Re: Shoddy Treatment

Subject: Re: Shoddy Treatment
From: Monique Semp <monique -dot- semp -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "Tony G. Rocco" <cityfeller55 -at- gmail -dot- com>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2019 11:59:34 -0800

> Any thoughts about how you would deal with a situation like this?
Unless they're paying you to wait for them, I'd deal with it as if
they'd simply terminated my contract. If they are paying you, then I'd
still conduct a lower-key search for another assignment, just as I
would do whenever I wanted a job change, regardless of the reason.
I've been contracting since 2005, about the same as you, and I too have
had my share of absolutely awful treatment like this. But I've also
been fortunate to have had more than a few wonderful contracts. The key
has been to deal with all the emotions that go along with having had
that awful contract, and then move to job hunting with as much
enthusiasm as I can muster. And try to remind myself that it isn't
personal; it's just how business is.
Two years ago I was at the end of a spate of contracts -- three in a
row -- that didn't go well. The last of those three was the worst, but
fortunately the shortest: 3-1/2 weeks. I was seriously thinking of
dropping out of tech writing, living frugally, and figuring what else
to do. But then, the perfect opportunity came up, I got the contract I
have now, and it's nearly perfect in every way. And, it's extremely
remote friendly. (It's such a great group that although I'm not
obligated to, I choose to go in about three Thursdays a month. A
166-mile round trip, through a lot of terrible traffic points in the
San Francisco Bay Area.)
Some have suggested you reconsider contracting/remote work, but I say
that if you've been successful for this long, there's no reason to go
back to full-time positions. Even when a company has decent vacation
and sick leave, there's just not the flexibility -- in actuality, but
also in everyone's expectations and perceptions -- that there is in
contracting. And I wouldn't give up the mental freedom of "whenever
this job sours, I'm outta there!" Yes, that means at times there's no
$$ coming in, but again, if you've been doing this since 2006, you've
arranged your financial life to be prepared for that.
(Thank goodness I took that worst assignment as a contractor, so it
didn't really affect my finances or job history. But they'd originally
wanted the position to be a regular full-time employment job. I
convinced them to make it a contract hire, and I think of how awful it
would've been if someone had quit a regular job for this, and then
after 3-1/2 weeks been told, "oh, we're really not ready for
documentation yet; all those issues you've been bringing up do need to
be deeply thought about, and we're not ready." And that was indeed the
case -- it wasn't that _I_ wasn't a fit. They didn't even look for
another writer for almost two years.)
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Shoddy Treatment: From: Tony G. Rocco

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