Originally Posted By: Geoff Hannis
I did a lot of work on that machine ...

Indeed. Including working up a nice set of spreadsheets in Lotus 1-2-3 that I used for making proposals for servicing work.

No doubt many folk labour under the misapprehension that the streets of places like Al-Khobar are laid out in gold, when in fact (as anyone who has been to such places must agree) many of them are simply zift (dirt).

For a year or two I couldn't get my beloved Shaikh to find the money he needed to pay me, and at one stage got so low in funds that I didn't even have the option of flying out! So I set to trawling around the various private clinics (of which there are many) and small private hospitals, looking for repair and maintenance work (and, if possible, contracts).

The short story is that I would take an inventory of their equipment, including a quick assessment of condition of each item, feed all the data into my spreadsheet(s) and get back to them with a nice list, and some prices (just a couple of options - things had to be kept, shall we say, simple), within a day or two. Those guys were always impressed. Most of them didn't even have a list of the kit they had, of course.

I've just taken a look at a couple of spreadsheets from those days ... and, to be honest, was quite impressed by them. All they would need is importing into Excel to render them "presentable" even today. In fact, there could be a nice little database programming project just sitting there waiting to happen!

But it was hard work getting any sort of deal with those guys, and the "best" I ever got were understandings that they would call me when and if they had problems. So I ended up with a few "interesting" jobs that way. But even then, getting any money out of them was never going to be easy. Some of them even used to pretend to be "out" when I called by (usually after the evening prayer, as was customary). whistle

Luckily (as things turned out) another New Hospital Project came along, so I took a grab at that. It was a two-year project that ended up lasting over six years. Ideal, then. smile

If you don't inspect ... don't expect.