Turns out they had already made up their minds. I was recommended to them by a consulting firm with which I do complementary work (they handle certain server issues at my other client's place). Whatever this other company told the prospective client, it must have been good. The entire conversation seemed predicated on my doing work for them. When we talked about money, there were no adverse physical reactions.
They, like my other client, run a MS Server 2003 Small Business Server network; same as the O/S I run my office on, too. They know they can do more with what they have but need to work through the possibilities. I had several handy bits of knowledge at the right moments to make me look good; SQL*Server for DBs under 2 gig for free, how to find a clandestine wireless access point, understanding of SharePoint, HTTP, workflow, and BizTalk server. It looks like it will be a fun gig; more cutting-edge functionality deployment than the other place, less hardware upkeep than the other place. Go, me!
The problem, of course, is how to fit yet another job into my schedule. I need to hire a tech, but I'm scared to. I know I need employees, but the whole process is complex and fraught with danger. Harrumpf.
I rode to the hospital the other day with a morbidly obese man. The guy was found in his car; he looked alert, but he wasn't able to put words together. He seemed kind of anxious, but nothing extreme. He was also, as we would say on the run report, "+v". The chief and deputy were at the scene when I got there. I got the patient going on oxygen, then got a pulse and SPO2. I managed to catch my SPO2 meter twice when the guy shook it off his meaty paw just before it splashed in the puddle of "+v". There was no sign of trauma; no smell of alcohol. I was thinking the guy had some sort of head bleed; a stroke.
The paid squad pulled up and three people jumped out; a paramedic student that has been riding along, a regular paramedic, and an intermediate. I had been at scenes with the para student a few times before; I hadn't yet formed an opinion of her.
She came up, took over the scene without introducing herself, and started barking questions of the several firefighters and family members without regard for any sort of protocol. Then she took her own SPO2 meter and set the case smack in the middle of the pile of "+v". I pointed out in as nice a way as I could muster that she had placed the case in the "+v". It wasn't a subtle pile, and it was right where you'd expect "+v" to be.
Without looking at me, she said, "I know." She went on as though it was the most normal thing in the world to place a clean bright-yellow cordura case in a pile of vomit on purpose.
Sh finished with her SPO2 reading, packed the meter in the case, and handed it to the intermediate. "Clean off the back of this before you put it away." She didn't tell him there was "+v" on it.
A bit later, we were trying to get the 400+-pound patient out of his car and onto a stretcher. He was resistant and still heaving. The para student excused herself to 'go hang a bag'. Hanging a bag is a very short setup step; there was no need for her to quit helping to go set up IV solutions. She just didn't want to deal with the sweaty, vomity, obese guy in a hands-on way. Between five or six firefighters and the regular paid squad crew, we got the guy packaged. It was a challenge, though.
I rode to the ED in the ambulance to help keep the guy balanced on the cot like a grape on a coffee stirrer. His level of consciousness decreased during our trip and I later heard he was flown from our ED to the excellent nearby hospital that can handle serious things like ongoing head bleeds.
I made a date on Friday to go through the practical test scenarios with a local paramedic I know. Man, that test is getting close.