Re: About 12% on post to tech-write list

Subject: Re: About 12% on post to tech-write list
From: Elna Tymes <etymes -at- lts -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 08 May 2001 21:26:37 -0700

Berk/Devlin wrote:

> Librarian friend of mine was telling me she just read an article in the
> Wall Street Journal about a guy who lives in Los Altos (pricey, pricey
> area) who nets $200,000 per year as an "agency". He said it takes him a
> couple of hours a MONTH to do this work for approximately 200 people. He's
> never been on-site at any client and he's never met any of the people he
> "represents". He said he had virtually NO overhead or expenses. (Sorry,
> the page is only available on-line to subscribers so I couldn't access it
> or get the URL.)

Oh, I just love it when the WSJ gets wind of an isolated incident, skews the
timeline a bit, and presents the story as current news!

"Agency" folks like the one described are dropping like flies in Silicon Valley,
unless they have locked in clients for multi-year contracts with people who just
get rolled over from PO to PO as time passes. If the latter is the case, then
yes someone could be an agent for the people he's placed there, handle the
paperwork for about 200 people, work maybe a couple hours a month, and net
$200,000 a year. But he'd be the exception, rather than the rule. And he
wouldn't be placing tech writers. Or programmers for that matter.

Most of the agencies out here are reporting the same problem: almost nobody's
hiring contractors, and the companies who are hiring permanent workers are picky,
picky, picky.

As little as a year ago, agencies were making fine money if they could find good
talent, perhaps as much as the Los Altos hotshot described above. But no longer.

Elna Tymes
Los Trancos Systems


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RE: About 12% on post to tech-write list: From: Berk/Devlin

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