Hurry Up and Wait
So I'm waiting on specs for this super big mission critical project that has to be done. The customer emails me at 8am local time, saying he's finally gotten them and he'll be forwarding them within the hour. Therefor I decline to start working on my other projects, because this one takes priority and there's not a lot of point getting my head around one project just in time to drop it.
It's now 10:30 am. Crucial specs nowhere in sight. Work done for the day: zilch.
If I knew that I wasn't going to get to work on anything today, I could have been home riding my bike or fishing. I could at least have strapped the bike to the back of the car and tooled around town, checking in every half hour or so to see if the docs had arrived yet.
Be glad you work for The Man and get paid for the day. Consultants who bill by the hour don't get paid to wait.
September 8th, 2006 10:55am
That, my good man, depends entirely upon the terms of the contract. If I was required to be on the customer's site at their beck and call, you bet they're gonna pay for me waiting. If I get to work from my home office, they can delay as long as they want, I'll be lifting weights, riding my bike or flossing the cat while they try to get their act together.
Yes, yes. If you're onsite of course you get paid.
But you know what I mean ... the client says "I will get a spec to you on Monday and you can start work" so you wait till Monday and the client hems and haws and says it isn't done yet, so you have to wait. And Tuesday comes, and still no spec, because something came up, etc.
Of course in that case, you just tell the client to call you. And you make sure there are cellphone towers near the lake where you go fishing. But you don't get paid for fishing and waiting.
September 8th, 2006 11:11am
Nope, I don't get paid. But I'm fishing, so by definition I'm not wasting time.
"Consultants who bill by the hour don't get paid to wait"
depends on the contract
September 8th, 2006 11:38am
Billing by the hour is silly to begin with. You should have a contract to deliver a project, and a price for that project. If you can't estimate costs and timelines more or less correctly, you shouldn't be doing this sort of work.
(Spoken as a freelance translator. Also, I distrust hourly pay on principle, whether consulting or full-time.)
Amen. Per-project pricing is a lot happier, because it gives you a lot more power in the relationship. You can nix bad ideas with a simple "that's not in the budget". That's made my life a lot saner several times.
> But I'm fishing, so by definition I'm not wasting time.
You could have taken a vacation day today. But you went into work to get paid. :)
Sigh. I guess 'consultants' above should be replaced by 'people who are their own bosses.' Some consultants are just employees with different terms. :)
September 8th, 2006 5:16pm