Years ago, I worked as a temp for Biz X, a small, close-knit company that grew steadily each year. They had recently moved into a space much larger than they needed to allow room for expansion.
Department managers and the Ops VP had developed a taste for moving people around, averaging one churn per quarter. They would decide that entire departments were either to move to the other side of the building or get their membership reshuffled. We also had several phases of major office remodels, where 50 or more people at a time were to move, wait for the remodel, then move again.
Needless to say, the support staff was not enthusiastic about the endless musical computers game. On the other hand, our cable installer -- I'll call him John -- was happy to have us as one of his best clients. He ran a one-man shop for years, hiring freelancers as needed. He had been doing cabling work for the company almost ever since they needed a full-scale network.
Enter freelancer "Sean," a burly, happy-go-lucky guy with a lust for life and a gut to match it. I saw a lot of him in the early days, after the move to the new building. This was because the brand-new network cabling that he and his boss had just pulled had a few anomalies. The user's machine could see that it was plugged into the network, but couldn't get any data. The jack they insisted "tested good" showed no life at all. And my favorite: the jacks were mislabeled.
As a networking newbie, I had fits about these anomalies because I wrongly assumed that the cable guys had done their work accurately. One day, after an hour or so of walking back and forth across a very large building (I was the only tech then), it finally dawned on me what had happened.
Sean would come in after I called with a problem, glad-hand for several minutes, glance at the jacks in question, and say, "I'll have to come back later to work on that. Sign here." My boss was busy with larger network shakedown issues, so I signed and sent Sean on his way after extracting a return date, but he never seemed to show up on the promised date.
The next time Sean pulled the drive-through routine, I asked him if the company was getting billed for every visit to our office. "You sure are; I don't do anything that we don't bill you for." In other words, we were paying him about $90 for every five-minute "I gotta come back for this" visit, none of which included any actual work other than a quick peek under a desk or two.
I mentioned this to my boss, who said, "Well you know, John's been doing our cable work for years. Let's not get too exercised about it." Little did I know at the time that this would be a recurring theme in the years to come.