RE: Consultant vs. Contractor

Subject: RE: Consultant vs. Contractor
From: "John Fleming" <johnf -at- ecn -dot- ab -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 12:15:22 -0700

> Subject: RE: Consultant vs. Contractor
> From: Rebecca Faye <RebeccaF -at- learnitcorp -dot- com>
> Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2001 08:54:14 -0500
> X-Message-Number: 17


> A contractor is someone with a head the size of 1/10th the football
> that comes in and fixes up all the crap that someone who quits the
> has created to wreak havoc upon the employees. They usually don't
get fired.
> They are usually asked to become employees of the company, but
refuse due to
> the fact that they like being slightly independent. And love
avoiding a
> company's internal politics.

That is one of the nice things about contracting, isn't it? Avoiding
the bulk of the internal politics. It's one of the reasons I became a

Along the way, I've been both an employee and a contractor. While
contracting has sometimes left me pulling my hair out (I doubt too
many employees are submitting draft versions of documentation by
e-mail at 4:00 in the morning), it has also provided some really
interesting projects. Along the way, I've also met some really fine

I don't think, as a contractor, I've ever come in to clean up a mess
left by some disgruntled ex-employee. I have done projects where I've
left behind something better than they had, but that's had more to do
with my skill set than anything else.

Oddly enough, the worst piece of work I've ever seen was produced by a
(now bankrupt) software development company run by a guy with a
drinking problem and a predilection for smoking a green leafy
substance. BTW, said person also failed Usability 101--creating
psychedelic input screens with nice yellow letters on a bright red
background. All I can say is, thank God the contracting organization
hired a different consultant to fix up that mess.


John Fleming
Technical Writer
Edmonton, Alberta
email: johnf -at- ecn -dot- ab -dot- ca

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