Sysadmin's sole client was his wife – and she queried his bill

It all ends in beers after marital bliss and commercial reality collide

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On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our weekly look at readers' memories of jobs gone bad.

This week, meet “Jared” who tells us that “I have for a number of years worked with my wife in our small company. She sells, and I keep her IT (and the rest of the company) working so she can sell.

This all happens in Spain, which Jared said “makes life fun sometimes.”

But perhaps not quite as fun as the day on which his wife “turned to me and said 'I sometimes wonder how we can justify your salary'.”

Jared tells us he responded by saying he would henceforth charge her commercial rates for his services, which didn't go down well.

Not long afterwards, Jared tells us his wife called him over to fix a real RTFM of a problem

“That'll be £75 please”, Jarde told his wife, eliciting protests about the cost that Jared batted away by saying he would only fix the problem if she agreed to the quote. As his wife was not willing to expend the effort to find an alternative supplier, or wait for that worthy to materialise, Jared got the job.

An hour later, another problem arose, as did another quote for £75 and another dispute.

This time, Mrs Jared dug in. And so did Jared, challenging her to find someone to do the job for less.

So again Jared got the job.

And not long afterwards, another one when his wife again needed assistance.

This time he quoted £150 “for an instant fix with no on hold music, trouble tickets, explaining the same issue to three different departments, navigating 1,2,5,1,*,# three times cos the call got cut off and then being mail bombed for your feedback on their wonderful service which actually only takes two words to complete, the second one being Off.”

The quote was again accepted and Jared sorted things out.

The morning's events did not improve marital relations, at least in the short term if you see what we mean. And things got worse when, not long before lunchtime, Jared picked up his car keys and headed out.

That action saw Mrs Jared inquire, very pointedly, about exactly where he was going and why.

“'To the bar,” Jared tells us he replied. “By my reckoning I've done three jobs today, total £300, all before noon. Which exceeds by some margin what you normally pay me, so I don't need to earn any more today.”

Jared says he passed a very pleasant afternoon in the bar and his wife never queried his worth again.

Have you mixed work and family? Or found a way to justify your costs to clients? If so, share your story with On-Call and it could be your marriage exposed to the world in this spot next week. ®

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