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Thread: bartering your skills

  1. #1
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    bartering your skills

    I've always been the nice guy and did most of the "side" computer work for "free".
    Well... I never accept money from friends or coworkers... I only charge cash when I don't know the person or the work is for a friend of a friend.

    Just last night I was at a co-workers house and his kids had completely messed up his PC.
    There was over two dozen trojans, 500+ viruses, and about 700+ peices of spyware.

    That was almost the worse I've ever seen coming frm a coworker.

    I scaned and removed as much as I could. I backed up all his data and did a format/reload.
    The viruses did a number on it and it was pretty much unusable. There were skiddies in and out of his PC and I found a number of "hacktools" that they had left behind. Guess they were using it as a jump point... I didn't really care. I just wanted to get it fixed up.

    I asked him why he had all that junk on there and what happened to the AV and router that I had installed. He uninstalled the AV because it kept telling him he had a viurs... DOH! He removed the router because he thought it was slowing his connection down. DOH! He got a new router and that still didn't help. So, there are two perfectly good (home "routers") not even being used. I updated his firmware on the better of the two and configured it properly and told him it was necessary that he keep the router in there and showed him internet bandwidth reports with and without the router and convinced him.

    So after about 6 hrs of doing all that work (and going out to the bar to grab some drinks and dinner) he asks me how much he owes me. I told him that I didn't really work for cash when it comes to friends/coworkers. That is considered a "conflict of interest" for me. But I told him I was allowed to accept "gifts". He got me a case of good beer. Gave me his "broken" router (which was perfectly fine), gave me a 8 port hub that he had replaced with a switch, gave me a Lexmark print/copy/scanner (X83) (he wanted a new print/fax/copy/scanner) and he even paid for dinner at the bar.

    Not too bad for about 6 hrs of work that I was just going to do for free.
    Considering I was just going to go home and read if I didn't do the work anyway...

    I always end up getting weird "gifts" too...

    I got a pair of skiis that are WAY too big for me. I'm still waiting to give those away to someone.

    I've gotten tickets to a Flyers game.

    I've gotten taken out on a bass fishing trip.

    I've gotten older hardware when I upgrade peoples PCs to newer hardware.

    Gift certificates to many different places.

    I've even gotten someone who works as a florist to send my lady her favorite flowers free of charge.

    Most of all... I get beer and dinner.

    I have another job next week from this really hot (recently separated) russian chick... she is always so nice and friendly to me. Even gives me backrubs when I'm helping her out. She can cook one hell of a steak too... wonder what I'll get next week?...

    What kind of things do you guys get when doing side work?
    Quitmzilla is a firefox extension that gives you stats on how long you have quit smoking, how much money you\'ve saved, how much you haven\'t smoked and recent milestones. Very helpful for people who quit smoking and used to smoke at their computers... Helps out with the urges.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    I kinda take the same approach I don't like charging friends and family. However, for friends-friends I will charge because they will abuse the priviledge (i.e. I have gotten calls at 3 am from this person I didn't know telling me they couldn't print this is how the convo went...


    me - mphfph what the F%$^ "hello"
    person - "hey bud"
    me - "who in the h%$$ is this?"
    person - "its me blah you know blahs friend!"
    me - "why are you calling me at 3 am i just fell asleep!"
    person- "oh well blah said you were good with computers"
    me - "um...ok"
    person - "well i can't print"

    ....at this point I simply hung up and put my cell on silence.

    But regularly I get stuff like phish..

    free dinner - free beer - date there daughter (even though i didn't the guy offered her to me) - free haircuts and back massages (a salon) - the i do work for a shipping company and get free shipping anywhere i want.

    I just like making others happy so I don't really need to get paid from friends and family.

    - MilitantEidolon
    Yeah thats right........I said It!

    Ultimately everyone will have their own opinion--this is mine.

  3. #3
    I dont like to charge friends or family, butt hey usually give me 20$ for 30 minutes of work ! Simple virus removal, spyware, formatting, etc....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    I usually follow the same path - don't charge family/friends, but friends of friends and relatives of relatives are a different story. I actually had relative ask why I would charge their relatives. WTF? Brother-in-Law of my Sister-In-Law should get free Tech Support? If I actually *liked* the guy maybe.

    The most common "pay" is dinner. I've also received various "old" components. Next week my family is going sailing with someone I fixed a computer for. That should be cool. I also have a former coworker that started his own business that I do some work for. My requested wage - Whatever he feels the work is worth. I've not been disappointed.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Memphis, TN
    I don't do a whole lot of side stuff, but usally, I get older computers/ printers/ PCI cards. gift certificates etc.

    I just found out though that my Boss is flying me to Florida to install a network for a company up there

    beaches baby!!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    What kind of things do you guys get when doing side work?
    genital massage therapy.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    LOL @ TheSpecialist...

    Anyways I can only remember one time when I helped someone w/ computer stuff.. My friend "somehow" got a pr0n dialer on his computer... I fixed it for free though. He gave me a couple pieces of German chocolate

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Hey Hey,

    Interesting idea for a thread.

    I have a few clients who actually pay me, other than that I usually refuse money. I've had a very odd assortment of gifts as repayment tho....

    -- Old Hardware (who hasn't gotten this)
    -- Dinner (same goes for this one)
    -- Hand job while fixing a computer
    -- Blow job while fixing a computer
    -- Nude photographs of the person
    -- Beer
    -- Weed
    -- 100% on a Calculus final (that was by far the best one... even beat the oral sex)
    -- I was passed in a HS class that I actually failed.
    -- marked present for almost a week in HS when I didn't have to go to class
    -- a blank banner (like 10' by 4')
    -- Hugs and kisses (ain't that sweet)
    -- server space
    -- then other random things.

    IT Blog: .:Computer Defense:.
    PnCHd (Pronounced Pinched): Acronym - Point 'n Click Hacked. As in: "That website was pinched" or "The skiddie pinched my computer because I forgot to patch".

  9. #9
    Old Fart
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    heh....I get free karate for the kids...pretty kewl arrangement.
    It isn't paranoia when you KNOW they're out to get you...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Ok, before I start my list.

    Damnit HT, I need to come to canada. I will take the 100% on calculus anyday over a JB. Wait well not anyday. You get the idea though.

    I have gotten pretty much a **** load of thank you's. I have had people buy me soda's and ****, but the interesting thing about me knowing Computer Hardware and software is, I don't tell anyone. (I think I am going to change that soon.)

    The reason I would get soda's and lunch, is I would be a work.(Not working in the IT department, and for some reason, don't ask me why, I would get all the questions before our sys admin would. I will tell you one thing, it is sooo friggin funny when your system admin, comes to you for help, when you for help, on ther Network. )

    Back to the important thing, how long did it take you to fix the computer HT, and you know which one I am talking about. I don't think I could of done that, main reason. I would of probably done something like. (Well it's working now, but ugh... I should probably stay for about 10 more min, you make sure it doesn't have any more problems.

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