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on not owning problems

Periodically I get asked computer tech or music tech questions. I make it a rule to evade them whenever possible because they always come back to bite you, i.e. if you help someone even just once, you're their "computer guy" until you tell them to bug off.

Here is a portion of a real message that happened today from someone I helped once before for free like an idiot. It was a long message and I'll only be quoting the specific portion that matters:

The [music instruments that don't work] are still in [a place where I'm not], and I won't be there until 10 am central time. Is there any way you could send me a private message with your phone # so I could call you from the studio to help [fix my problem completely for free]? You can also write me at [email address].

I don't even know this person.

Call you? On your schedule? To support vintage electronic music hardware over two decades old? (Yes, really.) For free? Seriously?

Yes, this person really wanted over-the-phone vintage electronics consulting for their over-20-year-old vintage music hardware on their schedule for free.

Bear in mind this is the kind of thing technicians charge $100 to $300 an hour to do.

Request denied.

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