Re: $/word TW

Subject: Re: $/word TW
From: Win Day <winday -at- IDIRECT -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 1996 12:38:10 -0500

At 05:56 AM 1/19/96 -0800, John Wilcox <wilcox -at- pcd -dot- net> wrote:
<SNIP>
>Of course this sounds ridiculous, but it raises a question in my mind:
>isn't getting paid by the hour a little silly, too? If we answer this
>question "no," is our response prompted simply by the fact that much
>TWing *is* done for an hourly wage? Getting paid by the word might
>encourage some to be more verbose, but isn't there a similar temptation
>if you're paid by the hour? Getting paid by the word might be
>detrimental to the more efficient writer, but isn't the case the same
>for those paid by the hour?

>So what ever happened to the simple notion of getting paid by the job?
>Clients (in *any* industry) must have an idea of what a particular task
>or assignment is worth to them; why don't we just negotiate that value?
>Have any of you worked on that basis?



I have worked on lump-sum projects. I hate them. They are adversarial from
the start. If I build in enough contingency to cover unexpected problems
and minor changes, clients either think they're getting cheated or they
choose a lower bidder. If I don't build in enough contingency, my final bid
stays low and I win the job, but I may end up having to swallow some costs.
No one wins.

I much prefer charging by the hour. If I'm efficient and complete a project
before the scheduled end date (and yes, I do give my clients detailed
schedules), I'm rewarded with new work from my client. If the project scope
changes, I don't have to renegotiate my contract, just increase the number
of hours on my invoice.

Besides, a lot of what I do for my clients isn't writing. How would I
charge piece-work for the ongoing archiving I do? For setting standards and
creating procedures? For sitting in on development meetings? For doing
usability studies? For interviewing SMEs and my clients' clients? For
researching different interface styles? And so on, and so on... The list
isn't endless, but it sure seems that way! ;-)

Win
--------
Win Day
Technical Writer/Editor
Email: winday -at- idirect -dot- com


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