Re: Fair Cut

Subject: Re: Fair Cut
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Berk/Devlin <armadill -at- earthlink -dot- net>, Techwrl-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2000 12:45:03 -0700 (PDT)

--- Berk/Devlin wrote:

> >Freelancing requires you to be both a good tech writer and a good business
> >person. If you are do not want to negotiate contracts, argue over
> >invoices, and demand payments then you should quit freelancing and get a
> >full-time job.
> I have to do all this and more when I am forced to use an approved provider.

No agency should even allow you to negotiate money with the client after the
deal is done. That should be the agency's job. You should be dealing directly
with the agency on business issues.

Perhaps you're trying to command the entire relationship and that is pissing
off your agencies. Just because you found the job does not mean you can command
the whole transaction. The deal between the agency and the client is their
business. You should think of the agency as your client when it comes to money
and compensation.

I also think you have fallen into the same illogical trap that many people do.
You get bad service once or twice from somebody or some company and then you
make a logical leap that ALL those people or agencies are bad.

I was talking to a CIO about six months ago. The topic of tech writers came up.
This CIO said "oh, God, not more tech writers. I am so sick of those people.
They never do a damn thing and they always bitch about how they don't get
enough respect. Just get me some decent engineers and forget the writers. We'll
hire an admin to write the docs." I tried to change his mind. I tried to
convince him that there are competent tech writers, but his mind was made up.
He had been burned by 4 or 5 bad writers and now, as far as he was concerned
ALL writers were incompetent.

Yeah, there are bad agencies there are also good ones. I know, I have worked
with them myself. There are also incompetent tech writers, I know I have
suffered under their stupidity.

If you don't want to use agencies, I encourage you to find a way around them
without screwing them. And don't tell me it can't be done, because I have done
it myself and I know many other Bay Area writers who have as well. You just
have to set yourself and your company up to handle contracting properly.

Good luck.

Andrew Plato

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