Even though we were the largest group of service companies in the country, we were years behind in the use of computers to do everything from bookkeeping to stock control and dispatch of the service fleet.
One day, though, we got great news: The owners had finally hired a VP with CIO skills who would take us right into the 1990s.
Over the course of the next year, each of our branch offices was equipped with the latest in servers, PCs, VPNs, monitors, and custom written software for everyone. "Mao" (as we called him) was also given several offices to supervise from HQ, as the owners wanted him to understand our business thoroughly.
One day we heard that our longtime CFO resigned. We later learned that Mao had conducted an audit and found that our trusted CFO had been siphoning funds from the company. Mao was making himself an integral part of the management team, and ensuring everything was being done to his exacting requirements. Not six months after we received the new equipment, our UPS battery backup failed for the server. I called the IT office at HQ telling them the "bad battery" light was lit. Two days later we received a completely new replacement. I packed the old one away, awaiting an RMA or call tag to send it back and promptly forgot about it.
Several months later we got our P&L and while scrutinizing it, I found that we were charged for that UPS unit that should have been under warranty. I sent off an e-mail disputing this and asked for a correction.
Six months later I received a call from Mao wanting to know about a dinner meeting I had supposedly had with Fred, our branch's regional manager to whom we reported directly. Mao just wanted to know how it went. Confused, I asked him specifically where and when this meeting was to have taken place. He told me and I said that I'd never had a dinner meeting on the date he mentioned. He asked me to be very sure, and I repeated what I'd said. He apologized and said he'd just gotten his information wrong.
One day sometime later, we lost a backup tape drive, again under full warranty. I called our IT people, who sent out a warranty replacement, but this time they requested the defective drive back. As I was friendly with several of the IT people, I asked if a lot of these were failing. Their reply: "Don't ask."
Several months later, we heard Fred had been fired. Turned out Fred was making a tidy little income by submitting bogus expense reports. And he recorded that I'd had dinner with him on this one occasion! Again Detective Mao uncovered another crime ...
Next fiscal quarter, I got the new P&L and that charge for the in-warranty UPS was still there. And in addition, they charged me for the tape drive. These should have been credits.
I fired off a request to credit these two errors, but this time I copied everyone, demanding these charges to be removed immediately.