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What to give your SQL Server Admin when he saves your butt?

So, I'm a SQL developer working on OLAP systems with web interfaces - intranet only.  Since I usually come in and help out a single department figure out what to do with the massive chunks of data stored by the IT staff, I tend to work on my own.

This seems all good and fine, but the IT staff really tends to hate me coming in and dragging out tons of data, asking them to do a lot of retreival, asking for massive amounts of space on their servers, running huge queries and datatransformations.  Then, since the system is probably only going to be used for a few people, if it is "rough", I really don't care - as long as the end numbers are correct.

Basically, I'm just extra work for the IT staff.  In the end, it completely removes tons of idiotic requests from management, but nobody realizes that until the systems are in the final stages.

So here is my situation:  I really screwed up and lost a few hundred million recs (only 3 days data).  Two guys in IT managed to get the data back from the tape archives in japan and have it sent to an FTP server so I could get it back and in my server before my VP noticed it.

Normally, if a client helps me out with something, I send them some sort of gift.  Usually ~ $100.  However, I normally work with them constantly and know exactly what they'd like.  I barely know these two guys.  One is in India and the other is in China!  

So, all you IT masters out there, what would be a corporate gift that you'd enjoy getting from an irritating outsite contractor?  :)  

(I'll split points)
3 Solutions
CIC AdminCommented:
India and China???  That's a toughy.  Geek toys are always fun but that may be a risk without knowing them personally.

I would say the safest bet would be an Amazon gift certificate.  It is a good bet they buy books, and they don't even have to be tech books.  Plus there is so much other stuff there it is bound to be put to good use and much appreciated.

Good luck,

P.S.  Why can't I have more customers like you!!!
world cup final's ticket...
DanielcmorrisAuthor Commented:
world cup final's ticket...  Hmmmm.... ya got one of them hangin' around?  - for a hundred bucks!

As far as the amazon gift card, that would be easy, but I'm not sure of the "ethics" of these people.  With most management, I could drop an envelope with $1k in it on their desks and I'd never hear about it, but IT people tend to have issues about things like that.

I'll tell you what, it is really amazing.  I bought one dude a $200 pen (he collects fancy pens) and I've gotten about $50k in jobs from his recommendations.  Now.... I'm not sure if that is "bribery" or simply making a guy soooo happy that he'll mention your name when other people look for a developer.  

I may be a developer, but my degree is in political science.  :)

Anyway, I've found that giving people lots of gifts and taking the blame for anything that goes wrong (even if I had nothing to do with it) tends to get me a lot of business and generally makes up for my own idiotic work requests.  One guy was running a marathon for the lukemia foundation.  I donated enough for that to cover all his expenses.  I never had to wait in line for network issues again.  :)  

So, I've got 2 ideas so far.  One of my other clients is a meat company (Import/export of fancy foods).  I though maybe I could send a whole filet to each of them..... but I'm not sure about India.  Is beef an issue  - I can't remember.
Another client is a set of vinards, I could have a case of wine sent to them each, but then there is an alchohol issue - so I'm not sure there either.

Is there anyone out there from India that can recommend something that you can't really get in India?  I've got a guy from switzerland that's nuts for this Ovalmatine stuff (blech), you can't get it in the US, so I have a subcontractor in Italy send it over to him.  Anything like that?  

(this is getting fun)

This is going to the server admins in the US office : http://www.illyusa.com/AB1666000/memberships/index.cfm?k=M504

(I'm going to be begging them for some help pretty soon.  might as well get them read for some long nights)
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i'm just wondering if after all this bragging about wines and filets he's going to send at least amazon's vouchers... Send a piece of meat as a sign of appreciation - how more stupid it can get??

 beside of sillyness of the idea as such, have you thought that a lot of the indians are vegiterians? Have you heard anything of the Holy Cow? that's from India, mate. Some of them don't eat beaf even not being vegi-eaters. Or that it's summer in that hemisphere and if you don't use some extra fast courier and some freezing bags, your meat will rotten and your wine will turn sour and even if you use extra fast couriers, but the guys don't live in the biggest cities of their countries, it will take quite a few days to get to them and it will turn spoiled.

but I'm not sure about India.  Is beef an issue  
>> dont even think of it if u want ur databases not to turn "suspect"  all of a sudden....(m an Indian)

all u have 2 do is send a nice mail of appreciation for their work and
and let their bosses know about it....if possible if u have any positions for "onsite" bring those guys here...

I've been looking for this t-shirt that says "Geeks do it in front of windows".  I'd be the happiest geek in the world if I received that from a customer.  
DanielcmorrisAuthor Commented:
Meat spoil?  Naaaa....  We import it from Africa to San Francisco, I'm sure we can get it to china.  :)  I asked about the meat because I wasn't sure if Indians were vegitarians or not.  (not all are Yurich.  I had beef burittos with 2 guys last night)  I actually sent one of these to a corporate guy once before, it resulted in a department barbeque.

The t-shirt idea is nice.  Maybe I'll go that way.  

pai prasaid:  I'd normally send a thankyou to their director, but she is a real pain in my butt!  They saved me even though she said that her group couldn't help.  (never even asked them if they could do it)

I just want to get them something nice.
DanielcmorrisAuthor Commented:
Ok Guys, I got the toys and sent them out.  All were from thinkgeek.com  ---

  Griffin PowerMate - Silver                        
  Wi Fi Signal Locator                              
  Si-Link FM Transmitter                            
  USB Wireless Security Lock                        
  Inova X5 LED Flashlights - Black w/White Light    
  Skullcandy Cellphone/iPod Headset - Behind the Ear Style  
  Blue LED Faucet Light                              

I just went and picked out fun things that I'd like to have  :)

Thanks for all the ideas,

DanielcmorrisAuthor Commented:
Yurich, you really need to lighten up.  Sometimes people decide to do something nice and get a bit excited about it.  Normally I buy gifts from one client to give to another, the filet mignon has been a hit with my chinese & korean clients, I wasn't sure about indian, so I asked.  pai_prasad was kind enough to enlighten me.  If everyone's responses were like yours, people would hesitate to ask questions - even stupid ones.  

While it is nice to get answers to tech problems, it is much more important to understand as much as possible about other cultures and have them understand about ours.  I've spent years working in europe and latin america, and discovered that there are more than one "culture" in close proximity.  Northern & southern germans are completely different people, same for Italy & France.

Even cultures that are simply tiny, El Salvador is right next to honduras, but their culture is quite different.  India is massive, practically the size of western europe.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm pretty certain that people in Chennai are very different than those in Calcutta.

It never hurts to ask for help or advice
It is always good to do good things for others

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