Re: 1099 -- What to ask?

Subject: Re: 1099 -- What to ask?
From: "Elna Tymes" <etymes -at- lts -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 05 Jul 2000 09:34:37 -0700

> Peter <pnewman1 -at- home -dot- com> wrote:
> >Many companies will take advice from freelancers, rather than their own
> >employees. The freelancer may not be subject to internal politics and if
> >things go wrong, there is a convenient scapegoat.

and Bruce Byfield commented:

> Moreover, a freelancer - a "consultant" in the language of the
> suits - is perceived as an expert, and therefore receives more
> respect than an employee. I supsect this perception is a
> self-rationalization.

Generally, companies distinguish between "freelancers" and "consultants" based
on the strength of their resumes. Where freelancers get more attention than
employees is when their experience set differs from the employees', and it
offers the company experience (not necessarily expertise) that offers a
different perspective.

Consultants, on the other hand, frequently have more experience - and in many
cases expertise - than a company's employees in certain key areas. While they
also may have the different point of view that makes them valuable, they may
also have developed expertise in particular areas that happen to be needed at
the moment.

Case in point: suppose your company is considering moving to an SGML
environment from, say, a Frame (and addons) environment. The current
employees, who will ultimately be the ones working in the new environment, may
be willing to do a lot of research about SGML and to learn the new tools of
choice, but they probably don't understand the process of transition. At this
point, bringing in a consultant or five to not only analyze the legacy
documents but to recommend and help implement a transition process is probably
going to be money well spent. Bringing in experienced freelancers to help with
the handling of legacy documents would also free the existing employees to (1)
learn the new tool of choice and (2) continue the normal process of documenting
new products.

Yes, there's a certain amount of 'a prophet is without honor in his own home,'
but there are times when it's really valuable to buy outside expertise.

Elna Tymes
Los Trancos Systems

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