Re: Time Standards on Contractors

Subject: Re: Time Standards on Contractors
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Techwrl-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2000 08:15:51 -0800 (PST)

> > Yes, if you focus 100% on meeting the client's needs and 0% on meeting your
> > personal needs.
>
> Andrew, maybe I'm a little thick, but could you explain how completely
> sacrificing
> yourself is a win-win situation?

I was not referring to being a slave. Shower, shave, and brush your teeth as
normal.

No, I am referring to work product and expectations. When companies hire
contractors, by an large they are looking for a quick, straight-forward
solution to a problem. Showing up and demanding all sorts of new processes,
procedures, and other one-off nonsense will get you terminated very fast and
universally loathed by agencies.

Therefore, focus on what the client asks for, not what you think they need.

I have a client with a networking product. The UI and the way they publish the
docs is terrible. I documented my suggestions to them in the beginning of the
project. They did not have time to adopt them. I nodded my head and agreed.
Then I shut my trap and wrote the docs - according to THEIR plan, THEIR rules,
and THEIR requirements. I left my personal opinions of their company, the
product, the documents, and procedures at home.

This client and I have a wonderful working relationship, even though I do not
always understand their decisions. I do exactly what they ask for and a little
more, if possible.

One of the most common problems with people who contract is that they think
they are employees. They get bent out of shape when the client does not want
to implement all their ideas. If you are the type of person who must have 100%
ownership of all aspects of your job, DON'T contract.

My statement was to suggest to Tony that he keep his opinions and procedures in
check and do exactly what the client wants. If you want a win-win situation in
contracting, you are humble, respectful, and you do the job even if you think
it is stupid.

Andrew Plato

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