Re: Contracting moral dilemma

Subject: Re: Contracting moral dilemma
From: John Posada <jposada -at- NOTES -dot- CC -dot- BELLCORE -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 1997 13:05:51 -0500

>> I have successfully bid on a fixed-price contract. I signed the contract
yesterday, and will receive the first payment today. I started working on the
files last night, and realized that there really is a lot less text than I was
thinking when I bid the contract (a non-professional actually used sufficient
white space!).

>> My potential dilemma is: what if I spend a lot less hours on the project
than I calculated for my bid? It is a fixed bid, but I still based it on how
many hours I thought it would take. If I go over the amount of time I
estimated, I certainly wouldn't expect to be paid more...but should I return
whatever portion that I didn't work for?


David...I spoke to your client this morning and he told me to tell you to send
the money to me instead....or at least 95% of it with the rest evenly
distributed to the rest of the TECHWTR list subscribers

Seriously...ARE YOU NUTS??

Besides...untill the job is done, finished, delivered and signed off, you don't
know that the job is really that clean.

And HEY!!! There's nothing immoral about making more on a bid than
anticipated. It's only immoral if you lie to the customer to get it, like
padding hours or cutting corners on work that you committed to.

------------------

>> Another contract will follow this one. Should I just adjust the other
contract to offset any unworked-for income on this one?

If you know that you will get the second contract without having to re-compete,
I'd leave well enough alone, use the same rate, and feel lucky that you were
able to negotiate such a brilliant situation. To make you feel better, maybe
at the end of the year, you can buy the customer a quality business gift, like
maybe an embossed real-leather writing table portfolio or something similar.

Or maybe, at the end of the year, tell the customer that it was such a pleasure
working with him/her that you've waived the usual inflation price increase for
any other similar work you do and that all rates used for 1997 will apply for
1998.

Besides...think of it this way...it's contracts like this that contribute the
cushion that either enables you to NOT ask for more money for the dogs that you
WILL be getting or to intentionaly go skinny for jobs that are in your
professional interest, like pro bono association work, or work for public
interest organizations.

John Posada
Central NJ Employment Manager - Technical Proposal Writer
STC - Bellcore
http://stc.org/region2/njc/ - (908) 699-5839

jposada -at- notes -dot- cc -dot- bellcore -dot- com (work)
http://www.bellcore.com (work)

jposada -at- injersey -dot- com (personal)
http://nj5.injersey.com (personal)

"If you give a person a fish, they'll fish for a day. But if you train a
person to fish, they'll fish for a lifetime."
Vice President Dan Quayle 10/13/92
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