition.

Then the fullness of the situation hits me… “Colin? How much gaffa tape, spare fuses and long ethernet cables have we got mate?” And the fact that the company banks with RBS...there goes the bonus...

Just another day in the life of an IT Manager…There’s always tomorrow, I guess.


Ethan Net is a pseudonym for an overworked and underpaid IT Manager. It doesn’t matter where he works or who he is — unless he happens to be your IT Manager. Look out for his column every Wednesday afternoon here on Gizmodo UK.

Image Credit: Server Room from Shutterstock