Re: Until It's Time for Me to Go

Subject: Re: Until It's Time for Me to Go
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 17 Sep 1996 10:21:45 PDT

Moshe,

Not to be too glib about it, but while freelancers often suffer from
overwork, only employees are supposed to be martyrs. As a consultant,
your job is to:

1. Provide expert advice to the client (who may well ignore it, but
that's his problem),

2. Provide work that is as professional as is possible under the client's
constraints,

3. Work hard, but leave the ulcers to the employer.

In my opinion, the biggest trap is to lose sight of job #1, which is
to advise your client. At this point, you should be advising your client
that they have arranged things so that your professional advice is ignored,
and your professional talents are being squandered -- and that you advise
that they hire someone extremely junior, since they are not willing to
make effective use of your professional experience.

Finally, I wonder if the project will ever be finished. The project
has already slipped ten months beyond its three-months-till-completion
date, and the engineers have plenty of time to screw up the documentation.
The combination is very ominous -- it implies that the development team
has already broken down, and is staggering in a drunkard's walk towards
completion, rather than marching toward it.

You say that, by leaving, you might be responsible for the failure of
the problem, yet your good work has already been largely butchered.
But YOU are the agent of your documentation's destruction -- they demand
that the work be butchered, but you are the one wielding the knife.
If you walk away, the team probably won't have the energy to implement
their ruinous decisions, and the documentation will be better off than
if you had stayed.

Don't walk away, Moshe. Run!

-- Robert
--
Robert Plamondon, President/Managing Editor, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139

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