Another day in the Life of an Independent Contractor...

Subject: Another day in the Life of an Independent Contractor...
From: Charles E Vermette <cvermette -at- juno -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2002 09:43:48 -0500

Just want to throw out a question to the list for opinions...

I have a client who's a startup. They consist of competent people I've
worked with before whom I like and respect.

Here's the issue: as a startup, they've taken the "Virtual Team"
approach. They have a large client project, with resources spread among
the Northeast. We are working as 1099 contractors, handling individual
parts of the project. The tasks are all self contained, with no
dependencies between tasks (other than to hand them off on schedule.)
There's one full-time Project Manager coordinating the resources. We know
our jobs. We just need to be handed the files to work on.

Here's the issue: the admin time is adding up (schedule evaluations,
meetings, email queries, etc.) and I've yet to see any work I can bill.
My basic feeling is that much of this admin time is unnecessary. The task
is straightforward - I just need the files and a deadline.

I'm curious:

* is what I'm describing normal client interaction (or am I just being
ornery?) At what point do *you* separate normal client interaction from
billable time?

* What do *you* do if/when you feel a client is wasting your time? How do
you tactfully say "I don't think another meeting/discussion is

Please, no patronizing "business is tough, building one is blood sweat
and tears, the customer is king and you have to go beyond the 9 to 5"


Charles E. Vermette
85 Washington Park Drive, Norwell MA 02061
e-mail: cvermette -at- juno -dot- com

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