Re: Contracting

Subject: Re: Contracting
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 14:12:17 -0500

Gene Kim-Eng wrote:

Are you getting this in the actual interview, or from the
people you end up working with after you get the contract?
If it's in the interview, it may be some hiring manager's wierd way of finding out how well you're going to deal with that sort of crap on the job, which would be a good indication of what sort of experience you can expect.

Ah, the Branch Rickey gambit!

BTW, my own experience has been the reverse: most people
interviewing me, including those who might potentially be
able to do the work "with one hand behind their back," are usually anxious as all hell to get someone in, and at the
very least see the value of having someone else to do work
they don't want or don't have the bandwidth to do.

cf. Up the Organization, by Robert Townsend, p. 108. One of his maxims was "To keep an organization young and fit, don’t hire anyone until everybody’s so overworked they’ll be glad to see the newcomer no matter where he sits."

In a former life, I was in the herbs and dried flowers business with my then-wife, and we sold a lot of dried arrangements at weekend craft shows. We (as most of the other exhibitors) got a lot of I-could-do-that comments. We encouraged people to try, and they usually acknowledged (once getting over the shock that we had overheard them) that they realized it would take them longer and the results wouldn't be as attractive.

We (or rather I, as my wife was more polite than I) had a couple of set responses to common situations that might translate well into certain situations contractors find themselves in:

For people who pointed to a wreath or basket (something we might be selling for forty or fify or seventy-five dollars if it were large) and asked, "How long did it take you to make that?" the standard response was, "About half an hour. [take a beat] And fifteen years." The point was always taken.

For those who insisted on touching fragile flowers to find out if they were real (kinda like managers who want to go back over your edits and restore the errors), I reached the point where I would walk up behind them and whisper in their ear, "Lady, I'll make a deal with you. Don't touch mine and I won't touch yours." It wasn't a great way to make friends, but it successfully protected the merchandise.


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RE: Contracting: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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