TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Thank You Letter From:John Posada <jposada01 -at- YAHOO -dot- COM> Date:Mon, 7 Jun 1999 14:14:27 -0700
Steven...Since you spend so much time and thought in
composing the response to my post, I thought I would
give you the benefit of the doubt and reread your
original post word for word (again).
Unfortunately, I saw nothing in the original post that
makes me believe that I misunderstood your post.
True...you posted a great deal about all the things
that can go wrong. However, much of what you posted
had to do with situations that may come up after
you've been on the contract for an extended period of
time and Lisa's message, as well as your original post
had to do with the process of "getting" the job, not
what can happen in the future after you've been there
for a while. I quote your response:
> I have had contract shops quite literally screw
> up existing
> contracts where the client was begging me to stay on
> for another term
> and the contract shop would not deliver on a rate
> *they* (the shop)
> had agreed to give me at the start of the contract.
Based on the post you responded to, that is all
besides the point and has nothing to do with the post,
or for that matter, your original followup. The
original post asked a simple question...as a
contractor, who submits the thankyou note. Nothing
You then turned it to the subject of what to do if the
agency screws up the negotiations. What negotiations
were mentioned in Lisa's question? I quote her post:
Miller, Lisa writes:
> May be I missed this in the posts, but if you are
being represented by a
> consulting company, do you still send thank you
notes to the
> potential client sites? Or, is that the
responsibility of the
> company that arranged the interview and who you
You then went on to offer the following advice and I'd
like to address the most distasteful parts as they
>I'd say you have to play it by ear on that;
>if you think the contract company is dropping
>the ball, you might want
By who's opinion are they screwing it up? Maybe they
are. Maybe they are reacting based on previous
experience that they've had with this client that you
don't know about?
>to send a thank
>you to the interviewers to impress upon them that
>*you* want the job,
>so they don't think that you personally are
>screwing up the
Maybe they didn't know anything was screwed up. Do you
say "Gee, Ms. Client, even though the agency that
introduced us is a blathering idiot, I'm much better
than they are, so disregard what they are telling you
and listen to my side."?
>And if you *really* think they're
>screwing it up,i.e. you have a pretty
>fair idea that they're padding their rate
>too much for the client and you see this job
>as a good chance for career
So, you are the best to determine just how much the
agency should make and if they make more than they
should, you will take the initiative to get them into
line? Suppose according to your opinion, they aren't
getting enough? Do you cut your rate to give them a
better cut or do you tell the client that they aren't
>well, then you might want to think about
>talking to the client carefully, and quietly.
Oh, you mean quite enough so the agency doesn't hear
you. If this is not un ethical, why do you care if the
agency knows about it. Supposed the agency and the
client have years of history and the client goes back
to the agency with your proposition? Do you tell the
client "This is only between us and if you tell the
agency, I'll deny everything."?
>Explain to them that you want the job,
>that you want $X/hour, and that you're not
>sure the contract shop is accurately
Well, you sure as hell Better be sure if you take this
route. Documented lies, misrepresentations, and
omissions, because if you can't your butt is in court
>Be aware that this is very inappropriate
>behavior, that you cannot
Inappropriate? How about downright un ethical and just
one of the issues that makes people see contractors in
the light that they do.
If an agency introduces you to a client, they own that
client while interviewing and during the contract. If
they screw it up, they screw it up and you should not
only never deal with them again, but make sure that if
asked of your opinion about that agency from someone
else, speak objectively but truthfully. However, NEVER
make an end run around the agency because you don't
like how they are handling the situation.
>and should not try to cut the contract shop
>out of the loop, and that
>you risk any future you have with both
> that employer and that contract
>shop if you don't handle things
>adroitly. Still, if you really want
>that job and you think the shop is
>screwing it up...
Sorry...you cannot always have what you want and
jumping up and down and pounding your feet on the
floor isn't going to get you that position.
>I have, in the past, set up a job
>independently of a contract
>shop, then brought the employer
>to the shop and said "I'm getting
>$X/hour, you guys figure out your
>cut for being the middleman." This
>is, in my opinion, the best way to do it,
>but alas not always - or even often -
And I'll guess that this was a situation where you and
the company had the relationship, but they needed an
intermediate agency because of internal requirements.
You went out and found the agency to handle the
paperwork and deductions. They didn't know about the
client until you brought them together. Now..supposed
3 months in, they were to go to the client and say
"Hey, Bill...We understand that you are paying Steven
20 hours per week OT. We came across a contractor that
is just as good as Steven, but he'll work 20 hours per
week, so you can stop paying Steven the OT." Only
problem was...you LIKED the OT money
In the case where you brought the two together, YOU
own the client and the agency cannot bring in another
contractor with you knowing it.
Disclaimer...I said some strong stuff. I applogize if
this is not the correct forum and would have been
happy to post it privately had the response been sent
to me privatly.
Western Union International
(w) jposada -at- westernunion -dot- com
(p) john -at- tdandw -dot- com
Do You Yahoo!?
Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com