RE: Contracting

Subject: RE: Contracting
From: Mailing List <mlist -at- ca -dot- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 15:29:17 -0500

Dick Margulis [mailto:margulis -at- fiam -dot- net] opined:
> Sylvia Burleigh wrote:
> > But I bet you all (john included) can't beat this:

> > During a lull in work at another contract company, I was
> asked to paint
> > the attic of the new office.
> > I wasted no time looking for another job.

> Excuse me? There was a lull but they wanted to keep you
> around so they
> found something to keep you busy and you had a problem with that? I
> think you should have been flattered that they didn't just
> kick you out
> the minute the work slowed down.

> Work is work, and if you get paid by the hour, you shouldn't get all
> huffy the minute someone asks you to do a task that is
> outside your area
> of expertise. If they want to pay you tech writer wages to paint an
> attic, pour coffee, or empty wastebaskets, why is that a
> problem for you?

In my time with this little company -- whoops, we just became
a middle-sized company -- I've done the procedures and the
floor-plans for our workplace safety and evacuation planning,
performed the workplace safety inspection every month for
three years, done the floor-monitor and organizer thing for
fire-drills, helped run cables and install hubs for our
network upgrades, donated a couple of days of my own time
to hump freight/furniture when we moved to new premises,
burned the midnight oil with some other volunteers in the
shipping department to package software and hardware for
a crucial shipment, etc., etc.

I probably got asked to do more of that than some people
because it's known that I don't have kids. Still, there
were often parents working alongside me (no doubt relieved
to get away from their kids for a time... :-)

So far, I've not been tagged to replace the receptionist
on the phones, having lied and said I've never done
switchboard... not sure what I would have done if cornered
on that one. :-)

However, in five-1/2 years here, I haven't found myself
in the position of having no job/position-related work
to do. Hmm. I like painting. We don't have an attic.

But seriously, I can see that it's a fine distinction,
and one that you must be able to read: are they giving
you this little job because they want to keep you busy
and available until your real work (tech writing)
re-appears (they value you), or are they giving you
this little job because you are just some drudge,
unskilled labor that they stick with all the jobs that
nobody valuable will do?



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